President Barack Obama today unveiled the White House's proposal for the next fiscal year's cybersecurity budget. The administration is asking for billions in increases to improve cybersecurity and overhaul federal IT systems, as it plans on establishing new programs for both the government and general public.
35 percent increase over previous budget for cybersecurity
The next fiscal year's budget, according to a statement from the White House, requests $19 billion for federal cybersecurity initiatives, a 35 percent increase over the previous fiscal year. "The President believes that meeting these new threats is necessary and within our grasp," the statement says. "But it requires a bold reassessment of the way we approach security in the digital age."
Specifically, the White House's Cybersecurity National Action Plan lays out a path to create a Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. The commission, which the White House says will be composed of experts from outside the government, will offer recommendations on how best to improve cybersecurity for both the government and the public. The White House also says it will begin a campaign to educate the public on security issues, partnering with companies like Google and Facebook to ensure tools like multi-factor authentication are used.
Also included in the cybersecurity budget is a $3.1 billion Information Technology Modernization Fund, which the White House says will be used to overhaul the federal government's IT systems. A new position, Federal Chief Information Security Officer, will be created to oversee the changes.
The expansion of funds for cybersecurity issues comes after another major year of high-profile hacks, both public and private. Last summer, the government revealed that a massive hack of the Office of Personnel Management exposed personal information on millions of government employees.
Obama has sent the full $4 trillion budget, including the cybersecurity initiative, to Congress for review.