Government-Wide Cybersecurity Funds Would See Hike Under Budget

The Trump administration has asked for $15 billion to fund cybersecurity across the executive branch in fiscal 2019, about a 4 percent year-over-year rise over the estimated amount for fiscal 2018. The Defense Department would get $8.5 billion of it, an increase of $340 million, or 4.2 percent.

It is unclear how much cybersecurity funding federal agencies actually will receive for the remainder of fiscal 2018 or exactly how much the total will differ from the 2019 request. Legislators have not passed final 2018 appropriations. Since Oct. 1, federal agencies have been operating under a series of five continuing resolutions that hold funding at fiscal 2017 spending levels.

The proposed DOD funds include support for 133 Cyber Mission Force (CMF) teams at Cyber Command. All the CMF teams are expected to be fully operational by the end of 2018.

Civilian agency spending would rise 3.9 percent, according to the Cybersecurity chapter of the Analytical Perspectives accompanying the 2019 budget request.

The Homeland Security Department is slated to receive $1.724 billion in cybersecurity funds, up from $1.722 billion. The cyber portion of cyber and infrastructure protection spending would grow 7 percent to $712 million, Nextgov reported Feb. 12.

DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) would receive $3.3 billion for its total budget, a figure that largely mirrors the White House’s last request. Cybersecurity funding for the directorate would be $785 million in 2019, up more than $100 million, FCW reported Feb. 12.

NPPD would benefit from a proposal to move cyber research out of the DHS Science & Technology directorate. The $41 million slated for that work would go to NPPD, boosting its cyber research budget to $47 million. The funding move would ensure that “operators on the ground have influence over research and development,” a senior administration official said on a Feb. 12 call, Nextgov reported. NPPD’s cyber division will coordinate with S&T on research priorities, the official said.

The continuous diagnostics mitigation program to monitor federal networks governmentwide is tapped to receive $238 million, while the Einstein intrusion-detection system would get $279 million. The White House IT Modernization Plan released in December pushes for CDM and Einstein upgrades to help speed government’s shift to cloud computing, Homeland Security Today reported in January.

Justice Department cyber funding would be $721 million, up from $703 million requested in 2018. The department’s national security division, which prosecutes cyber crimes, would see an increase from $95 million to $101 million, according to Nextgov.

The State Department’s request for $96.2 million in human capital and data analytics initiatives includes cyber recruitment pay incentives, according to the department’s fiscal 2019 budget justification. The $904 million request for worldwide security protection programs includes funds for the Diplomatic Security Bureau, which counts cybersecurity among its duties.

Proposed increases in cyber spending include a 23 percent bump at the Energy Department, a 33 percent hike at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a 16 percent rise at the Veterans Affairs Department, Nextgov reported. At the Energy Department, securing the electric grid would get new attention via a $95 million for the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response. Energy’s nuclear security division seeks a $22.4 million increase in cyber spending, Politico reported.

More than $1.7 billion would go to Energy Department applied energy programs to support early-stage R&D to enable development of next-generation commercial technologies and energy services, according to the budget request. Of the $1.7 billion, the Office of Nuclear Energy is slated for $757 million for R&D on reactor technologies, including small modular reactors, along with advanced instrumentation and manufacturing methods. More than $300 million would go to Office of Fossil Energy R&D on clean, efficient fossil fuels and systems, and early-stage critical materials. More than $180 million is intended for the Grid Modernization Initiative, funded by the Office of Electricity Delivery, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Cyber funding at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would grow from approximately $24 million to about $32 million. Veterans Affairs cyber funds would rise almost $60 million, from $360 million to $418 million for 2019. The 2019 budget requests $10 million for Transportation Department cyber improvements and would increase Office of Personnel Management cyber spending from around $39 million to approximately $46 million, Nextgov reported. The Education Department seeks $30 million to secure student financial information, according to Politico.

Meanwhile, the National Institute of Standards and Technology would see an 18 percent reduction, even as it is updating its cybersecurity framework, which now is mandatory for all agencies, Nextgov reported. The National Science Foundation is slated for a reduction in cyber research funds, Politico reported.

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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