Senate Passes Leahy Bill To Formalize National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium, With Norwich University As A Key Training Center

(FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2019) – The U.S. Senate Thursday night passed legislation written and introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) to formally charter a National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium (NCPC), which includes Norwich University.

Norwich University is a key player in NCPC, a cooperative effort of universities with expertise in cybersecurity that work with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop and carry out training and other activities focused on preparedness among state and local governments and first responders for cyber emergencies.  The consortium was privately organized to work annually with DHS to fulfill their mission, with Norwich as a founding member, and the new law will allow DHS and NCPC to work together to develop multi-year plans for improving cyber readiness.

Leahy has played a central role for two decades in championing Norwich’s emergence as a leader in cybersecurity training.  In the wake of 9/11, Leahy, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced and secured enactment of legislation that designated Norwich as a one of the National Centers for Counter-Terrorism and Cyber-Crime, with ongoing federal funding and support.  That expertise was critical to establishing the NCPC.

Leahy said:  “Norwich University has methodically built expertise and national recognition as a national center in the crucial field of cybersecurity training to counter these growing threats.  Passage of our bill is a bipartisan victory in advancing these efforts to the next levels.  I support the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium because we know that cyber threats become more manageable when state and local responders have quality training.  Norwich will continue to take a leading role in making that happen.” 

In addition to Norwich, other universities in the consortium are the University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, The University of Arkansas, and The University of Memphis.

Under Leahy’s bill with Cornyn (S.333), DHS will 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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