Critical Systems Protection (CSP): The US Secret Service’s Tactical Cyber Capability for Securing Protectees


  • Austin Hyman University at Albany, USA
  • Brian Nussbaum University at Albany, USA
  • Mario Bencivenga University at Albany, USA
  • Zachary Rizzo University at Albany, USA



cybersecurity, law enforcement, executive protection


This paper examines a largely unknown cybersecurity function within the United States Secret Service (USSS), that is separate and apart from its traditional cybersecurity mission in financial crime investigations.  This program - Critical Systems Protection (CSP) – is instead focused on the Secret Service’s protective mission and analyzes and secures the cyber environments of facilities and locations visited by the agency’s protectees.  Exploiting publicly available documents about CSP, this paper will document this unique organization that combines some of the highest profile issues in cybersecurity – operational and tactical level cybersecurity efforts, and the security of cyber-physical systems. Drawing on open-source information and government documents, this paper sketches out the CSP mission, its partnerships with other agencies and organizations, and some of the tools and other capabilities it has developed.