How the Biden budget goes big on cyber
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Martin Matishak March 28, 2022

How the Biden budget goes big on cyber

How the Biden budget goes big on cyber

President Joe Biden on Monday unveiled a $5.8 trillion budget request for the coming fiscal year that would increase federal spending on cybersecurity by billions of dollars.

“Cyber threats have become a top risk to delivering critical government services, and this administration is committed to addressing root cause issues and taking transformational steps to modernize federal cybersecurity,” the fiscal 2023 budget proposal states.

The proposed investments “will, in alignment with the administration’s priorities, focus on addressing root cause structural issues, promoting stronger collaboration and coordination among federal agencies, and addressing capability challenges that have impeded the government’s technology vision,” the document adds.

Here are the key cybersecurity takeaways:

  • Federal civilian agencies would receive a total of $10.9 billion for cyber efforts under the blueprint, an 11 percent increase from the amount spent in the current fiscal year.
  • The White House proposal asks Congress to provide $2.5 billion for the Homeland Security Department’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a boost of roughly $500 million. It also includes $425 million for the department’s Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program.
  • The Justice Department’s National Security Division would get $133.5 million, an increase of roughly $13 million. The proposal would provide the FBI an additional $52 million to carry out digital investigations and $37 million for the bureau to defend its own systems.
  • Biden requested $300 million for the government’s Technology Modernization Fund.
  • The Budget would provide $215 million to protect and defend sensitive Treasury Department systems and information, including those designated as high-value assets.
  • The Office of the National Cyber Director, which received $21 million in startup funds from last year’s massive infrastructure bill, would receive $21.9 million.
  • Apart from federal civilian agencies, Biden asks for $11.2 billion for the Defense Department’s “cyberspace activities,” an increase from the $10.4 billion sought for such work in the ongoing fiscal year.

The request and its proposed funding levels now goes to Capitol Hill, where lawmakers will use it as a jumping off point to write their own spending bills, potentially ignoring some, or all, of Biden’s wishlist.

Martin is a senior cybersecurity reporter for The Record. He spent the last five years at Politico, where he covered Congress, the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community and was a driving force behind the publication's cybersecurity newsletter.