Cyber winners in the fiscal 2013 budget

Though Pentagon planners are committed to making some hard line-item choices in their budgets in the coming years, they got it right when it came to accelerating the funding for cyber defense in fiscal year 2014 so it at least can have a fighting chance of keeping pace with technical, IT developments in the commercial and consumer world.

“Cyber investments will grow in response to emerging threats in cyberspace,” the budget document states. “Teams of cyber experts—including defensive, intelligence and analytical—will defend the nation, as well as DOD infrastructure, by conducting reconnaissance, surveillance, development, maintenance and analysis.”

The U.S. Cyber Command will see a boost in funding, as will each of the military service’s various cyber commands. USCYBER will receive a newly built Joint Operations Center, construction of which should be finished in 2017.

Cyber intelligence sharing is getting the attention it needs through funding of the National Security Council’s Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Five, which seeks to connect cybersecurity centers and other cybersecurity analytics electronically and in real time.

Last fiscal year’s allocation of $4 billion for U.S. military cyber activities rises to almost $5 billion for fiscal 2014. Development and application of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities receive $2.5 billion in the fiscal 2014 budget, while space activities—including both satellites and rocket launchers—receive $10 billion. Cyber research is up across the board, not including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), with allocations increasing by as much as three times in some instances.

Cyber research at DARPA will benefit as well, as the agency is allotted a two-percent budget increase for the work it does to secure wireless networks and other activities related to secure communications. Increased funding will also go to continued development of DARPA’s National Cyber Range, which is designed to realistically and quickly replicate globally interconnected networks to securely test new cyber tools and capabilities. The Cyber Range project transitioned late last year to the Test Resource Management Center under the deputy assistant secretary of defense for developmental test and evaluation.

That said, DARPA will take a hit to important cyber development programs as a result of sequestration, as will other military organizations. DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar said in a press briefing in late April that her agency’s Project X cyber warfare research program, for example, has already been adversely impacted by funding cuts and potential employee furloughs.

About the Author

Barry Rosenberg is editor-in-chief of Defense Systems. Follow him on Twitter: @BarryDefense.

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