WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) today released the following statements after their legislation, the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would 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. Due to amendments, the bill will return to the Senate for final passage.
“In the face of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States must remain extra vigilant against potentially disastrous cyber threats from Russian hackers that would weaken our infrastructure and military readiness,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This crucial bill will ensure our critical infrastructure operators and local governments are prepared for dangerous Russian cyber-attacks, and I’m proud to be joined by Senator Leahy in helping usher it into law.”
“Passage of this legislation will improve the ability of the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium to fulfill its mission of training and preparedness for cyber-attacks,” said Sen. Leahy. “There are few threats greater than those carried out through cyberspace that can upend the lives of Americans anywhere, from anywhere in the world. But with preparation, like that coached by NCPC, those threats can be mitigated.”
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 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.