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[ISN] DHS budget would double cyber spending to $769 million


By Aliya Sternstein

The Homeland Security Department nearly doubled its 2013 funding request for cybersecurity in an otherwise slimmed-down budget.

There is bipartisan support for improving computer network defenses, so the outlook may be positive for obtaining much of the proposed $769 million from Congress. The funding would go toward the National Cyber Security Division for protecting federal networks and coordinating with the private sector on safeguarding critical infrastructure systems such as utility grids.

In 2011, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asked for $459 for the division. The Infrastructure Protection and Programs Directorate, which oversees the program and other cyber-related initiatives, also would be boosted from $888.2 million in estimated spending this year to $1.2 billion in fiscal 2013. By comparison, the Pentagon has asked for only a $200 million increase over last year's $3.2 billion cyber request.

"Essential services, ranging from disaster assistance to Social Security to national defense . . . rely on a safe, secure and resilient government information and communications infrastructure," President Obama stated in his budget. "Threats to this infrastructure -- whether from criminal elements or nation-states -- continue to grow in number and sophistication, creating the potential that essential services could be degraded or interrupted, and confidential information stolen or compromised, with serious effects."


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