Critical Infrastructure Protection: Establishing Effective Information Sharing with Infrastructure Sectors

GAO-04-699T Published: Apr 21, 2004. Publicly Released: Apr 21, 2004.
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Critical infrastructure protection (CIP) activities that are called for in federal policy and law are intended to enhance the security of the cyber and physical public and private infrastructures that are essential to our nation's security, economic security, and public health and safety. As our reliance on these infrastructures increases, so do the potential threats and attacks that could disrupt critical systems and operations. Effective information-sharing partnerships between industry sectors and government can contribute to CIP efforts. Federal policy has encouraged the voluntary creation of Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs) to facilitate the private sector's participation in CIP by serving as mechanisms for gathering and analyzing information and sharing it among the infrastructure sectors and between the private sector and government. This testimony discusses the management and operational structures used by ISACs, federal efforts to interact with and support the ISACs, and challenges to and successful practices for ISACs' establishment, operation, and partnerships with the federal government.

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