The Office of Management and Budge has released the Obama administration's initial proposal for the U.S. government's fiscal year 2013 budget, reflecting an increased interest in cybersecurity research. However, most agencies will be asked to do more with less as public sector spending declines on the whole and officials look to information technology to deliver cost-effective solutions.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the federal government's lead agency for cybersecurity progress, analyzing threats and offering advice to secure public and private sector computer systems. Not surprisingly, the bulk of federal cybersecurity funding will be allocated under Secretary Janet Napolitano's jurisdiction.
The DHS is asking for a combined $769 million for cyber operations in fiscal year 2013, up from $459 million this year. Nearly half of the investment will be directed toward the improvement of the National Cybersecurity Protection System.
"NCPS is an integrated intrusion detection, analytics, information sharing and intrusion prevention system that supports DHS responsibilities within the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative mission," officials stated. "In FY2013, the program will continue to focus on intrusion prevention while taking steps to improve its situational awareness of evolving cyber threats to federal networks and systems."
The intelligence gathered through these processes will be utilized by the US-Computer Emergency Readiness Team to both manage risks and promote the sharing of information between agencies and sectors. Additionally, the DHS will continue working toward its goal of expanding its Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center to include all 50 states in the next four years.
To ensure the information gathered and shared is both relevant and actionable, the DHS will also be instrumental in shaping the future of American cybersecurity progress. The agency is requesting $64.5 million in the upcoming fiscal year to dedicate directly to research and development focused on strengthening the nation's defense with innovative new solutions. Additionally, a $12.9 million investment in cybersecurity education is intended to ensure that the tools of the future are operated by qualified hands.
Cybersecurity progress will not be a unilateral effort, however, as more than $140 billion in federal funding will be allocated to research and development across the public sector. The National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology are also expected to be prominent contributors to the DHS's mission.
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