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US set for modest cyber budget increase despite deepening threats

16th June 2021 - 15:15 GMT | by David Walsh in Washington DC

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FY2022 funding of $605 million is proposed for US Cyber Command. (Photo: USCYBERCOM)

US cybersecurity is hardly strapped for cash — but officials in the DoD and other federal agencies had reason to hope for much more.

The FY2022 cyberspace budget request from the Biden administration, released on 28 May, showed barely any change from FY2021. Proposed funding for cyber increased by just $600 million to $10.4 billion.

Compared with the FY2021 budget under then-President Trump, the modest change in FY2022 mirrors the DoD budget request, which increased by just 1.4%. 

Overall, the Biden administration proposes $5.6 billion for cybersecurity, $4.3 billion for cyber operations, and $500 million for advanced cyber-related R&D activities.

Highlights include $750 million to remediate the damage caused by the SolarWinds hack in 2020 on US federal government computer systems, and $2.3 billion for specialised semiconductors and chip innovation. This is significant because semiconductors are ubiquitous in advanced weapons and 5G technologies.

Some $13 billion is proposed for cyberspace C4I, features of which include automation ($600 million), technology development ($3 billion), and information security and assurance ($1.6 billion). Meanwhile, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency could receive a $110 million boost to bring its budget to $1.6 billion.

Cyber-critical functions carried out by the US Space Force will receive $17.4 billion and $605 million is proposed for US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) in the FY2022 budget request.

In addition, the Biden administration aims to spend $980.9 million on modernising cryptology to lock out adversaries from next-generation mission systems and platforms, plus $315.8 million to improve information sharing across security classification domains.

However, defensive cyber operations for the US Army would receive $27.39 million in FY2022, far less than the $41.15 million enacted in FY2021.

Despite this, FY2022 spending lines show that US cybersecurity is hardly starved of ...

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