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About InfraGard

The purpose of this article is to familiarize individuals with InfraGard, which is an organization whose purpose is to help protect "critical United States infrastructures". This article will describe the organization, its mission and goals, and how individuals and organizations can become involved with their work. The "2005 FBI Computer Crime Survey" indicated that 90% of organizations are not familiar with InfraGard.
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InfraGard is a partnership between the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), and the private sector. The mission of InfraGard is "...to improve and extend information sharing between private industry and the government, particularly the FBI, when it comes to critical national infrastructures" (Source: InfraGard web site). President Clinton defined "critical national infrastructures" in 1998 in the following way - "Critical infrastructures are those physical and cyber-based systems essential to the minimum operations of the economy and government. These systems are so vital, that their incapacity or destruction would have a debilitating impact on the defense or economic security of the United States."

The infrastructures that InfraGard is concerned with include:

  • Agriculture
  • Banking/Finance
  • Chemical
  • Computer Security
  • Defense
  • Emergency Services
  • Energy
  • Food
  • Postal/Shipping
  • Public Health
  • Transportation
  • Telecommunications
  • Water Supply

InfraGard is an FBI program that was started in 1996 in the Cleveland Field Office. It initially focused only on the cyber arena. Since then, program responsibility has transferred to the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) and then to the Cyber Division of the FBI in 2003. InfraGard now focuses on more than the "cyber arena". InfraGard now also deals with the exchange of information concerning various terrorism, intelligence, criminal, and security matters.

InfraGard Goal

"The goal of InfraGard is to promote ongoing dialogue and timely communication between members and the FBI. InfraGard members gain access to information that enables them to protect their assets and in turn give information to government that facilitates its responsibilities to prevent and address terrorism and other crimes." (Source: InfraGard Web Site).

What Does InfraGard Do?

InfraGard is an alliance between the FBI and the private sector (businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other participants). InfraGard is an association dedicated to sharing both information and intelligence with the goal of preventing hostile acts against the US.

InfraGard Organization

InfraGard is organized into chapters that are geographically linked with FBI Field Offices. Each InfraGard Chapter has an FBI Special Agent Coordinator. To find the chapter nearest to you, visit the InfraGard web site here .

Membership

Applicants should apply at local chapter meetings (chapters may be found here). Typed applications are required (applications may be obtained here). Photo identification is required with the application. All applicants undergo a background check performed by the FBI. Membership is limited to United States citizens.

According to InfraGard, 68 of the top 100 firms in the Fortune 500 have an InfraGard representative. There are over 13,000 InfraGard members.

Benefits of Membership

InfraGard lists the following benefits to becoming a member:

  • Networking
  • DHS (Department of Homeland Security)/FBI Threat Alerts, Advisories & Warnings
  • Training initiatives
  • Valuable contacts and data
  • Discussion groups & listservs
  • Seminars and conferences
  • National partnerships

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