Biden commits US$9bn to addressing cybersecurity "crisis"

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 19 January, 2021

Biden commits US$9bn to addressing cybersecurity "crisis"

Incoming US president Joe Biden has proposed to commit US$9 billion ($11.71 billion) towards modernising ICT in use in federal government as part of a massive US$1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

The President-elect’s American Rescue Plan calls on Congress to expand and improve the existing Technology Modernization Fund. The expanded funds would be used to help the US Cyber and Information Security Agency (CISA) and the General Services Administration (GSA) to launch new IT and cybersecurity shared services and complete modernisation projects at several agencies.

The proposed package also includes $200 million towards the hiring of hundreds of security experts to support the US Federal CISO and US Digital Service, $300 million for Technology Transformation Services within the GSA, and $690 million to improve security monitoring and incident response activities across federal civilian networks.

“In addition to the COVID-19 crisis, we also face a crisis when it comes to the nation’s cybersecurity,” the plan states.

“The recent cybersecurity breaches of federal government data systems underscore the importance and urgency of strengthening US cybersecurity capabilities. President-elect Biden is calling on Congress to launch the most ambitious effort ever to modernise and secure federal IT and networks.”

The plan has been developed in the wake of revelations that US government networks had been compromised in a breach involving the use of compromised network management software from SolarWinds, in an attack widely believed to have been orchestrated by the Russian Government.

It has also been designed to address security risks surrounding the COVID-19 vaccination process in the nation, the plan states.

The incoming Biden administration has also named Anne Neuberger as Deputy National Security Adviser for Cyber Security in the first wave of appointments by the President-elect.

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