[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 74 (Thursday, April 17, 2014)]
[Pages 21780-21782]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-08702]



[Docket No. DHS-2014-0015]

National Protection and Programs Directorate; Notice of 
Completion of Notification of Cyber-Dependent Infrastructure and 
Process for Requesting Reconsideration of Determinations of Cyber 

(Authority: E.O. 13636, 78 FR 11737)

AGENCY: National Protection and Programs Directorate, DHS.

ACTION: Public notice of completion of notification and process for 
requesting reconsideration to owners and operators of cyber-dependent 


SUMMARY: The Secretary of Homeland Security has been directed to 
identify critical infrastructure where a cybersecurity incident could 
reasonably result in catastrophic regional or national effects on 
public health or safety, economic security, or national security. In 
addition to identifying such infrastructure, the Secretary has also 
been directed to confidentially notify owners and operators of critical 
infrastructure identified and establish a mechanism through which 
entities can request reconsideration of that identification, whether 
inclusion or exclusion from this list. This notice informs owners and 
operators of critical infrastructure that the confidential notification 
process is complete and describes the process for requesting 

DATES: The agency must receive the reconsideration package before May 
15, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Submit reconsideration requests and unclassified written 
reconsideration materials to [email protected]. See SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION for formatting instructions.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Office of Cyber and Infrastructure 
Analysis, National Protection and Programs Directorate, United States 
Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528, or via email at 
[email protected]:[email protected].
    Responsible DHS Official: Under Secretary, National Protection and

[[Page 21781]]

Programs Directorate, United States Department of Homeland Security.

    Background: In section 9 of Executive Order (E.O.) 13636 the 
President directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to identify 
critical infrastructure where a cybersecurity incident could reasonably 
result in catastrophic regional or national effects on public health or 
safety, economic security, or national security.'' E.O. 13636, 78 FR 
11737 (Feb. 12, 2013). Once that list of infrastructure is transmitted 
to the President in accordance with sec. 9, the Secretary is further 
directed to confidentially notify each entity that it has been 
identified and, ``establish a process through which owners and 
operators of critical infrastructure may submit relevant information 
and request reconsideration of identifications under [this section].'' 
Id at Sec.  9(c).
    The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in 
accordance with the consultative process required under E.O. 13636, 
developed a functions-based approach to identify critical 
infrastructure where ``a cybersecurity incident could reasonably result 
in catastrophic regional or national effects.'' DHS consulted with 
sector stakeholders throughout the identification process including, 
Sector-Specific Agencies, Sector Coordinating Councils, Government 
Coordinating Councils, independent regulatory agencies, subject-matter 
experts, and critical infrastructure owners and operators.
    DHS developed, reviewed, and discussed with private sector entities 
and trade associations criteria for evaluating when a cybersecurity 
incident involving critical infrastructure could reasonably result in 
catastrophic regional or national effects on public health or safety, 
economic security, or national security. ``Catastrophic'' was 
determined to be a higher level of impact than the ``debilitating'' 
standard found in the statutory definition of critical infrastructure. 
The higher threshold ensures that only infrastructure where a 
cybersecurity incident could cause the greatest impact is identified. 
The criteria for determining inclusion of the critical infrastructure 
were designed to assess whether a cybersecurity incident could 
reasonably result in incapacitation of the infrastructure or function 
and whether this incapacitation could cause catastrophic regional or 
national impacts on: Public Health or Safety, Economic Security or 
National Security.
    Identifying cyber-dependent critical infrastructure supports both 
critical infrastructure needs and national security objectives by (1) 
providing the Federal government with the ability to more effectively 
disseminate specific and targeted cybersecurity threat information to 
identified cyber-dependent critical infrastructure owners and 
operators; (2) supporting the prioritization, as appropriate, of 
government resources and programs available to identified cyber-
dependent critical infrastructure; and (3) improving government's 
understanding of the systems or assets whose incapacity or disruption 
would have catastrophic consequences in furtherance of government 
planning, protection, mitigation and response efforts to be provided in 
partnership with impacted state, local, territorial, tribal and private 
sector entities in the event of a cyber incident.
    The Secretary presented the initial list of identified 
infrastructure to the President, through the Assistant to President for 
Homeland Security and Counterterrorism on July 19, 2013. In accordance 
with E.O. 13636, this list will be reviewed and updated annually.
    DHS has completed the process of notifying owners and operators of 
critical infrastructure that were included on the July 19, 2013 initial 
list. If critical infrastructure owners and operators have not been 
contacted by DHS in connection with their status on the initial list, 
then such infrastructure has not been included on the initial list. 
Such infrastructure may be included in subsequent updates based on the 
outcome of reconsideration requests, annual reviews, or amendments to 
the list.
    The opportunity for reconsideration of initial identifications by 
DHS is available to all critical infrastructure owners and operators, 
whether or not their infrastructure has been identified as cyber-
dependent by DHS, in accordance with this notice. The opportunity for 
reconsideration will be provided annually.
    The Secretary has delegated to the Under Secretary for National 
Protection and Programs the authority to address reconsideration 
requests and to make determinations in connection in subsequent 


    ``Critical infrastructure'' means systems and assets, whether 
physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity 
or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating 
impact on security, national economic security, national public health 
or safety, or any combination of those matters.
    ``Cyber dependent'' means critical infrastructure that utilizes 
computers, electronic communications systems, electronic communications 
services, wire communication, and/or electronic communication, 
including information contained therein, in order function or be 
    ``Cyber incident'' means an event or series of events that impairs 
the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of electronic 
information, information systems, services, or networks.
    ``Reconsideration official'' means the Under Secretary for National 
Protection and Programs, or her or his designee, who will consider 
requests for reconsideration in accordance with the process set forth 
in this notice.

Impact of Being Identified Under Sec. 9

    The primary purpose of identifying critical infrastructure under 
sec. 9 of E.O. 13636 is to better understand national and regional 
cyber dependencies and consequences across critical infrastructure, 
inform planning and program development for federal critical 
infrastructure security and resilience programs, and enable improved 
cyber risk management by the identified critical infrastructure owners 
and operators. Owners and operators of identified cyber-dependent 
critical infrastructure have the opportunity to request expedited 
processing through the DHS Private Sector Clearance Program, which may 
provide access to classified government cybersecurity threat 
information as appropriate. Cyber-dependent critical infrastructure may 
also be prioritized for routine and incident-driven cyber technical 
assistance activities offered by DHS and other agencies. Additionally, 
owners and operators of identified cyber-dependent critical 
infrastructure are encouraged to participate in the National Institute 
of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework for critical 
infrastructure (``NIST framework''). As Federal government resources 
and programs develop and improve to enhance the security and resilience 
of critical infrastructure against cybersecurity threats, cyber-
dependent critical infrastructure will be a continued priority.

Reconsideration Process

Submitting a Reconsideration Request

    Reconsideration of identifications under sec. 9 of E.O. 13636 will 
be based on an evaluation of new information provided to DHS by the 
requesting entity. An entity must initiate the reconsideration process 
in writing.

[[Page 21782]]

However, the entity also may request a meeting with a DHS official (in 
person or by phone) to discuss the additional information they will 
provide in support of their reconsideration request or to seek 
additional information about the basis for identifications. DHS will 
consider meeting requests on a case by case basis and identify an 
appropriate official to participate in such meetings on behalf of the 
reconsideration official.
    Owners and operators of critical infrastructure entities or their 
authorized agents may initiate a reconsideration request by sending an 
email to [email protected] including:
    1. The entity for reconsideration;
    2. the name, title, telephone number and email address of a 
designated point of contact, whether an employee or non-employee agent, 
for the owner or operator of that entity to whom all communications 
related to the reconsideration process will be directed; and
    3. if desired, a request for a meeting with DHS representatives.
    DHS will confirm the submission of each reconsideration request 
with an email to the submitting entity and will provide a 
reconsideration request number within three days of receipt. Where the 
requesting entity has requested a telephonic or in-person meeting, a 
representative of DHS will contact the entity at the email address 
provided in the initial request to schedule a meeting or inform the 
entity that the requested meeting is not available.

Submission of Reconsideration Materials

    Following DHS confirmation of the request, entities may submit 
reconsideration materials as part of an in-person or telephone meeting 
or in writing. Entities who submit written documentation in lieu of a 
meeting or who choose to provide additional documentation following a 
meeting should submit the information via email (with exceptions noted 
below) in the form of a single attachment. All pages submitted to DHS 
should be double-spaced 12 point Times New Roman text or visual 
material, with 1'' margins and page numbers. Supporting documentation 
should be organized and labeled. Entities should include the DHS-
provided reconsideration request number on each page of the submission.
    Documentation used to justify a change in status for an entity with 
respect to identified cyber-dependent critical infrastructure may 
constitute protected critical infrastructure information (PCII) if it 
satisfies, and is submitted in accordance with, applicable 
requirements. The PCII program is an information-protection program 
that enhances voluntary information sharing between infrastructure 
owners and operators and the government. In order to ensure handling 
under the provisions of the PCII program, owner operators must submit 
information consistent with the Critical Infrastructure Information Act 
(6 U.S.C. 131 et seq), the PCII final rule (6 CFR part 29), and the 
PCII Program Manual. Additional information regarding the PCII program 
may be found at http://www.dhs.gov/pcii.
    Classified information must not be transmitted to 
mailto:[email protected]; however, a request for guidance on alternate 
submission guidance may be sent, without any classified information, to 
[email protected]. DHS may in its sole discretion grant a reasonable 
extension to the reconsideration submission for the purpose of 
accommodating a request to submit classified information.

Reconsideration Request Review

    A preliminary review by DHS following a meeting or submission of 
the reconsideration materials will evaluate whether any additional 
information is needed to make a decision on the reconsideration 
request. DHS will contact the submitter within 30 days of the meeting 
or submission to request additional information, if needed, or to 
confirm that the reconsideration package is complete. If additional 
information is requested, the submitter will have up to 60 days from 
the date of DHS's request to provide such information, and DHS will 
have another 30 days from the additional submission to deem the package 
complete. Following receipt and review of a complete reconsideration 
package, DHS will provide requesting entities with a written response 
including the basis for its determination.
    If a complete reconsideration package is not received by DHS before 
May 15, 2014, any information provided by a submitter may be considered 
in connection with the next annual update rather than as a request for 
reconsideration of this year's determination.
    In considering requests for reconsideration, DHS may consult with 
sector specific agencies and other appropriate federal entities. 
Information submitted to DHS, including appropriately submitted PCII, 
will be protected in accordance with applicable requirements and used 
only for permitted purposes.
    Entities may contact [email protected] at any time to request a 
status update during the reconsideration request review process. After 
a determination has been made in connection with the request, 
subsequent reconsideration requests will not be accepted until the next 
annual review.

    Dated: April 11, 2014.
Suzanne Spaulding,
Under Secretary, National Protection and Programs Directorate, 
Department of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2014-08702 Filed 4-16-14; 8:45 am]