Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit


About the Unit

The OCT Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit works with Federal, State, local, and private sector partners to enhance the overall security of the State's most critical assets. Specifically, the CIP Unit:

  • Identifies and categorizes New York State's most critical assets across 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors;
  • Conducts site assessments and analysis at critical facilities across the State;
  • Shares information and best practices with owners and operators of New York's critical infrastructure in the public and private sector;
  • Monitors terrorism threats facing each of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors, and prioritizes fieldwork accordingly;
  • Supports State emergency response activities and provides critical information on the State's infrastructure and key resources to inform decision-maker during an incident

About Critical Infrastructure

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has identified 16 Critical Infrastructure sectors "that compose the assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof."

The 16 Critical Infrastructure sectors are:

  • Chemical
  • Commercial Facilities
  • Communications
  • Critical Manufacturing
  • Dams
  • Defense Industrial Base
  • Emergency Services
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Government Facilities
  • Healthcare and Public Health
  • Information Technology
  • Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste
  • Transportation Systems
  • Water and Wastewater Systems


The CIP Unit conducts fieldwork at critical assets across the State, for a variety of purposes, through the following programs/initiatives:

Enhanced Visual Assessment Program (EVAP) - A team of analysts spend 2-4 days on-site using advanced imaging technology to develop an interactive product for first responders that visually depicts the interior and exterior of a facility, complete with planning tools and additional data in a secure and mobile platform.

Legislative Mandates - New York State Executive Law, Article 26, requires OCT to review, assess, and report on the security of each of the following sectors, on a periodic basis:

  • §713 - Energy generation and transmission facilities
  • §714 - Chemical storage and manufacturing sites
  • §716 - Natural gas and petroleum pipeline facilities

OCT-CI analysts regularly conduct one-day site visits at critical facilities in these sectors to inform the reports, which are produced for the Governor, designated members of the Legislature, certain agency commissioners, and affected companies.

Risk Assessments - A team of analysts spend 2-4 days at a facility to review and assess the terrorist threat, vulnerability, and consequence for the property. Findings are subsequently presented to the facility's executive staff through a formal out-brief.

Preliminary Assessments - Two analysts tour a facility, interview key security personnel, and review emergency planning documents. Findings are presented verbally, that day. No written product is developed.

Additional Programs and Initiatives

Infrastructure Protection (IP) Gateway - the Infrastructure Protection (IP) Gateway is a federal information-sharing system that provides a set of tools and resources to help homeland security, law enforcement, public safety, and emergency response personnel collect and access data on critical infrastructure.

Since March 2009, the NYS Office of Counter Terrorism's Assistant Director for Critical Infrastructure Protection has served as Chair of the National Critical Asset Management System Working Group, which collaborates with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop user requirements, request technology to facilitate requirements, perform outreach to the state, local, tribal and territorial communities for the program, and contribute to the development of baseline training.

Ammonium Nitrate Safety Program (ANSP) - The New York State Ammonium Nitrate Security Program (ANSP) is a coordinated, interagency effort to secure and monitor ammonium nitrate sold in New York, due to its potential use as an explosive material and volatility to heat and improper storage. New York's ANSP is led by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM), in conjunction with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) and the New York State Police (NYSP). The program has enhanced information-sharing between the State and AN retailers, raised awareness for signs of suspicious activity, and improved State oversight on AN licenses, sales, and inventories.

National Guard Cyber Security Element (CSE) - In November 2016, six National Guard members on State Active Duty joined the OCT-CI Unit to provide cyber security support for fieldwork and analysis, as part of a one-year pilot program. The CSE provides cyber security expertise for all of OCT-CI's site assessments.

Regional Resiliency Assessment Program (RRAP) - In 2016, OCT and NYSERDA began collaborating on a major study of NY's petroleum pipeline under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's "NYS Fuels Regional Resiliency Assessment Program (RRAP)." The program is designed to identify, catalog, characterize, and visually depict New York's fuel supply system. As part of the data collection process the OCT RRAP team conducted 23 site visits at petroleum facilities across the State. The Team has also designed and led tabletop exercises and workshops with pipeline industry and emergency management personnel in various regions of the State, to review the impact of a severe weather event on NY's fuel distribution system. GIS products of facility boundaries, primary hazards, and interdependencies for use in NY Responds are in development.