The Trump administration on Monday delivered a budget proposal to Congress that includes $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021 in cyber security funds for the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to protect federal civilian networks, about $250 million less than Congress provided in FY ’20.
The request includes $801.7 million for cyber security-related operations and support and $265.5 million for the procurement account. The requests in both categories reflect declines from the $947.3 million and $379.4 million, respectively, in FY ’20.
Most of the operational and procurement funding is for two programs that aimed at preventing and mitigating cyber security threats to federal networks, the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program and the National Cybersecurity Protection System, which is better known as EINSTEIN.
The request for CISA’s cyber security efforts is part of the overall DHS budget proposal for $49.8 billion, $1.4 billion or nearly 3 percent less than provided in FY ’20 in net discretionary spending. The budget proposes increases for border security, including $2 billion toward construction of physical barriers on the southwest border, immigration enforcement, and Coast Guard operations.
The administration is seeking fewer funds for the Transportation and Security Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Science and Technology Directorate, and the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office.
The White House is also proposing to transfer the U.S. Secret Service to the Department of Treasury, which is where it was organized prior to the stand up of DHS in March 2003.
The administration’s budget request comes the same day the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) released a new counterintelligence strategy that focuses on the areas where foreign intelligence agencies are targeting the U.S.
The five focus areas in the National Counterintelligence Strategy of the United States of America 2020-2022 include the need to protect critical infrastructure, reduce threats to supply chains, counter the exploitation of the economy, defend democracy against foreign influence, and counter foreign intelligence cyber and technical operations.
“Today’s strategy represents a paradigm shift in addressing foreign intelligence threats as a nation,” William Evanina, director of the NCSC, said in a statement. “While past counterintelligence strategies categorized the threat by our top foreign nation-states adversaries, this one focuses on five key areas where foreign intelligence entities are hitting us the hardest and where we need to devote greater attention—critical infrastructure, key U.S. supply chains, the U.S. economy, American democratic institutions, and cyber and technical operations.”
Evanina added that “With the private sector and democratic institutions increasingly under attack, this is no longer a problem the U.S. government can address alone. It requires a whole-of-society response involving the private sector, an informed American public, as well as our allies.”
The NCSC is part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The strategy says that the number threat actors is growing beyond nation states such as Russia, China, Iran, Cuba and North Korea, and non-states such as Hizballah, the Islamic State, and al-Qaeda, to include “hacktivists, leaktivists and those with no formal ties to foreign intelligence services.”
The tools being used by threat actors include cyber, biometric devices, high-resolution imagery, technical surveillance equipment, advanced encryption and big data analytics, the 20-page strategy says.
The strategy was signed by President Trump on Jan. 7.