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Homeland Security Urges for Increase in Cybersecurity Spending

by Chris Brook on Wednesday April 17, 2019

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A standing committee of the United States House of Representatives is requesting more money to properly secure federal cybersecurity and critical infrastructure in 2020.

Members of the House Homeland Security Committee are urging members of the House Appropriations Committee to consider providing additional funding for Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in 2020.

CISA, a standalone federal agency that's part of the DHS, is designed to protect the U.S. from both physical and cyber threats; the agency was formed when President Trump signed the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act of 2018 into law.

The letter, which was mailed last week, counts 28 politicians among its signatories, including Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), and Jim Langevin (D-RI)

Specifically the Homeland Security members asked the committee to increase the Homeland Security Subcommittee's 302(b) allocation to ensure its commensurate with ongoing threats to federal networks and critical infrastructure.

“In today's world, a flat cybersecurity budget is just as dangerous as a cut. If our fundamental cybersecurity capabilities are not fully resourced, vulnerabilities will continue to go unaddressed, and America's embrace of digital infrastructure risks becoming a source of strategic liability,” the letter, sent to both the Committee on Appropriations' Chairwoman, Nita Lowey, and Ranking Member, Kay Granger, read.

The committee members went on to make light of D.C.'s waning investment around federal civilian cybersecurity and stressed Congress to rethink the way it resources the mission. As part of the bipartisan effort, the letter also lauded the successes that previous increased funding has led to.

"Increased funding provided over the past few years has helped CISA bring federal departments and agencies into the National Cybersecurity Protection System sped deployment of Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation tools and capabilities across the federal enterprise, and dramatically expanded our nation's election security efforts," the politicians wrote.

It's unclear exactly how much of an increase the Homeland Security Subcommittee is looking for. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said last month it was planning to up cybersecurity spending by five percent in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, roughly around $17.4 billion. According to a breakdown of the budget proposal, the DHS is slated to receive $1.9 billion of that figure. It doesn’t explicitly say how much of that will be funneled to CISA.

Tags: Government

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Chris Brook

Chris Brook is the editor of Data Insider. He is a technology journalist with a decade of experience writing about information security, hackers, and privacy. Chris has attended many infosec conferences and has interviewed hackers and security researchers. Prior to joining Digital Guardian he helped launch Threatpost, an independent news site which is a leading source of information about IT and business security for hundreds of thousands of professionals worldwide.