Defense secretary details cybersecurity investments before House Committee

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said 2017 fiscal budget prioritizes cybersecurity.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said 2017 fiscal budget prioritizes cybersecurity.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told the House Appropriations Committee that his department's request for $582.7 billion for fiscal 2017 puts a priority on funding the nation's cyberstrategy.

Carter said in his testimony that the budget invests a total of $6.7 billion in fiscal 2017 and $34.6 billion over the FYDP (Future Years Defense Program).

He went on to say the budget includes $336 million over the FYDP to support more capable network perimeter defenses, as well as $378 million to train and strengthen Department of Defense's (DoD) Cyber Protection Teams to respond to security breaches. An additional $347 million will be invested over the FYDP to help provide cyber tools and support infrastructure for the Cyber Mission Force and U.S. Cyber Command, Carter said.

"As I made clear when I released DoD's new cyber strategy last April," Carter said, "we have three missions in cyberspace – first and foremost, to defend our networks, systems, and information; second, to defend the nation and our interests from cyberattacks of significant consequence; and third, to provide options that can augment our other military systems."

Carter told the committee the money would also go toward continuing to develop, train and equip the nation's growing Cyber Mission Force and allow them to quickly respond to cyberattacks regardless of where they are stationed.

“The budget also reflects our efforts to make a fundamental shift toward a culture of accountability in cyberspace, from instituting a DoD-wide cybersecurity scorecard to monitor our progress to increasing individual knowledge about practical ways to defend against cyber intrusions,” Carter said.

President Obama is also chipping in to help bolster the nation's cyber capabilities. Earlier this month, the president announced his Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP), which drew praise for adding a $19 billion budget allotment in fiscal 2017 and for creating a Cybersecurity Commission and a Privacy Council under two Executive Orders.

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