Trump budget seeks $3B for Homeland Security cyber unit


President Trump’s budget request seeks increases in cybersecurity personnel across several departments and over $3 billion in funding for a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) unit in charge of safeguarding the country’s cyber infrastructure.

Specifically, the fiscal 2018 budget proposal would allot $3.27 billion for DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), which is responsible for protecting U.S. physical and cyber infrastructure from threats. The proposed budget is an increase over fiscal 2017 spending levels.

{mosads}Under Trump’s proposal, the unit would receive $971.3 million for cybersecurity efforts in 2018. 

The budget document, released by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Tuesday morning, also proposes increases in law enforcement and cyber personnel at the DHS, the FBI and the Department of Defense (DOD) with the aim of protecting federal networks and combatting cyber crime. 

“The Budget supports the President’s focus on cybersecurity to ensure strong programs and technology to defend the Federal networks that serve the American people, and continues efforts to share information, standards, and best practices with critical infrastructure and American businesses to keep them secure,” the OMB document states. 

“The Budget also includes an increase in law enforcement and cybersecurity personnel across DHS, DOD, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to execute these efforts and counter cybercrime,” it states.

Meanwhile, the budget proposes significant budget reductions to domestic programs and other agencies, including deep cuts to Medicaid and anti-poverty efforts, while boosting defense spending. 

While presidential budgets are rarely passed, the document nevertheless lays out fiscal priorities for the new administration.

The DHS is responsible for protecting critical infrastructure and federal networks from cyber intrusions and spearheads a number of cyber information-sharing initiatives with the private sector.

Lawmakers in Congress have pushed for legislation that would reorganize the DHS’s cyber efforts. Under legislation offered by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) last year, the NPPD would be replaced with a new operational agency to handle cyber issues.

McCaul, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, is said to be pursuing similar legislation to reorganize the department’s cybersecurity efforts in the new Congress. 

This story was updated on May 25 at 12:52 p.m.

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