Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit



About the Unit

The Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit, coordinates critical infrastructure protection with public and private sector partners and conducts assessments of critical infrastructure and key resources, helping to develop protection strategies.

The Unit supports federal, state and local comprehensive risk analysis to reduce the nation's vulnerability to terrorism and deny the use of critical infrastructure as a weapon by implementing plans and programs that identify, catalog, prioritize, and protect people and assets in cooperation with all levels of government and private sector. This work could not be accomplished without the sustained partnership with the federal Protective Security Advisors, and State and local law enforcement and emergency managers.

Examples of sites visited include bridges, hospitals, government facilities, water treatment facilities, rail yards, dams, reservoirs, financial institutions, liquefied natural gas facilities, nuclear power plants, pipeline facilities, and energy generating facilities.


The Infrastructure Protection Gateway is a federal information sharing system that provides a set of tools and resources that help homeland security, law enforcement, public safety and emergency response personnel:

  • Access federal infrastructure data and information
  • Collect and use infrastructure data within their own jurisdictions
  • Assess vulnerabilities
  • Develop all-hazards incident response and recovery plans
  • Build public-private partnerships

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. This working group collaborates closely 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.

About Critical Infrastructure

New York State Law defines Critical Infrastructure as: "Critical infrastructure" means systems, assets, places or things, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the state that the disruption, incapacitation or destruction of such systems, assets, places or things could jeopardize the health, safety, welfare or security of the state, its residents or its economy. PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW, ARTICLE 6. §86 FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAW

Current Projects, Priorities and Programs

Enhanced Visual Assessment Program (EVAP): This program enhances state and local efforts to reduce risk for Critical Infrastructure both public and private. By leveraging hardware and software applications that capture graphical images and create virtual environments, interactive products are developed that provide additional information for all homeland security partners in preparing for and responding to all threats.

Statutory Mandates: New York State Executive Law, Article 26, requires the NYS Office of Counter Terrorism to undertake the following industry reviews and report on a periodic basis. These reviews are conducted by the Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit and supported by other state and local agencies. Due to the sensitive nature of the reporting, the reports are produced for the Governor, designated members of the legislature, certain agency commissioners, and affected companies.

  • §709(j) Conduct vulnerability assessments of critical infrastructure
  • §713 Review of security at critical energy facilities
  • §714 Review of security at chemical storage and manufacturing sites
  • §716 Review of security at critical natural gas and petroleum pipeline facilities

Regional Partnerships: The nation's high number of critical infrastructure assets, decentralized responsibility for homeland security and emergency management, and dynamic threat and hazard environment make the effective implementation of protection and resiliency efforts an immense undertaking. The challenges associated with critical infrastructure protection are particularly acute for state, local, tribal and territorial governments, who have primary responsibility for responding to emergencies and keeping their communities safe. Effective collaboration serves to enhance protective efforts and maximize the utilization of governments' limited resources.

The NYS Office of Counter Terrorism recognizes that the challenges associated with critical infrastructure protection provide an opportunity to manage interdependent risks at the regional level. Regional coalitions foster enhanced coordination among jurisdictions within a geographic area of a state or multi-state region in which critical infrastructure crosses multiple sectors and political subdivisions. The NYS Office of Counter Terrorism actively participates in the following partnerships:

  • State, Local Tribal and Territorial Government Coordinating Council - serves as a forum to ensure that state, local, and tribal homeland security officials or their equivalents are fully integrated as active participants in national protection efforts, and to provide an organizational structure to coordinate across their jurisdictions on state-and local-level protection guidance, strategies and programs.
  • All Hazards Consortium - guided by the regional states of DE, MD, NC, NJ, NY, PA, VA, WV, and Washington DC, the All Hazards Consortium (AHC) mission is to help create new resources and funding opportunities for the states to support regional multi-state collaboration efforts among its stakeholders from government, private sector, higher education and non-profit/volunteer organizations.
  • Great Lakes Hazards Coalition - the objective of the coalition of the eight states and provincial partners is to strengthen communication, collaboration, and planning in the Great Lakes region in order to enhance protection, response, recovery, and resilience of the region's critical infrastructure.
  • NYPD Shield - an umbrella program for a series of current and future police department initiatives that pertain to private sector security and counterterrorism. This is a public-private partnership based on providing best practices, lessons learned, counterterrorism training opportunities, and information sharing.
  • BOMA of Greater New York, Preparedness Committee - to inform and prepare building owners and managers in the New York City area regarding various developments in the security and emergency action plan scenarios.
  • FBI InfraGard - information sharing and analysis effort serving the interests and combining the knowledge base of a wide range of members. InfraGard is an association of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the United States. InfraGard Chapters are geographically linked with FBI Field Office territories; New York State has Chapters in Long Island, NYC, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo.
  • Infrastructure Assessments - New York State Executive Law, Article 26 § 709 (j) requires the NYS Office of Counter Terrorism to work with local, state and federal agencies, as well as private entities, to conduct assessments of the vulnerability to terrorist attack of critical infrastructure. In support of this mandate, the Critical Infrastructure Unit's assessment team conducts site visits to review security measures at various facilities within New York State, and make recommendations to enhance both physical security measures and resiliency.

Resources and Links