UofM’s Dasgupta and McGinnis Work with NCPC to Create Cybersecurity Legislation

New law authorizes DHS to increase response efforts nationwide 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can now work with the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium (NCPC) to increase its cybersecurity preparedness and incident response initiatives nationwide after Congress adopted and sent the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act (NCPC) to President Biden to sign into law.

The legislation allows DHS to work with one or more groups composed of nonprofits to develop, update, and deliver cybersecurity training in support of homeland security by working with the national consortium of university-based training programs specializing in incident response and prevention, as well as cross-cutting cybersecurity training for state and local governments, first responders, industry stakeholders and critical infrastructure owners. The new law also allows DHS to collaborate with the consortium to provide technical assistance services and training to state and local officials nationwide. The NCPC includes training entities from the University of Memphis, University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Arkansas, among others. It also allows DHS to work with other consortiums focusing on cybersecurity preparedness and directs the agency to take into account factors like prior experience, geographic diversity and results-based metrics when determining whether to collaborate with specific organizations. 

NCPC efforts at the UofM have been led by Dr. Dipankar Dasgupta (Computer Science) and Dr. James Andrew McGinnis Jr. (Engineering Technology), Co-Directors of the Center for Information Assurance (CfIA).

“As the core member of NCPC, the University of Memphis developed several web-based cybersecurity training courses which are hosted at FEMA/TEEX site and reached to more than 50,000 people nation-wide,” according to Dasgupta.

The bill was first introduced in the Senate in March 2021. The Senate agreed to House amendments by unanimous consent April 7, 2022, and was sent to the President on May 3. President Biden signed the NCPC Act into law on May 12, 2022. For more information on this legislation, contact Dasgupta at ddasgupt@memphis.edu.