The US Government's cyber security initiative is controlled by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Within DHS is the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), which conducts and supports research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E). DHS reported that in 2020, there were over $4 billion in cybercrime losses. Where is the US Government putting its budget when it comes to cyber defense?
If we include the Department of Energy (DOE), which has made cyber security a top priority, we can build a picture of budget allocations. The 2021 National Defense Authorization Act was created to manage and set the US cyber strategy. However, the source of funds for cyber defense comes from the Cyber Enforcement Budget.
For the $4.4 billion 2022 budget, allocations are as follows:
- $4.3 billion for the Defense Department’s (DOD) cyber operations
- The remaining budget is spread across 16 other agencies
Outside of the Cyber Enforcement Budget is the President's proposed budget of $9.8 billion. This will be allocated to civilian cybersecurity activities. About $4.9 billion will go to protecting and improving federal IT systems and networks. The remaining budget will be distributed throughout the private sector and local/state governments.
The President's proposed budget will also help create and make operational new entities such as:
- Office of the National Cyber Director
- Cyber Response and Recovery Fund
- Joint Cyber Planning Office
Cyber grants are a large part of the proposed budget, with 7.5% allocated to grants. Some of these grants will go to state and local governments to help their cyber defense initiatives.
If we look at government agency cyber security spending from 2020 to 2021, we can see a lot of moving around as budgets decreased in some agencies while increasing in others. Notable standouts on the decreasing side were (in millions of dollars):
- Department of Commerce: 514.3 to 378.1
- Department of Veterans Affairs: 524.6 to 460.4
- National Science Foundation: 226.3 to 212
Notable spending increases included:
- Department of Energy 550.4 to 665.6
- Department of Health & Human Services: 475.7 to 519.4
- Department of State: 405.8 to 488.6