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 cooperative undertaking between the U.S. Government (led by the FBI and the NIPC) and an association of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other participants dedicated to increasing the security of United States critical infrastructures.
All InfraGard participants are committed to the proposition that a robust exchange of information about threats to and actual attacks on these critical infrastructures is an important element for successful infrastructure protection efforts.
The goal of InfraGard is to enable the flow of information so that the owners and operators of infrastructure assets can better protect themselves and so that the United States government can better discharge its law enforcement and national security responsibilities.
InfraGard is a Partnership between Private Industry and the U.S. government (represented by the FBI). The InfraGard initiative was developed to encourage the exchange of information by the government and the private sector members.
Private sector members and an FBI field representative form local area chapters. These chapters set up their own boards to govern and share information within the membership. Each chapter is also part of an organization which is InfraGard.
The National Infrastructure Protection Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation play the part of facilitator by:
- gathering information and distributing it to members
- educating the public and members on infrastructure protection
- disseminating information through the InfraGard network
- producing valuable analytical products on information received through the InfraGard network
- opening the doors of communication between government and private sector members.
The National InfraGard Program began as a pilot project in 1996, when the Cleveland FBI Field Office asked local computer professionals to assist the FBI in determining how to better protect critical information systems in the public and private sectors. From this new partnership, the first InfraGard Chapter was formed to address both cyber and physical threats.
The NIPC, in conjunction with representatives from the private industry, the academic community, and the public sector, further developed the "InfraGard" initiative to expand direct contacts with the private sector infrastructure owners and operators and to share information about cyber intrusions, exploited vulnerabilities, and infrastructure threats. The initiative, encouraging the exchange of information by government and private sector members, continued to expand through the formation of additional InfraGard chapters, within the jurisdiction of each FBI Field Office. As of this date, all 56 field offices of the FBI have opened an InfraGard chapter, with hundreds of company members across the nation.
Note: The National Rollout area also contains articles that relate to InfraGard History.