Homework Question

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Discussion Questions: Review the Sector-Specific Plans and select a different Sector-Specific plan to focus upon this week. Regarding your chosen sector, explain the vital role the private sector plays in carrying out the objectives of this document. What do you feel serves as some primary challenges in private sector’s ability to fulfill their homeland security roles and responsibilities related to this plan?

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Instructions: Fully utilize the materials that have been provided toyou in order to support your response. Your initial post should be at least 350 words. Please respond to at least two other students. Responses should be a minimum of 150 words and include direct questions. You may challenge, support or supplement another student’s answer using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings. Also, do not be afraid to respectfully disagree where you feel appropriate; as this should be part of your analysis process at this academic level.

Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas. While proper APA is not required, attribution to sources that informed your posting should be included. Refer to the grading rubric for additional details concerning grading criteria.

Student Responses

Student# 1 Josh

The Critical Infrastructure Sector that I will focus on this week is the Communications Sector. I feel that this sector is very important in the daily lives and continuity of operations of everyday Americans, as well as businesses within the private sector, and governmental agencies. This is a sector that directly effects nearly everyone and everything, unless they sit in an empty room with no responsibilities or connections to the outside world. According to the 2015 Sector Specific Plan for the Communications Sector, the primary goals are:

“1. Protect and enhance the overall physical and logical health of communications.

2. Rapidly reconstitute critical communication services in the event of disruption and mitigate cascading effects.

3. Improve the sector’s national security and emergency preparedness posture with Federal, State, Local, Tribal, International and Private sector entities to reduce risk (Communications Sector-Specific Plan, 2015).”

The private sector is primarily responsible for this sector, and also has the most use of it. Private entities such as social media outlets, television networks, news and radio stations, and WiFi connected sources are huge uses of the Communications sector. With these all belonging to the private sector, they must do their share to protect and secure all of these forms of communications and networks from hacking and cyberterrorism. The government simply does not have the man power nor funding to secure all of these enterprises, and the private sector must provide their own security monitoring, whether on their own through in house cyber security measures, or by hiring other privately owned cyber security firms.

The primary challenges that face this sector are natural disasters which can knock down or out radio towers and other forms of signals required for the use of communications. Additionally, malware and viruses, as well as cyberattacks and terrorism can spread very easily from network to network, rendering them useless or stealing valuable private or publicly owned information. I believe that these could be mitigated by working with local, state and federal agencies to set forth plans to react to such instances, as well as creating new and/or improving current policies to protect all networks and communications outlets. This includes training private employees, as well as the everyday user of networks on what to avoid clicking on or allowing on their phone or laptop. This is a very tough sector to protect, as it faces many vulnerabilities. However, through increased training, awareness and cyber security monitoring, it can and is being done.


(2015). Communications Sector-Specific Plan. Retrieved from https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publicatio…

Student #2 Sommer

Hello class!

I chose the Emergency Services Sector because I believe it has one of the most vital roles when it comes to the private sector’s contribution to homeland security. The Sector Specific Plan prioritizes 12 objectives that lead to 4 overall goals in the Plan. To accomplish the first goal, Partnership Engagement, the private sector must coordinate and collaborate with all levels to strengthen planning and decision making; additionally, they must participate in working groups and support implementation programs. The private sector must contribute to information-sharing in regards to risk and building information, new technologies, data, tools, and security processes. The third goal is Prevention, Preparedness and Protection in which the private sector must identify and approach risk assessments and gaps in capabilities to include reporting metrics to measure effectiveness of sector efforts. Finally, the private sector needs to promote Recovery and Reconstitution by strengthening all elements of integrated recovery capabilities and response, enhance abilities of all levels of government to effectively recover from the outcome of an emergency or crises.

There are a few primary challenges the private sector has to deal with when it comes to completing their responsibilities to homeland security. Although they are considered a critical infrastructure themselves, they depend heavily on the Communications and Transportation Sectors, if that were the target of the attack, its response capabilities would be greatly affected. I say that because if I remember right from another class I took, I learned that was one of the after action issues following 9/11. The Comm Sector was not attacked but it had become so overwhelmed in the region of the attacks, there was a major degrade in the communications between not only the first responders but victims and witnesses attempting to make notifications as well. The ground Transportation System after 9/11 was not attacked per se but it was also overwhelmed in the location of the attack with the city trying to evacuate by any means necessary. Emergency services also hold a critical role of representing the resiliency and morale of the public, they are not allowed to slow down, they are not allowed to say no to a response, they are the first positive sign people see following such a traumatic event that they must uphold the image of strength and bouncing back no matter what the circumstances.


Department of Homeland Security. (2015). Emergency Services Sector-Specific Plan. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.

HLSS303 I001 Sum 19: Lessons. “WEEK 6: Critical Infrastructure (Private Sector).” American Public University System. 2019.

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