Cybersecurity Spending Across Federal Agencies

Rolling AnalysisCybersecurity Spending Across Federal Agencies$17.4 billion is likely just the tip of the spending iceberg.

Budget & Tax, National Security,  | Analysis
Mar 19, 2019  | 2 min read | Print Article

President Trump’s FY20 budget request includes $17.44 billion for cybersecurity-related activities of the federal government, an increase of $790 million (4.7 percent) above the FY19 estimated levels. Because some cyber funding is classified, this amount does not represent the entire U.S. cybersecurity budget.

The Defense Department makes up the largest share of the total cybersecurity spending, at $9.6 billion accounting for more than 55 percent in this year’s budget. It also represents the agency with the largest proposed funding increase – both in dollars and as a percentage increase over current levels – growing by over $900 million, or more than 10 percent. This funding includes such things as the Pentagon’s efforts to defeat enemy cyber attacks against U.S. forces and the military’s abilities to conduct cyber warfare against existing and potential adversaries.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cybersecurity budget is a distant second at $1.9 billion. DHS is the lead federal agency charged with securing the federal government’s civilian information technology (IT) systems against cybersecurity attacks and sharing cybersecurity information with state and local governments. Yet the DHS cybersecurity FY20 budget request is actually about $2 million below current estimates.

As we noted in an earlier post on the DHS request, one new program this year is the Cyber Talent Management System initiative, which uses new exemptions from certain federal hiring and compensation rules for DHS’s cyber workforce in order to make the agency more competitive with the private sector. Under the new initiative DHS plans to hire at least 150 new cybersecurity workers in 2020.

The FY20 DHS request also marks the first year of funding for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which was created from the former National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) in November 2018. CISA coordinates across all levels of government and with the private sector to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure from physical and cyber threats. The request includes $3.2 billion for CISA in FY 2020, a decrease of roughly $180 million from the FY 2019 budget for NPPD.

The following doughnut chart provides a basic breakout of the major areas of total federal cybersecurity spending. (You can click on the image to zoom in.)