WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced an amendment to the Senate’s FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to support cybersecurity initiatives between the Department of Defense (DOD) and U.S. academic institutions. Specifically, this amendment would require DOD to report on their efforts to work with consortia of academic researchers and DOD labs in the development of cybersecurity capabilities for DOD systems. The University of Cincinnati (UC) is a member of one such consortium.

“Cyberspace is increasingly becoming the battlefield of the Information Age, and it is incumbent upon the Department of Defense to develop its capacity to defend U.S. national security interests in this dynamic frontier,” said Portman. “By partnering with universities like the University of Cincinnati, which already conducts important work in partnership with the Air Force Research Lab at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, our military will be able to accelerate that process and ensure it is better prepared to defend against cyberattacks on DOD systems. That’s why I’m pleased to introduce this amendment, which will require DOD to report on their efforts to work with university consortia to ensure DOD capabilities are secure.”

“Ensuring our military is capable of combating cybersecurity threats is of the utmost importance to our national security. The Defense Department should be partnering with premiere schools like the University of Cincinnati to develop innovative and effective methods to protect against cyber threats and attacks. This provision will encourage and incentivize more of these partnerships, which benefit both DOD and our colleges and universities,” said Brown.

NOTE: In the FY 2020 NDAA, Congress required DOD to create and publish a roadmap of DOD science and technology (S&T) capabilities that contribute to the development of cyber capabilities. The bill also required DOD to produce annual reports for the next three fiscal years to report on their efforts to develop cyber capabilities.  This amendment builds upon that annual report requirement to expand it to include efforts with university consortia.