Federal budget recommends US-CERT get $242 million

The White House unveiled its fiscal 2009 budget proposal and the $3.1 trillion monstrosity throws the U.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

The White House unveiled its fiscal 2009 budget proposal and the $3.1 trillion monstrosity throws the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team $242 million to boost its malware and intrusion detection capabilities.

According to the proposed budget released on Monday, "a more robust US-CERT will increase the cyber security posture of the Federal Government and help ensure our networks are protected."

Beefing up US-CERT is a welcome development, but it's unclear whether the funding will actually arrive. Typically, the White House tosses out budget recommendations and then the haggling begins--and then never really ends.

US-CERT is lumped into the Department of Homeland Security's budget, which in President Bush's budget is targeted for an 11 percent increase. Bush proposed that the DHS get roughly $6.68 billion in new funding with much of that sum going to a government-wide effort to protect networks. How much of that tally goes to improving cybersecurity is classified. The fiscal 2009 budget recommends the DHS get $50.5 billion in funding.

Among some of the notable bullet points highlighted by the DHS:


  • $100 million: The sum requested for the DHS' E-Verify program--an automated system to verify name, date of birth and Social Security Number along with any immigration information. This system would cross-check information against other federal databases.
  • $293.5 million: Sum allocated to the National Cyber Security Division. The goal: "Further deploy our EINSTEIN system on Federal networks to protect against cyber threats and intrusions." The US-CERT funding is lumped in this one.
  • $23.8 million: Total requested to consolidate 17 of the DHS's legacy data centers to two enterprise-wide data centers. "This consolidation will result in improved cyber security, information sharing and configuration management," according to the DHS.

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