Infrastructure Security Month: Securing public gatherings

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November is Infrastructure Security Month (ISM) in the United States, and the theme for week two is ‘Secure Public Gatherings: Build in security for mass gatherings, starting with your planning.’ This theme encompasses many things, including bomb threats, active shooters, and attacks from weaponized vehicles and unmanned aircraft. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) provides resources to help people identify, prevent, and respond to these threats. One example is the Bomb-Making Materials Awareness Program (BMAP), which increases awareness around the everyday products that can be used to make explosives. BMAP and many more resources can be found in the 2021 Infrastructure Security Month Toolkit.

One of CISA’s primary functions is to coordinate the cybersecurity engagements between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and nonfederal government entities. CISA also helps state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) government entities protect their networks and other resources through cybersecurity assessments, training, alerts, and more. In addition, CISA manages cybersecurity incident reporting and maintains a catalog of Known Exploited Vulnerabilities.

Ways technology is improving emergency response

Another DHS agency to know is the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). This agency serves as ‘the science advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security and the research and development arm of DHS.’ S&T works with private and public sector partners to improve the effectiveness of the nation’s emergency response. They have several recent accomplishments that align with public safety. Some highlights:

These accomplishments were made possible by the many S&T grants, initiatives, and cross-sector partnerships.

Protecting large groups of people is as much about humans as it is about technology. There have been remarkable innovations in cybersecurity, but Infrastructure Security Month is about empowering people to protect the country and each other.

If you’d like to learn more about security for mass gatherings, or any other ISM topic, visit the CISA ISM website.

 

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