Industry Experts Laud Biden Proposal for Increased Federal Cybersecurity Spending

The plan includes increasing Cyber Security and Information Security Agency (CISA) funding.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

January 22, 2021

4 Min Read
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President Biden’s proposal to beef up federal cybersecurity spending is getting high marks from cybersecurity industry experts.

The federal cybersecurity spending proposal includes allocating $9 billion to enhance the work of the Cyber Security and Information Security Agency (CISA). It also would fund a wider security upgrade across the federal government.

It aims to help remediate the impact of the massive SolarWinds breach, as well as to bolster the nation’s defenses around the COVID-19 vaccine process.

Biden is proposing to invest $300 million to build new secure technology programs at the GSA. In addition, there’s $200 million to increase recruitment of new cybersecurity technology and engineering expertise.

Furthermore, there $690 million to improve security monitoring and incident response across the government.

Attackers Likely Planning More Attacks

Stephen Moore is Exabeam‘s vice president and chief security strategist.


Exabeam’s Stephen Moore

“In the coming months and beyond, attackers will likely increase efforts to compromise legitimate U.S.-based IaaS accounts and associated environments to launch new attacks,” he said. “President Biden’s new proposal of a funding injection to shore up the U.S.’s cybersecurity capabilities should hopefully allow our country to better remediate some of the issues in improving security monitoring and incident response across the government.”

Yaniv Bar-Dayan is CEO and co-founder of Vulcan Cyber.

“Global leaders have long been focused on economy, health care and the environment, but 2021 is different,” he said.

The World Economic Forum recently added cybersecurity failures to its list of global risks, Bar-Dayan said.

The SolarWinds hack was a “very loud wake-up call, but it wasn’t the first,” he said.


Vulcan Cyber’s Yaniv Bar-Dayan

“If there is any good that comes from these most recent cybersecurity failures it is that the highest levels of government are upping the ante in response,” Bar-Dayan said. “But as crazy as it might sound, $9 billion really is just a start. We need to be in a position where we actively defend and protect first, instead of being forced to respond to the latest failure. This is modern-day warfare fought on a new and very different battlefield. To win the war, we need to do more than just spend money.”

Improvements Needed Across All Government IT

Dirk Schrader is global vice president at Net New Technologies (NTT).

“Seeing investments in these initiatives is a good sign in itself and follows up on statements made earlier by the Biden administration,” he said.

Security monitoring and incident response should be part of the investment plan, Schrader said.

Chris Morales is head of security analytics at Vectra. He said the federal government needs to increase federal cybersecurity spending.


Vectra’s Chris Morales

“From the level of activity I already see occurring in appointing people to immediately address cybersecurity issues and acknowledgement of the current threat landscape, it does look like things are starting in the right direction from day one,” he said. “The previous administration was dismissive of much of the policy and need. I’m sure there is a lot of work and long road ahead for those about dive in. At least there is now both the funding and the people to make something happen.”

Cyber Threats Now a Priority

Hank Schless is senior manager of security solutions at Lookout. He said significant investment in cybersecurity like this signals that cyberthreats are now a priority.

“This makes sense because the threat landscape is rapidly evolving, and is having serious impacts on both public- and private-sector organizations,” he said. “The technology we use on a daily basis has evolved more quickly than many cybersecurity strategies. For that reason, securing infrastructure hasn’t been able to keep up. Both the public and private sector are relying heavily on smartphones and tablets to get work done away from their physical office spaces.”

With cloud-based services, users expect to work from anywhere and on any device, Schless said.

Just a few years ago, mobile devices didn’t have nearly as much access to sensitive data, he said. And some federal agencies allow employees to use personal devices for work. That could introduce additional threats into their infrastructure.

Douglas Murray is CEO of Valtix. He’s pleased to see the new administration acting quickly on this “urgent and pervasive issue.”

“Cybersecurity and recent attacks, including SolarWinds, are front of mind and a clear priority for government and enterprises alike,” he said. Moreover, “these attacks represent a clear threat to critical U.S. infrastructure and our economy.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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