Leahy Introduces Bill To Enhance Cybersecurity With Cornyn And Cruz

. . . Bill Would Allow DHS To Work With University Consortium That Includes Norwich University To Train States And Local Governments On Cybersecurity

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has introduced the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act with Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), to authorize the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to work with the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium (NCPC) to help prepare for and respond to cybersecurity risks at the national, state, and local levels. 

Leahy said:  “Improving cybersecurity remains vitally important in every aspect of our lives.  Whether in businesses small or large, in our personal lives, or in our government agencies, having the assurance that we know who is accessing our digital information, how they are doing it and how they are using it is important.  I have long supported the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium to educate our communities on how to defend and recover from cyberattacks.  The bipartisan legislation that we are reintroducing can help to ensure continued collaboration between the cybersecurity expertise developed in our educational institutions, and our state and local governments.  I’m proud to support this bipartisan effort.”

Phil Susmann, President of the Norwich University Applied Research Institute, said:  “NUARI has been a member of the NCPC focused on training and education for first responders and local governments for over a decade, so that our communities can be assured that no cyber attack can stop help from coming when they need it. Codifying that relationship will allow us to develop multi-year plans for our first responders and local governments to reach higher levels of preparedness. The help of Senator Leahy—the cyber Senator—has been instrumental in what we’ve accomplished so far, and we look forward to continuing to partner going forward.”

The NCPC is comprised of university-based training entities including Norwich University, The University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, The University of Arkansas, and The University of Memphis.

Under this bill, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would be authorized to work with the NCPC to:

  • Provide training to state and local first responders and officials, develop curriculums, and provide technical assistance;
  • Conduct cross-sector cybersecurity training and simulation exercises for state and local governments, critical infrastructure owners and operators, and private industry;
  • Help states and communities develop cybersecurity information sharing programs; and
  • Help incorporate cybersecurity risk and incident prevention and response into existing state and local emergency plans and continuity of operations plans.

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