Quadrennial review highlights DHS security priorities

The recently-released quadrennial review of the Department of Homeland Security outlined efforts to improve the five security missions first detailed in 2010.

The report focused on what it called a risk-based approach to significant threats in light of disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Superstorm Sandy and the Boston Marathon bombings, Emergency Management reports.

DHS priorities include combating the traditional threat of terrorism, securing and managing U.S. borders and enforcing immigration laws, safeguarding cyberspace and strengthening national preparedness and resiliency.

The second review of DHS priorities also said that weather events pose a growing threat to the U.S. as evidenced by Superstorm Sandy, which killed 117 people and left approximately 8.5 million people without power. The report said increased danger from natural events, combined with aging infrastructure and population increases in high-risk areas, sets the stage for a potential catastrophe, according to Emergency Management.

The report called terrorism the cornerstone of DHS security efforts, and cited the Boston Marathon bombings as evidence that domestic, hard-to-detect lone wolf attacks represent an evolving terrorist threat.

The increasing threat of cyber attacks to affect physical targets was also detailed in the DHS review. The report called the risk a "cyber-physical convergence," Emergency Management reports.