Protecting People, Property, and Information

The Office of Protection provides protection to the people, property, and information that are crucial to the role of the Department of State in maintaining a diplomatic presence and conducting foreign policy around the world. In addition, the Office provides liaison to and assists foreign diplomatic missions in the United States on all security-related matters.

 Description: Diplomatic Security special agents protecting a foreign dignitaryProtecting People

In the United States, the Office of Protection protects the Secretary of State, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and cabinet-level foreign dignitaries who visit the United States.

Abroad, the Office of Overseas Operations coordinates the Department's overseas security program with its network of regional security officers.

Gate at U.S. EmbassyProtecting Property
Diplomatic Security is dedicated to providing a secure living and working environment for our Foreign Service colleagues as they implement foreign policy and promote U.S. interests around the world. DS is responsible for protecting Department of State facilities both across the United States and at all embassies, consulates, and other diplomatic missions around the world.

photo of bottom of oxford shoe, showing recording device hidden in heel. Protecting Information
While terrorism is our primary concern, there is no question that incidents of espionage against the United States continue. Hostile intelligence groups still try to gather information from our facilities in the United States and from our missions abroad through surveillance, electronic eavesdropping, and attempts to recruit and manipulate our employees into committing acts of espionage.

DS conducts computer and communications security assessments of the Department's worldwide, automated information and telecommunications systems to protect the Department's sensitive information. Inspections and analyses prevent and detect any technical compromise of our classified information. Ensuring the availability and integrity of the Department's network of systems and information is essential to conducting diplomacy. As part of its comprehensive program for protecting information, DS maintains a 24/7 network monitoring capability that encompasses incident handling and reporting, threat analysis, technical security evaluation, and policy.

Classified Cover SheetBy delineating policies and procedures for handling, storing, and destroying sensitive information, DS educates Department employees on proper handling of classified information. DS develops policies to protect classified information entrusted to firms and individuals under contract to the State Department.

DS investigates information security violations in the Department of State, working with other U.S. Government investigators and counterintelligence components to conduct damage assessments when classified materials are compromised.