$1.5 billion for DHS & Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity and DHS

Trump's Federal Budget and Cybersecurity

President Trump recently released his first federal budget blueprint for 2018. His proposal includes $1.5 billion for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which is earmarked for protecting "federal networks and critical infrastructure from cyberattacks", encouraging increased cooperation between the government and the private sector on cybersecurity.

Tom Bossert asserted that "The new administration will hold agencies and departments accountable for their own cybersecurity and also work to treat the entire Federal network as its own entity and protect it from cyber threats" which is critical if we are to achieve clear improvements across the board. This is good news, as we've seen evidence suggesting that cybersecurity is not a problem which can be fixed from one office, but a systemic problem requiring a systemic solution.

The Blueprint

In the Blueprint to Make America Great Again, President Trump's budget outlines plans for individual departments, what the money is intended to accomplish and how goals are to be met. Money will be steared away from other departments and put towards the Department of Homeland Security to support their new objectives..."Through a suite of advanced cybersecurity tools and more assertive defense of Government networks, DHS would share more cybersecurity incident information with other Federal agencies and the private sector, leading to faster responses to cybersecurity attacks directed at Federal networks and critical infrastructure."

The 45th president of the United States has spoken frequently, and often quite loudly about how he plans to improve the armed forces. In this re-strengthening period of our military, cybersecurity will not go without its very own face lift. The new funding "begins to rebuild the U.S. Armed Forces by addressing pressing shortfalls, such as insufficient stocks of critical munitions, personnel gaps, deferred maintenance and modernization, cyber vulnerabilities, and degraded facilities." The cyber world is a new battlefield, and a fight that impacts all of us, as citizens and members of societies whose everyday activities revolve around internet capabilities and electronic devices. As our government strives to stay at the forefront of defense capabilities, Trump and the new administration demonstrates how pertinent it is to invest in cutting edge technologies, a capable workforce, and to administer best practices in managing cyber security throughout all departments.

Trump plans to lay "the groundwork for a larger, more capable, and more lethal joint force, driven by a new National Defense Strategy that recognizes the need for American superiority not only on land, at sea, in the air, and in space, but also in cyberspace." But the DHS and the military are not the only ones who will be seeing a boost in financial support for cyber improvements; NASA, the Department of Energy, the Department of the Treasury, and the FBI are among others who will be under scrutiny to improve on current regulations and technologies.

You can read the specifics of Trumps new budget America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again for yourself.

Value of Cybersecurity

Some readers may yet be skeptical of how critical cyber security is, and perhaps they understand why government institutions should require more strict regulations and provide higher security in the cyber realm, but what is it really worth to the private industry?

Well, to one company in particular increased cyber security could have saved them $350 million. Yahoo was recently acquired by Verizon, and after the cyber breaches Yahoo suffered, Verizon asked for a reduction in their buying price to the tune of $350 million. This is just one example, of one company, during one acquisition, and another shining example of why cybersecurity is not just a job for the public sector, but must be a collaborative effort between the Fed, private industry and in fact us, the consumers as well.

Lack of Talent

Financial institutions have already felt the increased pressure and lack of available talent to meet these new needs. According to Deloitte estimates, the number of cyber attacks against financial institutions is around "four times greater than those targeting companies in other industries". The U.S. Federal Reserve, as well as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) have given advanced notice of a rule making proposal to require enhanced cyber risk management standards for larger banking institutions.

Vikram Bhat the head of financial services cyber risk services team with Deloitte states that "Cyber talent continues to be in short supply, especially when it comes to quality hires and in areas like advanced threat management". Bhat continues, "Firms are poaching form one another and the government". The job growth is on the rise, like in places such as CenturyLinks hometown of Louisiana, where the number of available tech jobs has jumped from "300 to 3,000" according to FierceTelecom.

Filling the Gap

National Cyber Partnership recognizes that there is an extreme lack of talent and numbers in the U.S. cyber defense workforce, and is striving to fill these gaps for the Government and private industry to return to safe and secure operating potential.