Tucked inside the Department of Defense’s massive $750 billion budget request for fiscal 2020 is a blueprint for how the Pentagon plans to invest in new cyber capabilities.

As part of the department’s command, control, communications, computers and intelligence budget, leaders asked for $2.8 billion to improve specific cyber skillsets. That budget includes $2 billion for research and development and about $843 million in procurement funding.

In material made available March 12, Defense Department officials said the funding will focus on seven priorities. They are:

  • End point management;
  • Identity, credential, and access management (ICAM);
  • Insider threat security;
  • Secure application development;
  • Cross-domain security to include mission partner networks;
  • Supply chain risk management; and
  • Encryption.

The budget material, which was included in the booklet “Program Acquisition Costs by Weapon System,” also said the funding will help increase cyberspace war-fighting capabilities and continue the development of the Unified Platform, which is U.S. Cyber Command’s top weapons system. In additional material, leaders requested $10 million for the program for fiscal 2020. That’s the same as officials expected to request for 2020 at this time last year.

National security experts have described Unified Platform as the “cyber carrier” in which the Department of Defense’s cyberwarriors will plan and launch offensive and defensive cyber operations.

In previous years, cybersecurity was not included as a separate weapons system.

Editor in chief Mike Gruss leads Sightline Media Group's stable of news outlets, which includes Army Times, Air Force Times, C4ISRNET, Defense News, Federal Times, Marine Corps, Military Times and Navy Times.

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