The Department of Homeland Security agency responsible for working with the federal civilian government and the private sector to protect their information networks is seeking just over $1 billion in cyber security spending in fiscal year 2020, about the same amount that Congress appropriated in FY ’19.
The budget request for procurement and operations and support is slightly lower for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) while the request for research and development spending is higher.
The operations and support (O&S) component of the CISA request makes up largest piece of the overall proposal, $760.9 million, with the procurement request totaling $243.5 million. Within the operations and support account, DHS is seeking $248.3 million in FY ’20 for the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), a round-the-clock cyber watch center, less than the $272.2 million enacted in FY ’19, which was nearly $50 million more than the department requested.
For its two tool-based cyber security programs, CISA is seeking more funding in FY ’20 for the National Cybersecurity Protection System, better known as EINSTEIN, and fewer funds for the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program, which provides software tools to federal civilian agencies to help them protect their networks. The CDM program also gives the NCCIC a dashboard to observe an integrated view of federal civilian networks.
The request for EINSTEIN for O&S is $299.9 million, up $2.6 million from the FY ’19 appropriation, as the agency looks to provide more intrusion prevention operations and support given the deployment of new capabilities, and provide support for additional cloud capabilities. In the procurement account, CISA is seeking $105.8 million for EINSTEIN versus $95.1 million in FY ’19, which was $10 million less than requested.
In budget documents release on March 18, CISA says the procurement request for EINSTEIN will allow it to “continue to build on already deployed capabilities and expand access to DHS threat information and analysis.”
EINSTEIN is an intrusion detection and prevention capability deployed on the perimeter to help protect federal civilian networks.
In the coming fiscal year, one of the key initiatives of the NCPS program will be to “begin an effort to develop a centralized authoritative Domain Name System (DNS) name resolution services for the entire Federal Civilian Executive Branch (FCEB),” according to the budget documents.” DNS is critical for communication over the Internet and if malware is planted inside a network, to pilfer data it has to exfiltrate it through DNS.
“A centralized DNS security service will provide insights into threat activity across the government by giving CISA cyber visibility into all DNS requests across the FCEB,” the agency says.
For the CDM program, CISA seeks $94.5 million in O&S funding, about $20 million less than the $115.9 million provided in FY ’19. The agency says that the program’s acquisition life-cycle cost estimates are higher and it is transferring some funding to support the Cybersecurity Technology Initiative within the Cyber Infrastructure Resilience portion of the O&S account.
For procurement, CISA is requesting $137.6 million for CDM versus $160 million provided in FY ’19. CISA says the requested funding will give it resources to close the agency’s gaps in asset management, add new agencies, expand data protection management capabilities, and support and enhance federal and agency dashboard capabilities to provide increased functionality.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Monday delivered her State of Homeland Security address, saying that securing cyberspace and critical infrastructure remains one of the key goals in a new DHS strategic plan.