Trump Seeks $967M for FY 2018 DHS Cybersecurity Operations

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By Jimmy H. Koo and Daniel R. Stoller

President Donald Trump May 23 requested $967 million to tackle cybersecurity issues that impact the government and U.S. companies in his fiscal 2018 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security

The cybersecurity request is part of a $44.1 billion request for the department, approximately 4 percent more than it received in fiscal 2017.

The cybersecurity funding is sought for three main National Protection and Programs Directorate areas: $721 million for cybersecurity operations and support; $241 million for procurement, construction, and improvements; and $5 million for research and development.

In a May 23 statement, DHS said “cybersecurity remains a critical mission” for the department and the budget request would fund “both ongoing and new cybersecurity initiatives.”

Samir C. Jain, Washington-based cybersecurity partner at Jones Day and a former senior director for cybersecurity policy for the National Security Council at the White House, told Bloomberg BNA May 23 that cybersecurity is an area “with significant bipartisan agreement.”

The cybersecurity goals that the Trump administration has laid out, including in a May 11 cybersecurity executive order, “will require sustained investment to modernize technologies,” Jain said.

Norma M. Krayem, senior policy adviser at Holland & Knight LLP in Washington and co-chair of the firm’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Team, told Bloomberg BNA that given the executive order and the global impact of the WannaCry ransomware attack, “it’s clear that cyber is an imperative that has to be addressed.” The inclusion of new cybersecurity funding in the FY 2018 budget request is telling in an environment where many other programs were proposed for cuts, she said.

The federal government’s FY 2018 begins Oct. 1.

Trump’s recent cybersecurity executive order called on the government to support owners and operators of critical infrastructure. Trump said his objective was to use the executive branch to “support the cybersecurity risk management efforts of the owners and operators” of critical infrastructure.

Other DHS Initiatives

Funding for DHS in fiscal 2016 was just over $48 billion, according to Bloomberg Government data. The omnibus FY 2017 budget provided 42.4 billion for DHS spending.

Veronique de Rugy, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at the George Mason University, told Bloomberg BNA May 23 that the DHS budget request allocates a “significant amount” of money for border security operations.

The DHS FY 2018 budget request also includes:

  •  $4.8 billion for enforcement, detention, transportation and removal of illegal immigrants;
  •  $2.7 billion for “multi-layered border security, including targeted construction of a wall along the highest-risk areas of the southern border";
  •  $376 million for training 500 new Border Patrol agents and 1,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement law enforcement personnel; and
  •  $354 million to support biometric initiatives to help accurately identify those individuals and the expansion of the E-Verify employment eligibility electronic verification program.

Allocations sought for other components of DHS include:

  •  $15.5 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency;
  •  $10.6 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard; and
  •  $7.5 billion for the Transportation Security Administration.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jimmy H. Koo in Washington at jkoo@bna.com and Daniel R. Stoller in Washington at dStoller@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald Aplin at daplin@bna.com

For More Information

Full text of the DHS budget request is available at http://src.bna.com/o8o

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