In the context of national security and critical infrastructure, a “domain” refers to all areas and things of, on, under, relating to, adjacent to, or bordering a specific space whether land, sea, or air that could impact activities, infrastructure, people, cargo, vessels, etc. that move or operate within the space. A domain can be either physical, i.e. maritime domain of a sea, ocean, or other navigable waterway, or conceptual, i.e. cyber domain of networked systems.
Domain awareness is understanding how domains operate and interact within their environment and how they could impact the security, safety, economy, or environment of the U.S. is crucial to supporting the protection of the U.S.'s National Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR). CIKR are both privately owned and operated and an unprecedented partnership between government and the private sector has formed in recent years to ensure their protection and resiliency.
This partnership is at the heart of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP), which sets forth a comprehensive risk management framework coordination and information sharing and clearly defined critical infrastructure protection roles and responsibilities. The NIPP provides a coordinated approach that is used to establish national priorities, goals, and requirements for infrastructure protection to ensure funding and resources are applied in the most effective manner. The partnership now includes more than 200 trade associations from every CIKR sector and representing more than 4 million members.
Establishing information sharing environments (ISEs) that facilitate the protection of CIKR is a priority for federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector partners. The ultimate goal is to create a nationwide network in which all CIKR partners can collaborate to prepare for, protect against, respond to, and recover from a terrorist attack, national disaster, or other emergency.