Strengthen National Preparedness and Resilience

HSSEDI works with DHS and the infrastructure resilience community to enhance America's response to natural and man-made disasters. Through proactive community engagement, we build whole-of-community resilience and support local emergency management needs.
Three emergency personell pull dingy through flooded street

Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience (CISR)

The United States is a robust, vibrant country for business, unparalleled in its ability to provide safe, secure infrastructure to its citizens, companies, and government. This comes at a price, however. Federal government agencies and communities across the U.S. need to protect against and respond to events such as the Northridge earthquake in the San Fernando Valley, the New York City blackout of 2003, and the tornadoes that swept through Joplin, Missouri. Responding rapidly and effectively requires thoughtful planning and enduring partnerships that blur the lines between those who provide and those who receive needed services and capabilities.

Critical infrastructure (CI) is often left devastated in regions long after the events dominated headlines. The effects of the cascading failure of critical assets in turn devastate the functions of our infrastructure and affects the ability of companies and governments alike to provide the services our nation requires. When critical infrastructure fails—as it did during hurricanes such as Andrew, Sandy, and Katrina—it forces the affected regions and the nation to invest significant money in responding to, and recovering from, the events.

It is in the space between preplanning and recovery and the tradeoffs necessary to help withstand or degrade services during events that MITRE can help the government and our industrial partners find a balance. Our systems engineering and deep experience with complex operational engineering challenges is helping to change the paradigm.(Learn more about MITRE's approach to critical infrastructure resilience.)

MITRE proposes models where more funding is invested in resilience planning, thereby lessening the impact during events, softening the results of the response, and minimizing recovery times. We make use of our cyber resilience model, which allows system managers to anticipate weak spots, plan counter-measures (protection and/or resilience), fix errors, and prepare to rapidly respond to and recover from diverse and heterogeneous threats and disasters. By adapting this framework and planning for overall critical infrastructure resilience, regions and the nation will be able to better prepare, withstand, and recover from events—ensuring that the U.S. remains a place to live and prosper and sustains its place in the global economy.

Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR)

With our knowledge of systems engineering and integration, we're helping improve national understanding of how to respond to man-made and natural threats to the nation's critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR). We are working to sustain and improve effective CIKR partnerships and coordination mechanisms, as well as provide a foundation for continuously improving CIKR preparedness. And we are promoting a culture of organizational excellence around infrastructure protection, consistent with DHS and national strategies.

Whether working on the local or national level, major elements of our work include:

  • Organizational transition
  • Identifying critical public roles
  • Becoming a key part of state and local coordination
  • Identifying common challenges, problems, needs, and opportunities such as GPS timing in power grid operations.

Our DHS sponsors include:

Do you have questions related to critical infrastructure security and resilience or MITRE's work in homeland security? Please email us at or learn more here.