Although the proposed 2013 federal budget contains sweeping cuts in defense spending, one major area could see major increases: cybersecurity. With mounting concern about America’s vulnerability to cyber attacks, the Department of Defense has requested $3.4 billion in cyber defenses for FY 2013, up from the previous year’s $3.2 billion. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security is dramatically increasing its request for cyber security spending to $769 million, up from the previous year’s $459 million. The proposed increases are taking place despite a reduction in the proposed Defense Department budget, from $670 billion in FY 2012 to $613 billion, and reductions in Science and Technology spending, from $12.2 billion to $11.9 billion.
Recent news articles have touted a number of federal initiatives that aim to increase cyber security for American technological infrastructure. The Defense Department plans to undertake a massive, comprehensive inspection of its cyber defenses by September 30, 2012, “that assess compliance with technical, operational, and physical security standards on an overwhelming majority of inspected military cyberspace organizations resulting in improved hardening and cyber defense.”
FederalNewsRadio.com reports on increases in several federal cyber security initiatives, such as the Federal Network Security, which helps agencies secure their IT networks, the National Cybersecurity Protection System, and the U.S.-Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which manages cyber risks and promotes the sharing of cyber information.
Budgetary trends point to the increasingly indispensable nature of cybersecurity in an era of growing fiscal austerity. These cybersecurity programs will not only to prevent network disruption from cyber attacks, but also assist in combating other cyber crimes, such as the distribution of child pornography. It is further proof that we live in an age where the cyber world is in a major struggle to secure the homeland.
Richard Lim is an Infrastructure Protection Analyst at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Prior to this, he served at the White House and the Department of Labor and graduated with a Master of Public Administration at the Maxwell School in Syracuse University and the University of California, San Diego. He is a published author and blogger.