Studying Two-Way Intelligence Sharing between Government and Critical Sectors

Client: U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Infrastructure Protection, in support of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council
communicating intelligence worldwide graphic bi-directional information sharing graphic intelligence sharing graphic information sharing threat graphic Intelligence Information Sharing report cover

Project Overview

Nexight Group provided critical staff support to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) to plan and conduct its Intelligence Information Sharing Study, which delivered findings and recommendations for the Administration to improve two-way information sharing in the public and private sectors.

Need

DHS charged the NIAC with examining the effectiveness and maturity of bi-directional information sharing between government and private sector critical infrastructure owners and operators. The NIAC established a 6-member Working Group and a 14-member Study Group of senior executives to design and guide the study. The groups required extensive support to conduct research, policy analysis, facilitation, executive interviews, and strategy development sessions over the 13-month study period.

Our Solution

Nexight Group conducted 60 original interviews, analyzed findings across multiple sectors, and worked with a team of contractors to develop an extensive 228-page report that includes comprehensive findings and recommendations for the president. To help outline the scope, direction, and content of the study, we led regular meetings with the Working Group and Study Group. Two final strategy sessions we facilitated with the Study Group helped develop, revise, and refine the findings and recommendations and identify key messages for the report. To reach the final report conclusions, the study first employed detailed case studies of five critical infrastructures, each with its own private sector Case Study Team, to determine the distinct sector characteristics that influence information sharing. Nexight Group led support for the Chemical and Commercial Facilities Case Study Teams, during which we:

  • Conducted 60 in-depth interviews with sector executives and security experts to gather insights on the root causes of information breakdowns
  • Identified key economic, policy, regulatory, and structural issues affecting information sharing
  • Researched and reviewed related open-source reports on information sharing
  • Conducted executive roundtable discussions to gain sector insights
  • Identified key points, major themes, recurring issues, and best practices
  • Prepared case study draft reports and briefing materials for the Case Study Teams
Throughout the course of the study, Nexight Group summarized study progress and findings into succinct slide presentations that the Working Group presented to the Council at NIAC Quarterly Business Meetings. We additionally developed talking points to aid executive-level NIAC member in delivering presentations.

Impact

The report and study recommendations submitted to President Obama in February 2012. Recommendations are now guiding programs and initiatives within DHS and throughout the federal government. The president’s Executive Order issued on February 12, 2013, demonstrated action on several of the study’s recommendations.