The president’s budget request calls for the Department of Defense to spend nearly the same amount of money on cyber activities in 2021 as it did in 2020.
The budget, released Feb. 10, recommends $9.8 billion for fiscal year 2021 on cyber activities as compared to a $9.6 billion request in fiscal year 2020.
According to budget documents, the request includes:
♦ $5.4 billion for cybersecurity. This would cover capabilities to reduce risk to networks, systems and information. Within this request are $678 million for cryptology modernization and next generation platforms, $296.2 million for securing points of information and sharing and $198.5 million for Operationalizing Identity and Credential Access Management (ICAM) modernization. It also includes $67.2 million for operationalizing Comply to Connect (C2C) and Automated Continuous Endpoint Monitoring (ACEM) and $69.8 million for critical infrastructure. Comply 2 Connect is a framework of tools and technologies aimed at improving cybersecurity efficiency across the department.
♦ $3.8 billion for operations. This money would covers offensive and defensive operations. This request also includes $431.6 million for continuing “hunt forward” missions with partners overseas — which provides U.S. Cyber Command unique insights into adversary malware and tactics that could be used against U.S. systems — $238.6 million for capability development and $460.4 million for DoD mission assurance activities aimed at reducing vulnerabilities. Additionally, another $2.2 billion was requested under this section to support the cyber mission force, Cyber Command’s 133 team cadre of cyber warriors from across the services that conduct offensive and defensive operations. This number is also the same as the amount requested in Fiscal Year 2020.
♦ $556 million for science and technology, which seeks to advance cyber operations as well as operation and sustainment of cyber ranges.
For weapon system spending, the documents indicate a total request — base budget and overseas contingency budget — of $2.98 billion.
Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.