Executive Branch

White House Releases National Security Memo on Securing Critical Infrastructure

Matt Gluck
Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 2:11 PM

The memo updates an Obama administration policy directive from 2013.

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On April 30, the Biden administration released a “National Security Memorandum on Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience.” The memo replaces a presidential policy directive from 2013 that established a nationwide policy to promote the security of critical infrastructure and bolster resilience. The new memo, according to the White House, “launch[es] a comprehensive effort to protect U.S. infrastructure against all threats and hazards, current and future.”

The White House describes eight fundamental principles it says undergird efforts to safeguard U.S. critical infrastructure. One of these principles is the adoption of a “Risk-Based Approach.” According to the memo, this approach involves prioritizing national initiatives based on “the relationship between specific infrastructure and national security” (including national economic security); the importance of the infrastructure to public health or safety; and how integral the infrastructure is to the federal government’s capacity to carry out its essential services.

The memorandum directs the Department of Homeland Security to lead the government in securing critical infrastructure, and directs the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency to serve as the “National Coordinator for Security and Resilience.” The memo also orders the intelligence community “to collect, produce and share intelligence and information with Federal departments and agencies, State and local partners, and the owners and operators of critical infrastructure,” as prescribed in the 2023 National Intelligence Strategy.

You can read the memo here or below.

Matt Gluck is a research fellow at Lawfare. He holds a BA in government from Dartmouth College.

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