Spending deal boosts funds for DHS office securing cyber infrastructure

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The bipartisan spending deal hammered out by congressional negotiators boosts funding for an office at the Department of Homeland Security charged with securing U.S. infrastructure from cyber threats.

The legislation, released on Monday, allots $1.8 billion to the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the DHS, an $183 million increase over fiscal year 2016 levels. 

{mosads}A large portion of the funding is specifically designated for the DHS’s cybersecurity efforts. The organization would get $1.4 billion to secure civilian government networks, detect and stop cyberattacks and foreign espionage activities, and modernize and bolster emergency communication networks.

Congress must pass the legislation, which would fund government through September, by Friday to avoid shutdown.  

The National Protection and Programs Directorate, or NPPD, is an office within the DHS charged with protecting and improving the resilience of U.S. physical and cyber infrastructure. 

The DHS also has a number of information-sharing initiatives to help secure U.S. critical infrastructure — an estimated 85 percent of which is owned and operated by the private sector — from cyber threats. 

Members of Congress have sought to reorganize the DHS’s cyber mission. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who chairs the House committee with oversight of the department, has pushed for legislation that would bring together the DHS’s cyber efforts under a new operational agency that would replace the NPPD.

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