MITRE CTO Testifies on Critical Infrastructure Resilience at Congressional Hearing on Securing the Water Sector

McLean, Va., February 6, 2024 – As noted in the intelligence community’s 2023 annual threat assessment, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is strategically posturing to be able to execute a sustained, widespread attack against U.S. critical infrastructure by 2027, if called on by their leader. 

Charles Clancy testifies to Congress

“The threat has escalated dramatically,” said Charles Clancy, Ph.D., senior vice president and chief technology officer, MITRE. “The CCP’s primary targets are assessed to be energy, transportation, communications, and water infrastructure with the intent to destabilize quality of life systems.” 

Clancy is a witness at today’s U.S. House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection hearing titled “Securing Operational Technology: A Deep Dive into the Water Sector.”

Clancy noted, “Much of the current policy debate is focused on incremental change that while all positive, can only move the needle so much. Better resourcing federal agencies involved in this ecosystem helps. More collaboration and information sharing helps. But not enough.

“The scale of the threat requires critical infrastructure operators to prepare and respond more like they would to a major natural disaster. They need to establish procedures to sever their control systems from the internet, and practice disconnected operations. Continuity of operations plans are needed, and federal agencies should help wargame and exercise these functions, so when a CCP attack comes, we are prepared to operate through and literally keep the lights on.”

To learn more about MITRE’s work in homeland security and the Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute™, the federally funded R&D center sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, visit To learn more about MITRE’s independent work in securing critical infrastructure, visit Written testimony is available on request at, or download the testimonies of all hearing witnesses at


MITRE's mission-driven teams are dedicated to solving problems for a safer world. Through our public-private partnerships and federally funded R&D centers, we work across government and in partnership with industry to tackle challenges to the safety, stability, and well-being of our nation.

Media contact: