Budget Bill Boosts Cybersecurity Spending - InformationWeek

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Government // Cybersecurity

Budget Bill Boosts Cybersecurity Spending

Congress's $1.1 trillion spending package increases cybersecurity funding, but seeks more transparency in IT spending.

Cybersecurity operations, particularly in defense and homeland security, will get a significant injection of new funding, while IT spending across the government will stay largely level under a 2014, $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill approved on Tuesday by House and Senate negotiators and passed by the Senate Thursday. Appropriators also attached more strings to IT spending under the bill to make IT programs and projects more effective and transparent, according industry analysts.

President Obama's signature on the bill was expected in time to avert any interruption in government funding Saturday at midnight.

The compromise package finances all 12 regular discretionary appropriations bills, restoring stability to government funding at least through September, and ends a long series of continuing resolutions that has funded the government.

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While overall Department of Defense (DOD) spending under the bill remains virtually the same as the current operating level of $487 billion, the US Cyber Command, which manages military cyberspace operations and ensures the security of DOD information networks, will receive $447 million, more than double its 2013 funding of $191 million.

In addition, the package includes $792 million for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cybersecurity operations, an increase of $35.5 million over fiscal 2013 levels. The increase reflects appropriators' increasing priority of security-related funding.

"We've been noticing an increase in cyber spending as a general trend for the last couple of years," said Chris Wiedemann, market intelligence analyst at ImmixGroup. "I see that as codified in this bill."

While the bill provides no agency-by-agency numbers and specific designations for IT funding, Wiedemann anticipates that spending will stay level at most agencies.

"With the exception of DHS and [the Veterans Affairs Administration], I expect most departments to stay relatively flat in terms of their IT budgets," he said, which across government total $82 billion. "I haven't really seen anything to indicate that that won't continue."

Given the nature of the appropriations, "we really can't tell what that breakdown is going to be," he said. But he predicted that the share of operations spending on IT will increase.

The more significant aspect of the budget is a sign of stability. Agencies will no longer have to operate under the constraints and uncertainty engendered by recurring continuing resolutions and the prospect of government shutdowns. A sound fiscal environment could give agencies more strategic flexibility in their IT planning and spending, Wiedemann said.

 Photo: Flickr/Francisco Diez
Photo: Flickr/Francisco Diez

"Programs that were either slated to start last year or even this year but were difficult to get up and running under a continuing resolution," may finally get underway, he said. "So we might see some more investment in new technology.

Deneice Peterson, director of federal industry analysis for Deltek, said the bill reflects an effort by appropriators to make agencies more accountable for the performance of IT projects and programs by tightening oversight.

"Congress wants to see risk-mitigation strategies," she said. "There's much more attention being paid when we see these large IT programs fail. Now more than ever they're on the radar of Congress."

She noted, for example, that the 2014 bill requires the Veterans Affairs Administration, which received $495 million for development, modernization, and enhancement of IT systems, to submit a report to House and Senate appropriators detailing how that money will be used.

Congress is "trying to put a lot more eyes on these programs before they can be approved and asking for much more detail in the deployment plan," she said.

Richard W. Walker lives in Washington, D.C., and has covered issues and trends in government technology for more than 15 years.

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User Rank: Author
1/22/2014 | 7:32:36 PM
What the Congress appropriates and what the White House budgets are often two different sets of numbers and priorities.  But at least Cyber seems to have common support.  Not said here, but of note, the President's FY2014 budget called for $13 billion in cyber security related programs, including $300 M for DHS t support continuous monitoring of federal networks and $85 M for the Commerce Dept. to support "trusted identities" research.
User Rank: Apprentice
1/18/2014 | 3:29:23 PM
Budget abd unpaid wars and results from
The Abandoning of the missions and the purposes of, along with the once
again promises to the Afghan people, first time was after the
Afghan/Soviet long war, quickly after 9/11, with the Lives still being lost, those serving still being wounded!!! Giving rise to, with the rhetoric from within, not a victory over, and spread of al Qaeda type ideology criminal terrorism!!!

The Cost of War, All Costs, the Responsibility of Those Served

"12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility
to a generation of service members, veterans and their families." Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: 'With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility'

There's only one branch of Government, Federal and States, consistently
doing for not only us Veterans' but also the Military personal and their
Families and without the control of the Countries purse strings and combining
the Cabinet agencies abilities to help where possible with their
budgets. That's the whole Executive branch under President Obama. Doing
what Congress, and State legislatures in passing feel patriotic support bills that are unfunded, and the people represented by them and served by the
Military refuse to do, Sacrifice, especially the wealthy!

Decades, and wars of, of under funding the VA. With these two recent
wars little was done for the Veterans of as well as the Military
personal, i.e. Walter Reed as one example, and their Families, in the
first years of both under the previous executive branch and those
congresses. Rubber stamped war costs, off the books and on the countries
credit card with no bid private contracts, including building an
expensive private merc army! That's not adding in all the other rubber
stamped costs of the bush administration policy wants, especially in the
first six years of!

Rachel Maddow: "We got a huge round of tax cuts in
this country a few weeks before 9/11. Once 9/11 happened and we invaded
Afghanistan, we kept the tax cuts anyway.
How did we think we were going to pay for that war? Did we think it was

Then, when we started a second simultaneous war in another country, we
gave ourselves a second huge round of tax cuts. After that second war
started. The wars, I guess, we thought would be free, don`t worry about
it, civilians. Go about your business." 23 May 2013

"If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth
our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a
specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

David (CBS News) Martin: "Then there's the financial cost. To date,
the Pentagon has spent more than $500 billion on the war in Afghanistan.
A defense spending bill the Senate is expected to pass this week would
add another $80 billion to that." 17 December 2013

That's not counting those decades to come results from costs and the once again ignored, by those served, issues!

The wars, neither Afghanistan nor Iraq, have yet been paid for. Nor
especially the now decades to come, DeJa-Vu all over again, the of
results for those sent, over and over, and the continuing under funding
the Peoples Responsibility, the Veterans Administration charged with
much more then just caring for the wounded, as those served ignore most
of those results from!!

'Cost of War' site {real and estimated costs}: "Total
US federal spending associated with the Iraq war has been $1.7 trillion
through FY2013. In addition, future health and disability payments for
veterans will total $590 billion and interest accrued to pay for the war
will add up to $3.9 trillion." 19 March 2013 © 2011 Watson Institute, Brown University

USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71

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