Trump’s budget proposal gives DHS $1.5 billion for cybersecurity

Trump’s budget proposal gives DHS $1.5 billion for cybersecurity
© Getty Images

President Trump’s first federal budget blueprint proposes $1.5 billion for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to protect federal networks and critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.

The budget request, which bolsters DHS funding by 6.8 percent while making deep cuts to other agencies and departments, also calls for heightened cooperation between the government and the private sector on cybersecurity. 

The proposed budget “safeguards cyberspace with $1.5 billion for DHS activities that protect federal networks and critical infrastructure from an attack,” according to the blueprint, which was publicly released Thursday morning.

ADVERTISEMENT
The request was crafted by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, who told reporters on Wednesday that the budget was based off of Trump’s promises on the campaign trail. 

“Through a suite of advanced cyber security tools and more assertive defense of government networks, DHS would share more cybersecurity incident information with other federal agencies and the private sector, leading to faster response to cybersecurity attacks directed at federal networks and critical infrastructure,” the blueprint states.

Trump has said repeatedly that he aims to make cybersecurity a priority in his administration, but he has yet to sign an anticipated executive order on cybersecurity that was abruptly delayed at the end of January. 

White House adviser Tom Bossert told a cyber conference on Wednesday that the Trump administration would prioritize cybersecurity by requiring departments and agencies to implement a federal cybersecurity framework and develop metrics to score them on their implementation. 

The new administration will hold agencies and departments accountable for their own cybersecurity and also work to treat the entire federal network as its own entity and protect it from cyber threats, Bossert, who advises Trump on homeland security and terrorism, said.

The fiscal 2018 budget proposal also asks for a sharp increase in funding for the Defense Department and indicates that it is in part aimed at improving the military’s cyber operations and defenses. 

The funding request “begins to rebuild the U.S. armed forces by addressing pressing shortfalls, such as insufficient stocks of critical munitions, personnel gaps, deferred maintenance and modernization, cyber vulnerabilities, and degraded facilities,” the document states.

The budget would also lay groundwork for “a larger, more capable, and more lethal joint force” to conduct operations in all domains, including cyberspace. 

“As the world has become more dangerous—through the rise of advanced potential adversaries, the spread of destructive technology, and the expansion of terrorism—our military has gotten smaller and its technological edge has eroded,” the blueprint states.

The budget calls for large cuts at several departments and agencies — including the State Department, which would see a 28 percent reduction in funding — and also directs some agencies to shift their funds toward fighting terrorism and cyber crime, enforcing sanctions, and preventing illegal immigration.