The Senate adopted the House-passed version of the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium (NCPC) Act by unanimous consent, sending the bill to the President’s desk for his signature.

The bill – introduced by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. – would authorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide cybersecurity training help at the national, state, and local levels. The House passed the bill on Mar. 7.

“Our communities must be prepared to defend against the ever-evolving cyber threats they face,” Cornyn said in a press release. “Texas is fortunate to have universities like UTSA and Texas A&M to help educate governments at every level on how to prevent and respond to an impending cyberattack.”

“Schools from the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium, including Vermont’s own Norwich University, have developed expertise in cybersecurity training for countering cyber threats,” Leahy said. “We know cyber threats become more manageable when state and local responders have quality training, and this bill opens up opportunities to a better plan that training and builds expertise.”

This version of the bill contains several amendments stating that DHS may work with one or more consortia to support efforts to address cybersecurity risks and incidents, including:

  • Training and education at state, tribal, and local levels;
  • Developing and updating a curriculum utilizing existing training and educational programs and models;
  • Providing technical assistance services, training, and educational programs to build and sustain capabilities in support of preparedness for and response to cybersecurity risks and incidents;
  • Conducting cross-sector cybersecurity training, education, and simulation exercises;
  • Helping incorporate cybersecurity risk and incident prevention and response into existing State, Tribal, and local emergency plans; and
  • Assisting state governments and Tribal organizations in developing cybersecurity plans.
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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk State and Local Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.