US president sets $750 million budget to help agencies recover from SolarWinds hack

Recap

To address the ongoing impact of the SolarWinds hack, President Biden’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year is $750 million. Meanwhile, lawmakers continue to press the government for more funding for key cyber agencies.

  US president sets $750 million budget to help agencies recover from SolarWinds hack

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President Biden’s proposed budget 2022 designates the direction of funding — adding a crack that specifically points to SolarWinds.

The SolarWinds hack, first discovered in December, involved Russian hackers exploiting a vulnerability in a software update from IT group SolarWinds to compromise at least nine federal agencies and 100 private sector organizations for spying over months.

Earlier this year, U.S. intelligence agencies formally blamed Russia for the hack, and Biden retaliated by announcing sweeping sanctions on the country shortly afterward.

A larger budget of $9.8 billion for various U.S. cybersecurity efforts is planned, rather than the $750 million budgeted.

As part of this funding, $15 million will be set aside for the newly created White House Office of the National Cyber ​​Director. Biden, who nominated former NSA deputy director Chris Inglis for the position in April, is awaiting a Senate nomination hearing.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) received a proposed budget of $2.1 billion for 2022, an increase of $110 million from the previous year. Earlier this year, part of the US Rescue Program Act provided the agency with $650 million as a supplement.

The proposed increase to the CISA budget is less than what some lawmakers have called for in letters in recent months, and more than expected.

Legislators Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) and Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) sent a letter to the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee in April, asking them to help CISA compare to last year’s budget An additional $400 million was allocated.

Lawmakers noted that CISA has taken a leading role in tackling new vulnerabilities in SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange Server that allow Chinese hackers to potentially compromise thousands of organizations.

“While CISA is currently performing critical functions, the agency needs to do more to build meaningful security in federal networks and the nation’s resilience to major cyber incidents,” they wrote.

House Homeland Security Committee ranking member John Carter (R-N.Y.) also strongly supported a $400 million increase in CISA’s budget, submitting a budget proposal earlier this month to provide the agency with the next fiscal year. $2.5 million.

After formally unveiling the detailed budget on Friday, Senator Maggie Hassan sent a letter Friday to Managing Acting and Office of Budget Director Shalanda Young expressing views including: Under the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency system, the budget is “basically flat”.

“I am concerned that the fixed budget of the Department of Homeland Security will not provide sufficient resources to address the growing threats to cybersecurity, border security and scrutiny, and violent extremism facing the United States,” Hassan wrote to Shalanda Young, specifically pointing to the SolarWinds hack and other recent major cyber attacks.

Mark Montgomery, a senior adviser to the Cyberspace Solarium Council and a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy, told The Hill on Friday that the budget’s numbers need to be looked at carefully.

“There’s some other stuff in there that’s palliative, but at its core, CISA is the agency that drives federal IT cybersecurity and needs to be resourced effectively,” Montgomery said.

 

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