Last week, the Trump Administration released its “America First Budget” proposal. Under this proposal, President Trump asks Congress to allocate $1.5 billion to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to finance “activities that protect federal networks and critical infrastructure from cyberattacks” and to encourage the sharing of cybersecurity incident data across other agencies and the private sector.
The request for $1.5 billion marks an increase from the $900 million requested by former President Barack Obama for similar efforts. However, last year Obama did request a total of $19 billion to be spread across the federal government to fund various cybersecurity initiatives in a more holistic approach.
While the proposal acknowledges the dire need for increased cybersecurity efforts, it does leave significant vulnerabilities. According to the Office of Management and Budget report on federal cyber performance published last week, federal agencies continue to be a prime target by hackers. Federal agencies were victims of more than 30,000 incidents last year. Trump’s proposal will force cyber-related cuts at other federal agencies and, notably, does not allocate any funds for private-sector defense efforts.
However, there is hope that perhaps the DHS will use some of its funds to increase and encourage cyber threat information sharing. This notion of information sharing follows the Obama administration’s call for collaboration across agencies and in the private and public sectors in cybersecurity efforts.
The budget proposal now heads to Congress