Seeing the dangers that a cyber attack could have on the United States, the Biden administration has called for a significant budget increase related to cybersecurity efforts. Federal civilian agencies are slated to receive $10.9 billion total for cybersecurity under the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) budget that was unveiled on Monday. It was an increase of about $1 billion above the 2022 spending levels.

The Department of Homeland Security would account for the largest slice of the civilian cybersecurity budget, receiving $2.6 billion, with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within DHS receiving the bulk of that – about $2.5 billion.

The Department of Justice would also receive approximately $1.3 billion, an increase of around $52 million, which would allow for the hiring of additional agents and the strengthening of intelligence collection.

“The budget funds a strategic shift in the defense of federal infrastructure and service delivery, better positioning agencies to guard against sophisticated adversaries,” the administration’s budget overview states.

The requested investment would go to support the practices and priorities from last year’s cybersecurity executive order, which included the funding to facilitate the ongoing transition to a ‘zero trust’ approach that would enable agencies to more rapidly detect, isolate and respond to cyber threats.

Pentagon’s Cyber Budget Increase

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) has also requested $11.2 billion for its various cyber efforts, which will include the hardening of networks and improved shielding of critical infrastructure, as well as the expansion of forces under the United States Cyber Command’s authority.

The FY23 budget request from the White House is an increase of $800 million, or nearly 8%, over the administration’s FY22 request. It is also $1.4 billion more than the FY21 budget.

Included in the budget is a little more than $1 billion for Navy cybersecurity efforts and an increase by more than $200 million compared to last year’s levels.

“U.S. prosperity and military success depend on the cyber resiliency of the Joint Force to execute missions successfully in a contested environment. The FY 2023 Budget allows for continued investment in cyberspace initiatives,” the Pentagon announced via a statement.

Cyberspace investments include operationalizing zero trust architecture across military departments and defense agencies; increasing cybersecurity support to the Defense Industrial Base; and growing the Cyber Mission Force Teams.

“We paid the most attention to the things that are foundational like space and cyber and the industrial base that are not a China investment or a Russia investment,” DOD’s comptroller Mike McCord told reporters Monday. “They’re an investment in our capability across the board. They’re foundational in all the directions we might want to move.”

The Pentagon’s $11.2 billion FY 23 cyber budget request has been seen as a timely and crucial step in the right direction.

“The past several years have seen infrastructure spend and consequently cyber preparedness deplete across governments and commercial enterprises as the network perimeter has eroded with the advance of public cloud, SaaS applications and as work from home became the de-facto operating model for many,” explained Rajiv Pimplaskar, CEO of VPN provider Dispersive Holdings, Inc.

“The marked increase in cyber budget can help finally implement zero trust strategies, remediate critical network and endpoint vulnerabilities, as well as elevate cyber defense to the next level,” Pimplaskar told ClearanceJobs. “The current geopolitical landscape necessitates a heightened state of preparedness against new and emerging threats such as nation state threat actors and the imminent arrival of the age of quantum computing.”

Taking Command

The U.S. Cyber Command, which is the nation’s unified combatant command for the cyberspace domain, was founded in 2010, and as part of the Pentagon’s increased focus on cyber, the command will get an enhanced role in acquisition of cyberspace programs and capabilities.

The FY23 requested budget would help with the creation of five new teams to, if enacted, bring the total to 142, and also go to investing in improving cyber ranges used for training and exercises. Starting in fiscal 2024 (FY24), CYBERCOM will command budgetary resources for the Cyber Mission Force.

This could better allow the United States military to be ready to confront potential adversaries in cyberspace.

“Cyber warfare has now become the first spear thrown in the larger conflict,” said Garret Grajek, CEO of YouAttest, which provides cloud-based access review services.

“This is amazingly clear in the Ukraine conflict occurring now,” Grajek told ClearanceJobs. “The cyberattacks on Ukrainian government and financial sites began prior to the Russian invasion on Feb 24th. The attacks on Russian resources came to light after the invasion with key attacks on government, banking and oil affiliates. It is important to note that hacks outside of the sphere of conflict are ongoing – with threats incoming from China, Iran and other attackers. Given these threats, the U.S. Pentagon’s request for budget is understandable.”

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Peter Suciu is a freelance writer who covers business technology and cyber security. He currently lives in Michigan and can be reached at petersuciu@gmail.com.