Despite federal budget cuts, cybersecurity spending will be going up at the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security if Congress approves their fiscal year 2015 budget requests. 

Cybersecurity will get a $400 million boost at DoD, rising to $5.1 billion from the $4.7 billion requested in FY14. In its request, the department refers to cybersecurity funding as “cyberspace operations.” It includes funding for defensive and offensive operations at Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) and elsewhere, information assurance of DoD’s networks and research and development as well as contributions from the individual services toward cybersecurity, DoD Comptroller Bob Hale said at a press briefing on March 4.

Hale said there is no set of specific program elements leading to the $5.1 billion figure, but that his office works with the Chief Information Officer to come up with an estimate.

“We’ve tried to capture all but I would say there’s a gray area here–exactly what counts with cyber. We’re doing a lot of other things that contribute,” he said.

An overview of the Pentagon’s budget request highlights several items in cyberspace operations, including continuing to construct the Joint Operations Center for CYBERCOM at Fort Meade with occupancy expected in FY ’18. The department will also reorganize and add cybersecurity personnel across the Combatant Commands.

The Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for federal civilian networks, has asked for a similar increase in cybersecurity spending for FY ’15. DHS has requested $460 million more for cybersecurity, bringing the FY ’14 request of approximately $790 million up to $1.25 billion for FY ’15.

Cyber funding increases at DHS include $8.5 million to implement a voluntary program to assist private sector firms adopting Executive Order 13636 “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity” and $1.6 million to implement President Policy Directive 21, also aimed at critical infrastructure. The budget request also sees increases to DHS’ EINSTEIN3 Accelerated (E3A) program to monitor federal networks for malicious traffic and to the Homeland Secured Data Network, which helps the department to communicate securely with its state and local partners.

Despite the overall increase, DHS has cut funding for several cyber programs. The department is reducing the amount requested for acquisition of cyber tools to bring acquisition funding in line with the reduced life cycle costs. It will also reduce funding for cyber exercises and assessments performed by the U.S. Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT) in favor of higher priority threats.