Hurd sees promise in revolving IT fund but wants agencies to carry the ball

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) welcomed the administration's cybersecurity budget and IT modernization efforts but said it is up to agencies to make the most of them.

Will Hurd

Rep. Will Hurd said he supports White House efforts to fund IT modernization, but "CIOs and agency heads need to be planning for continuous modernization within their existing budget process."

The chairman of the House Information Technology Subcommittee welcomed the president's cybersecurity budget and modernization efforts but said it is up to agencies to capitalize on them.

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) said he supports the administration's $19 billion investment in cybersecurity, but "the devil is always going to be in the details."

"The agencies need to incorporate modernization in their individual budgets," Hurd told reporters after a panel discussion on cybersecurity hosted by public relations firm Levick. "This is not going to be something they only have to deal with right now. This is going to be constantly an issue, and they need to make sure they are prepared to do that."

He said the money for IT needs to be used effectively and added, "I'm looking forward to working with this issue legislatively."

In addition to more than $19 billion in cybersecurity investments, the Obama administration's proposed fiscal 2017 budget includes $3.1 billion to launch a revolving fund to facilitate the replacement of legacy IT systems.

"A working capital fund focusing on IT modernization could be an important tool in making federal agencies more efficient and ultimately more secure, but in order to ensure robust system hygiene, CIOs and agency heads need to be planning for continuous modernization within their existing budget process," Hurd said via email.

Fund or no fund, he added, CIOs need to take advantage of new authorities under the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act to get their agencies in order.

"The key point to FITARA is empowering CIOs to have the authorities to do what they need to do on their networks," he said. "Ultimately, how do we empower CIOs and agency heads to take control in protecting their own networks? And it's Congress' job to provide oversight and accountability."

U.S. CIO Tony Scott said the $3.1 billion IT Modernization Fund would support projects at agencies that have the biggest IT issues.

"We have a broad surface area of old, outdated technology that's hard to secure [and] expensive to operate," Scott said in a conference call with reporters. "And on top of all that, the skill sets needed to maintain those systems are disappearing rather rapidly."

White House officials are hopeful that Congress will support the IT and cybersecurity aspects of the administration's request for $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending. Obama's top cybersecurity adviser, Michael Daniel, was upbeat about the chances of ushering the ambitious package of cybersecurity policies through Congress. At a New America event on Feb. 11, Daniel said cybersecurity is a bipartisan issue and predicted that there will be "very broad [congressional] support for the goals that we're trying to achieve."

The cyber battlefield

The budget request allocates $7 billion of the $19 billion in cybersecurity spending to the Defense Department. That money would help DOD invest in offensive cyber tools and build the workforce needed to defend its networks.

Hurd, a former CIA officer who has private-sector cybersecurity experience, was critical of the administration's ability to respond to acts of cyberwar.

"If North Korea launched a missile into San Francisco today, we all know how the United States government will respond," Hurd said, but he wondered what action the government would take in the digital world.

He admitted it can be difficult to hold a foreign country liable for a cyberattack on U.S. networks, "but we can say, 'If these kinds of activities happen on our networks, here is going to be our countermeasure.'"

"What are our red lines? What is a digital act of war, and what should our response be? Not too many people are talking about it," Hurd said.

Sean Lyngaas contributed reporting to this article.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.