CIO offers security budget warning

Agencies should not expect any additional funding for security this year,

even though the need to protect their systems is rapidly growing, according

to Fernando Burbano, chief information officer at the State Department.

As the number of Internet users grows and intrusion tools become simpler

but more sophisticated, it is easier for hackers to infiltrate a system,

Burbano said at a conference Wednesday organized by the Digital Government

Institute. Many hacker tools are "point and click" and are freely available

on the Internet, he said.

Burbano said it is possible that the next president will bring "new

money" for security programs; the two leading candidates have shown enthusiasm

on the issue.

There is, however, an underlying problem with the budget process that

makes funding security initiatives difficult, Burbano said. For example,

although the White House issued Presidential Decision Directive 63 in May

1998, it took agencies until late last year to draft their PDD 63 plans,

and funding requests are just now being incorporated into budgets.

PDD 63 requires agencies to develop ways to protect their critical information

systems from cyberattacks.

"A lot of Internet applications critical to agencies haven't come up

until the last year or two," Burbano said. "They require different security

from what [is necessary] on mainframes. [Agencies] are not budgeted for

that."

In order to decide how to allocate resources for security, agencies

should first identify critical assets and perform a risk assessment, Burbano

said. Agencies must develop a list of threats, evaluate which threats impact

them and determine the impact of successful attacks.

In terms of strategy, agencies should first eliminate nuisance threats,

Burbano said, adding that they should also develop a priority list and share

solutions.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.