Proposed Federal Budget Prioritizes Cyber Security, Zeroes In On R&D

Dan Gunderman

Last week, President Donald Trump introduced his budget proposal for the 2019 fiscal year. The measures entail a heightened focus on cyber security across the board.

Trump is requesting $3.3 billion from Congress for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) unit whose mission is to preside over federal networks and critical infrastructure.

Over $700 million would be designated for the cyber security branch of the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), according to official documents. Of that $700 million, the breakdown is as follows: $225 million to cyber readiness and response; $460 million would be earmarked for federal cyber security.

The numbers underscore the paramount importance of cyber security in an evolving threat landscape – with bad actors breathing down the necks of enterprise security teams.

The DHS, then, absorbs much of the role in spearheading the nation’s cyber security efforts.

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Perhaps most importantly, the NPPD structure may mirror similar patterns or focuses within the enterprise.

For the 2019 fiscal year, NPPD would have its research and development (R&D) budget skyrocket from $11 million to $47 million. The Trump budget siphons money from Science and Technology Directorate, but the overall impression of the outline is an intensive approach to defense efforts – including cyber security. This is something increasingly visible in private-sector budgetary efforts.

The administration’s blueprint reads: “Although the Federal Government spends roughly $90 billion annually on IT, these systems remain outdated and poorly protected.  The Administration will increase the use of modern technologies, retire highly insecure and outdated systems, and direct modernization cost savings to mission-driven outcomes. The Administration will improve its ability to identify and combat cyber security risks to agencies’ data, systems, and networks.”

With the unveiling of the Trump budget, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a document outlining its prescribed cyber security efforts.

Rick Perry DOE Budget Cyber Security

[Photo Credit: Andrew Cline /]

The document states that Secretary Rick Perry “is establishing a new Office of Cyber Security, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) at the DOE.”

The plan suggests that $96 million in funding for the office was incorporated into Trump’s FY19 budget.

In terms of format, the CESER office will be led by an Assistant Secretary whose purpose will be to focus on energy infrastructure security. He or she would also support the expanded duties given to the Department and report to the Under Secretary.

In the statement, Perry said, “DOE plays a vital role in protecting our nation’s energy infrastructure from cyber threats, physical attack and natural disaster, and as Secretary, I have no higher priority.”

He continued: “This new office best positions the Department to address the emerging threats of tomorrow while protecting the reliable flow of energy to Americans today.”

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The CESER office would expand the DOE’s focus on energy protection – to fine-tune response efforts for all kinds of threats, including cyber ones.

These habits could likely be reflected in both the public and private sectors – as small and midsize businesses (SMB) and large enterprises gear up for weightier threats that could affect their bottom lines. Much like the federal government, then, enterprises are witnessing bolstered security habits all around.

[Featured Photo Credit: Joseph Sohm /]