FY14 Budgets Highlighs Cybersecurity Opportunities within DoD

Lloyd McCoy Jr., Senior Analyst

As you’ve heard from Mohamad’s blog post, the FY14 budget calls for the Department of Defense (DoD) to spend approximately $5 billion for cyberspace operations, up 20% from FY12. In an era of declining budgets and workforce cuts, there is bipartisan support for more cybersecurity spending which is good news for the technology industry.

Since the budget request’s release on April 10, we now know more about the government’s cybersecurity plans in the next fiscal year. The FY14 budget reorganizes some existing Pentagon cyber assets into teams specializing in critical infrastructure protection, cyber defense, and cyber offensive operations. These units, scheduled to become operational this year, will operate under U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM). The move reflects growing concern about our cyber vulnerabilities and seeks to correct a previously disjointed approach to cybersecurity. Furthermore, increased staffing and support for USCYBERCOM is a major step forward in its path to becoming a Unified Command which would give it greater authority and responsibility. These efforts coincide with Administration efforts to increase the overall size of the cyber workforce. USCYBERCOM has traditionally had the mission of directing cyberspace operations and offering guidance, but is granted no funding authority, and with increases in cyber budgets and more focus being placed on cybersecurity, funding may start to flow through USCYBERCOM within the next year or so.

What does this mean for you? Besides there being more personnel devoted to cybersecurity and a more unified cyber strategy, expect increased spending on tools that detect weaknesses on classified and unclassified networks, and solutions which both defend our critical networks and proactively respond to threats in kind.

In addition to these tools, information sharing is another growth area within the DoD cybersecurity budget. The White House calls for increased funding in establishing an all-inclusive cybersecurity information-sharing system. Some components of this plan include:

  • Manage the Federal Enterprise Network as a single network enterprise with Trusted Internet Connections
  • Deploy an intrusion detection system of sensors across the federal enterprise
  • Pursue deployment of intrusion prevention systems across the federal enterprise
  • Connect current cyber operations centers to enhance situational awareness

We do not expect the cybersecurity budget to drop off in the near future meaning opportunities will abound. Furthermore, due to the embryonic state of DoD’s cyber workforce and infrastructure, DoD officials are looking to industry for ideas and guidance. See this is a chance for industry to help shape future buying decisions. The budget request still needs to get past Congress in order to become law. Neither the House nor Senate, however, has shown an appetite for cutting cybersecurity spending. Therefore, while some details of the President’s request will change you can be sure there will be more opportunities in cybersecurity programs than in previous years.

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