Threat Management

DHS seeks increased cybersecurity funds for 2012

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano this week campaigned before federal lawmakers in support of her agency's portion of President Obama's $3.7-trillion proposed budget.

“The demands on DHS have never been greater and the threats we face pose new challenges that require an innovative and focused response,” Napolitano said, speaking before U.S. House and Senate committees. “Today's threat picture features an adversary who evolves and adapts quickly and who is determined to strike us here at home – from the aviation system and the global supply chain to surface transportation systems, critical infrastructure and cyber networks.”

The DHS is requesting $57 billion in total funding for fiscal year 2012, which starts Oct. 1. This represents a slight increase from its $56.3 billion budget request for the current fiscal year.

As for cybersecurity, the DHS requested $233.6 million to expedite the deployment of Einstein 3, a program aimed at detecting and preventing intrusions on government computer systems.

The department also requested $40.9 million to conduct 66 network assessments to improve security across executive branch agencies, as well as an additional $24.5 million for cybersecurity education and training.

The request also includes $1.3 million to help the DHS coordinate with the Department of Defense and National Security Agency. This funding will support an agreement that Napolitano and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates signed last October, which formalized processes for the agencies to work together to protect U.S. networks and critical infrastructure.

An additional $18 million is earmarked for the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative to support research and development projects.

The DHS leads the federal government's efforts to secure civilian computer systems and works with industry, as well as other governments, to safeguard critical infrastructure and information systems, Napolitano said.

Specifically, the department analyzes and minimizes cyberthreats and vulnerabilities, distributes threat warnings and coordinates the response to cyberincidents.

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