U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have introduced the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act 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.

“Cybersecurity is an imperative for us all. From large corporations to small businesses and individual Vermonters, to government agencies, our digital security is increasingly at risk,” said Sen. Leahy. “I have long supported the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium to educate our communities to defend and recover from cyberattack. The bipartisan legislation we are introducing today will help to ensure continued collaboration between cybersecurity expertise developed at our nation’s finest educational institutions and state and local governments. I am proud to support this bipartisan effort.”

“With national security threats constantly evolving, we must take every precaution to ensure our communities are well-equipped to respond,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This bill would bring all hands on deck, including UTSA and Texas A&M, to help train states and local governments to guard against a potential cyberattack.”

“The ever-increasing cyber threat, whether from state actors or rogue entities, requires continued vigilance to safeguard federal, state, and local infrastructure,” said Sen. Cruz. “This bill will help ensure that state and local communities are able to receive training and preparation to strengthen their capabilities. I’m proud to work on legislation that is being spearheaded by Texas universities and appreciate the assistance of my colleagues to help our local and state officials fight and respond to cyberattacks.”

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

Under the bill, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would be authorized to work with the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium 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.