Budget shows how cyber programs are spreading

Defense and Homeland Security get the bulk of cybersecurity funding, but hundreds of millions go to other agencies.

concept cybersecurity art

Investment in cybersecurity may be a foregone conclusion at the Defense and Homeland Security departments, but a closer look at the fiscal 2014 budget shows increasing investment at a number of other agencies as well.

DOD and DHS both receive substantial funding in the budget, including close to $5 billion in cyber funding for the Pentagon. At DHS, an overall budget of $39 billion for fiscal 2014 will go toward "core homeland security functions, such as transportation security, cybersecurity and border security," according to the President's proposal.

The DHS figure includes nearly $500 million for cybersecurity research and development and almost $1 billion expressly for the protection of federal computers and networks against malicious cyber activity.

Additionally, portions of $3.4 billion in capital investments and $4.4 billion to protect critical infrastructure and key assets will also be directed toward cybersecurity measures. The National Protection and Programs Directorate is set to receive roughly $2.5 billion across a handful of areas.

Beyond the two agencies most commonly tasked with national security matters, other federal organizations also saw their cyber- and information-security budgets increase as well. The departments of Justice, Energy and Commerce, as well as the National Intelligence Program, all have budget line items for cyber-related protections.

"We must...confront new dangers, like cyber attacks, that threaten our nation’s infrastructure, businesses and people," President Barack Obama wrote in the introductory budget message, released April 10. "The budget supports the expansion of government-wide efforts to counter the full scope of cyber threats, and strengthens our ability to collaborate with State and local governments, our partners overseas and the private sector to improve our overall cybersecurity."

At the Justice Department, $93 million of the $28 billion overall budget will go toward "cybersecurity enhancements and [ensure] that critical investments in cybersecurity are made in a whole-of-government manner and that cross-agency priorities receive attention," according to Office of Management and Budget documents.

At the Commerce Department, $176 million falls under the umbrella of "protecting critical infrastructure and key assets." That number includes more than $104 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a jump from $73 million in the fiscal 2012 enacted budget. NIST's total fiscal 2014 budget is $754 million – an increase of $131 million in 2012.

The Energy Department, tasked with a major role in securing the critical infrastructure of various utilities such as electricity, gets a huge cyber boost for 2014: a total of $16 million directed toward "enhanced energy infrastructure security and energy recovery capabilities," which is a $10 million increase. Overall, DOE receives $153 million for modernizing the electricity grid, including cybersecurity for energy control systems.

"This investment seeks to develop real-time situational awareness to improve grid operations, build system-level understanding needed for innovative approaches to technology and regional planning, support advanced visualization analysis and decision support for grid operators leading to predictive response, and enhance security of the grid," budget documents stated.

Across federal IT and research and development accounts, an estimated $830 million will fund unclassified cybersecurity research, according to a report from LiveScience.com.

"These increases reflect the high priority cybersecurity has in [the Obama] administration," Patricia Falcone, the associate director of National Security and International Affairs at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said in an April 10 briefing.

Outside of cyber-specific funding, other areas in science and technology research and development – likely to contribute to federal, state and local cybersecurity efforts – also are set to see increased budgets for fiscal 2014.

According to OSTP, federal research and development funding grew by close to $2 billion, or 1.3 percent, over fiscal 2012. That includes a 7.5 percent rise in the federal research portfolio – both basic and applied research – and a 9.2 percent jump in non-defense R&D to $70 billion. OSTP officials singled out nearly a dozen agencies slated for R&D growth in fiscal 2014, most notably a 186 percent increase for DHS.

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