Cybersecurity a Top Challenge for Nation’s Homeland Security

ICMA joins national associations to issue 2016 National Issues Brief.

ARTICLE | Apr 14, 2016

Contact: Elizabeth Kellar, Deputy Executive Director, ICMA; ekellar@icma.org, 202-962-3611

WASHINGTON, D.C.—ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, joined the National Homeland Security Consortium (NHSC) in releasing the 2016 National Issues Brief today. The brief identifies the top challenges facing the nation as well as actions recommended to address them. Those challenges include

  • Cybersecurity and the fragility of critical infrastructure as growing concerns that require a coordinated effort to address.  There is an increasing sense of urgency about the state of the nation’s critical infrastructure, which may be vulnerable to a growing number of catastrophic natural and human-made events.
     
  • Rising sea levels that require communities from coast to coast to focus greater attention on ways to mitigate, respond to, and recover from the effects of more extreme weather.
     
  • The Zika Virus, the latest threat to public health, part of a pattern of increasing global threats.  Whether preparing for and responding to H1N1 influenza, SARS, or Ebola, the nation needs adequate resources and updates of its public health and medical preparedness plans and strategies.
     
  • Countering terrorism, which remains a high priority in light of the potential for attacks from Islamic State, Al Quaida, and homegrown domestic extremists.  State and local governments must be engaged in programs to counter violent extremism, including gaining more knowledge about radicalization triggers and methods as well as community engagement efforts that can break the cycle.
     
  • Immigration reform, which requires leadership at all levels to ensure that immigration policies address all of the cultural, economic, social, and political realities.
     
  • Preparing for emerging threats, which requires new thinking as the nation must be able to address complex scenarios that emerge without warning. Training and resources help ensure that first responders have the knowledge and flexibility they will need when facing the disasters of tomorrow.


About ICMA
ICMA, the International City/County Management Association advances professional local government management worldwide. Its mission is to create excellence in local governance by developing and advancing professional management to create sustainable communities that improve lives worldwide. The management decisions made by ICMA's members affect millions of individuals living in thousands of communities, from small villages and towns to large metropolitan areas.

About NHSC
Since 2002, the NHSC has provided a forum for public and private sector disciplines and professional organizations to come together to share efforts, ideas, policies, and perspectives of vital concern to the nation’s health, safety, and security efforts. These 22 national organizations collaborate and coordinate to foster open and honest debate to advance comprehensive strategies. The NHSC released a series of white papers that outline national homeland security issues of greatest concern to state, local, and private sector officials.

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