Administration to request more for cybersecurity

President Barack Obama wants $355 million for the Homeland Security Department’s cybersecurity efforts in fiscal 2010, according to an overview of his budget proposal released today.

The document states that Obama wants the $355 million to support DHS’ National Cybersecurity Division and the department's role in the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI). The money would be “targeted to make private- and public-sector cyber infrastructure more resilient and secure,” the document states.

The division received $313.5 million in the fiscal 2009 budget, which includes $254.9 million for the department’s share of CNCI. DHS’ role in the government’s overall cybersecurity effort has been the subject of debate among experts, and the Obama administration is reviewing the government’s cybersecurity programs.

Although no dollar amount was provided for the classified National Intelligence Program that funds intelligence agencies, the budget document promised increased funding for an integrated cybersecurity strategy that includes homeland security, intelligence, law enforcement, military and diplomatic components.

“The threat to federal information technology networks is real, serious and growing,” the overview states. “To address this threat, the president’s 2010 budget includes substantial funding for cybersecurity efforts; such activities will take an integrated and holistic approach to address current cybersecurity threats, anticipate future threats and continue innovative public/private partnerships.”

According to the document, the fiscal 2010 budget would also support efforts to improve information and intelligence sharing among state, local and federal authorities — particularly the effort being led by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment to standardize how authorities share reports on suspicious activity that has potential terrorism links.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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