Trump's 2020 Budget Asks for $11bn for Cyber-Defense

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In the proposed 2020 federal budget, released by the White House today, President Donald Trump has requested nearly $11bn be allocated to improving cybersecurity.

“For cyber, the budget continues to integrate efforts and operationalize US cyber strategy, while scaling artificial intelligence throughout the department,” the document stated.

Throughout the 150-page document, cybersecurity appeared several times, falling into different categories of national security across multiple sectors, whether it was combating cybercrime and cryptocurrency threats or continuing to consolidate IT infrastructure.

While the bulk of the funding would be used by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Defense (DoD), the most substantial request was for nearly $10bn to advance the top three cyber missions of the DoD, which are “safeguarding DOD’s networks, information, and systems; supporting military commander; and defending the nation.”

Protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure continues to be a top priority, particularly in the nation’s energy sector. In order to address those threats and “ensure robust cybersecurity programs across the energy sector, the budget provides funding in multiple programs, including over $156 million for the recently established office of cybersecurity, energy security, and emergency response.”

The president requested additional resources for research and development, as well as funds to improve resilience in the private sector. “The budget includes more than $1bn for DHS’s cybersecurity efforts. These resources would increase the number of DHS-led network risk assessments from 473 to 684 – including assessments of state and local electoral systems – as well as for additional tools and services, such as the EINSTEIN and the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation programs, to reduce the cybersecurity risk to federal information technology networks.”

Recognizing that all of these efforts will require skilled candidates, part of the funding is also earmarked for training a new cybersecurity workforce. “As part of this initiative, DHS would hire at least 150 new cybersecurity employees using this system by the end of 2020. In this way, DHS would be better positioned to compete with the private sector for cyber talent.”  

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