About InfraGard

InfraGard is a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) program that began in the Cleveland Field Office in 1996. It was a local effort to gain support from the information technology industry and academia for the FBI’s investigative efforts in the cyber arena. The program expanded to other FBI Field Offices, and in 1998 the FBI assigned national program responsibility for InfraGard to the former National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) and to the Cyber Division in 2003. InfraGard and the FBI have developed a relationship of trust and credibility in the exchange of information concerning various terrorism, intelligence, criminal, and security matters.

 

What is InfraGard?

InfraGard is an information sharing and analysis effort serving the interests and combining the knowledge base of a wide range of members. At its most basic level, InfraGard is a partnership between the FBI and the private sector. 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. Each InfraGard Chapter has an FBI Special Agent Coordinator assigned to it, and the FBI Coordinator works closely with Supervisory Special Agent Program Managers in the Cyber Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

While under the direction of NIPC, the focus of InfraGard was cyber infrastructure protection. After September 11, 2001 NIPC expanded its efforts to include physical as well as cyber threats to critical infrastructures. InfraGard’s mission expanded accordingly.

In March 2003, NIPC was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which now has responsibility for Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) matters. The FBI retained InfraGard as an FBI sponsored program, and will work with DHS in support of its CIP mission, facilitate InfraGard’s continuing role in CIP activities, and further develop InfraGard’s ability to support the FBI’s investigative mission, especially as it pertains to counter-terrorism and cyber crimes.

 

What does InfraGard Protect?

Critical Infrastructures and Key Resources

Critical infrastructures and key resources are so vital to our national security that their incapacity or destruction would have a debilitating impact on the defense, economic security, public health or national confidence of the United States.

Critical infrastructures are physical and cyber-based systems that are essential to the minimum operations of the economy and the government (as defined in Presidential Decision Directive/NSC 63, May 1998 ). InfraGard has Subject Matter Experts around the country in each of the following 13 categories of critical infrastructures, as recognized by the National Infrastructure Protection Plan:

  • Agriculture and Food
  • Banking and Finance
  • Chemical
  • Defense Industrial Base
  • Drinking Water and Waste-water Treatment Systems
  • Emergency Services
  • Energy
  • Information Technology
  • National Monuments and Icons
  • Postal and Shipping
  • Public Health and Healthcare
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation Systems

Key resources are individual targets whose destruction would not endanger security on a national scale, but would create local disaster or profoundly damage national morale (as defined in Homeland Security Presidential Directive-7, December 2003). InfraGard organization is also comprised of Subject Matter Experts in the following categories:

  • Commercial Facilities
  • Commercial Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste
  • Dams
  • Government Facilities

 

Local Chapter Activities

Each FBI Field Office has a Special Agent Coordinator who gathers interested companies of various sizes from all industries to form a chapter. Any company can join InfraGard. Local executive boards govern and share information within the membership. Chapters hold regular meetings to discuss issues, threats and other matters that impact their companies. Speakers from public and private agencies and the law enforcement communities are invited. The following illustrates additional activities that local chapters may offer:

  • Training and education initiatives
  • A local newsletter
  • A Contingency Plan for using alternative systems in the event of a successful large scale attack on the information infrastructure

Local Chapter Demographics

The sector representation of attendees for a typical Northern Ohio Chapter quarterly meeting is shown in several graphs below.  Attendees voluntarily supplied information related to the critical sector they represent.  Note that multiple sectors can be represented by one attendee. (i.e. Financial & Information Technology).

Attendence Pie

Attendence Line