Budget, Partner and Bill Proposals Seek Increase Cybersecurity Defenses [Weekly Cybersecurity Brief]

In the wake of a series of cyberattacks, many organizations continue to grapple with how best to respond and prevent future incidents from either having such crippling effects or occurring all together. Of those organizations are the Department of Energy and Department of Defense which have both proposed measures to increase the cybersecurity force.

CNBC reported that the Department of Energy has included $201 million in its 2022 budget request submitted to congress. This is an increase from the $157 million that was previously requested for the 2021 budget. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm explained that the money would go toward fulfilling various cybersecurity needs such as upgrading software, expanding the cybersecurity workforce and the formation of improved cyber policies and standards. Referencing the impact of Colonial Pipeline attack as an example, Granholm added that it is necessary to utilize such resources to better the understanding of issues within the private sector. “I will say that it is clear that there are gaps, not so much in our ability internally to respond but in our ability to see what is happening in the private sector,” she said. 

The Department of Defense is also looking to enhance its cybersecurity force. During a recent interview at the Defense One Tech Summit, Deputy Assistant of Defense for Cyber Policy Mieke Eoyang said that the DOD wants to help in expanding its partner contractors’ cybersecurity practices and abilities. As she described, “…we are trying to figure out how to make it easier for [contractors] to understand what kinds of better security practices are out there and what they can do to protect themselves.” Through such support, it is the department’s hope that partners, no matter the size, can become more “resilient” allowing it to focus more on addressing its larger concerns such as cybersecurity adversaries. Eoyang also recommended that the private sector work with the DOD to provide a more thorough understanding of the innovations and challenges shaping their approaches to cybersecurity.

In addition to the Department of Energy and Department of Defense, the Senate is also seeking once again to grow cybersecurity reach. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) have proposed a new bill, the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Expansion Act, to address the government’s cybersecurity workforce shortage. The act is based around apprenticeship programs that would be offered through the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and Department of Veterans Affairs. “In order to bolster our cyber defenses and protect our critical infrastructure, we need to increase the number of cybersecurity professionals in the federal government,” Hassan said. This proposal follows another bill that was previously introduced which would allow cybersecurity experts to transition through different federal agency positions.

 

Key Takeaways:

“Department of Energy asks Congress for $201 million to bolster cybersecurity in wake of attacks” – Amanda Macias, CNBC

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/24/energy-wants-201-million-to-bolster-cybersecurity-in-wake-of-attacks.html

  • The Department of Energy has included $201 million in its 2022 budget request submitted to congress.
  • This is an increase from the $157 million that was previously requested for the 2021 budget.
  • Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm explained that the money would go toward fulfilling various cybersecurity needs such as upgrading software, expanding the cybersecurity workforce and the formation of improved cyber policies and standards.

“DOD Wants Partners to Up Their Cybersecurity Game, Official Says” – Terri Moon Cronk, DOD News

https://www.defense.gov/Explore/News/Article/Article/2672689/dod-wants-partners-to-up-their-cybersecurity-game-official-says/

  • Deputy Assistant of Defense for Cyber Policy Mieke Eoyang said that the DOD wants to help in expanding its partner contractors’ cybersecurity practices and abilities.
  • “…we are trying to figure out how to make it easier for [contractors] to understand what kinds of better security practices are out there and what they can do to protect themselves,” she said.
  • It is the department’s hope that partners, no matter the size, can become more “resilient.”

“Senators propose bill to help tackle cybersecurity workforce shortage” – Maggie Miller, The Hill

https://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/560318-senators-propose-bill-to-help-tackle-cybersecurity-workforce-shortage

  • Senators Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) have proposed a new bill, the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Expansion Act, to address the government’s cybersecurity workforce shortage.
  • The act is based around apprenticeship programs that would be offered through the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • “In order to bolster our cyber defenses and protect our critical infrastructure, we need to increase the number of cybersecurity professionals in the federal government,” Hassan said.
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