White House

Cybersecurity budget up 5 percent in 2020, White House says

The total request of $17.4 billion for fiscal 2020 compares with $16.6 billion the administration sought in 2019

Copies of President Donald Trump’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020 are prepared for distribution at the Government Publishing Office in Washington on March 7, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House is seeking a 4.7 percent boost in cybersecurity spending across all federal agencies for fiscal year 2020 with the Pentagon and the State Department getting the largest increases, according to details of the request released this week.

The total request of $17.4 billion for fiscal 2020 compares with $16.6 billion the administration sought in 2019. The Pentagon is seeking $9.6 billion or a 10.4 percent increase, and State is seeking $400 million or a 10.2 percent increase. The Justice Department is asking for a 7 percent increase in fiscal year 2020 for a total of $881 million.

The White House said that some elements of the larger federal budget for cybersecurity remained classified because of the sensitive nature of the activities involved.

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In 2018 the Trump administration released a National Cybersecurity Strategy and President Donald Trump also authorized the U.S. Cyber Command to more actively push back against attempts by Russia and other countries to interfere in American elections.

In fiscal 2019 the Trump administration sought an 11 percent increase in cybersecurity spending compared with the year before. While federal spending on cybersecurity has steadily grown, state and local governments continue to struggle to fund such programs, the White House said.

Citing the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s National Preparedness Report, the White House said 82 percent of states said they considered cybersecurity to be a high priority but only 13 percent rated themselves as proficient.

The White House also cited industry forecasts prepared by Gartner Inc. to indicate that U.S. private sector spending on cybersecurity probably rose 8.7 percent in fiscal 2019 to $124 billion, far outstripping federal spending on cybersecurity. Citing another estimate by International Data Corp., the White House said spending on cybersecurity is likely to grow at a faster pace than the increase in spending on overall information technology.

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