H.R. 4743, National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act of 2016, as amended

H.R. 4743

National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act of 2016, as amended

Sponsor
Rep. Joaquin Castro

Date
May 16, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, May 16, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 4743, the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act of 2016, as amended, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 4743 was introduced on March 15, 2016 by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security.  The Homeland Security Committee ordered the bill reported, as amended, by unanimous consent on April 28, 2016.

Bill Summary

H.R. 4743 authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to work with a consortium, including the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium, to support efforts to address cybersecurity risks and incidents. The National Cybersecurity and Communication Integration Center may work with the Consortium to: provide training to state and local first responders and officials; develop curriculums; provide technical assistance; conduct cross-sector cybersecurity training and simulation exercises; and assist in the incorporation of cybersecurity risk and incident prevention and response into existing state and local emergency plans. The authority to carry out this Act terminates after five years.

 

Background

The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) within the Department of Homeland Security “shares information among public and private sector partners to build awareness of vulnerabilities, incidents, and mitigations. Cyber and industrial control systems users can subscribe to information products, feeds, and services at no cost.”[1]  The Center serves as an around-the-clock centralized location for the coordination and integration of cyber situational awareness and management.  NCCIC partners include: all Federal departments and agencies; State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments; the private sector; and intergovernmental entities.  NCCIC provides its partners with enhanced situational awareness of cybersecurity incidents and risks, as well as information to manage cyber vulnerabilities, threats, and incidents.

Currently, there is a National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium comprised of five universities[2] who have partnered and are working to emphasize cybersecurity as being the responsibility of the “whole community”.  This includes public and private sector partners providing research-based cybersecurity-related training, exercises, and technical assistance to local jurisdictions, counties, states, and the private sector. Since 2004 and in partnership with DHS/FEMA, individual members of the Consortium have developed and delivered DHS/FEMA certified online and face-to-face training courses to an array of states, counties, local jurisdictions, and critical infrastructure components nationwide addressing cyber security and cyber terrorism concerns.[3]

According to the bill’s sponsor, “Cyber attacks are becoming more prevalent and increasingly complex each day. The cyber threat doesn’t just affect big corporations and the federal government-it affects folks at the local level too.  This bill will allow communities to learn from our nation’s best cyber experts as they ensure local first responders are equipped to defend against and respond to cyber attacks.”[4]

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[1] http://www.dhs.gov/national-cybersecurity-communications-integration-center
[2] The Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security at the University of Texas, San Antonio; The Criminal Justice Institute, University of Arkansas; The University of Memphis Center for Information Assurance; Norwich University Applied Research Institutes; and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service.
[3] See http://www.cyberpreparednessconsortium.org/
[4] See Rep. Castro’s Press Release “Homeland Security Committee Passes Castro Cybersecurity Legislation” April 28, 2016.

Cost

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate is currently unavailable.

 

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.