US requests $5b in extra funding to bolster cybercrime defences

US President Barack Obama’s defence agency is ramping up its efforts to fight cyber crime by requesting a $5 billion package of extra funding for the upcoming year of activities.

IT Security Guru quotes a US Department of Defence budget request that reveals the department’s total budget of $496 billion is remaining static from 2013 to 2014 but the amount being set aside for cyber fighting is on track to increase.

Highlighted as a “key threat area”, the aim is to “continue to grow and train cyber mission forces” to target all manner of different threats.

Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure, indicated that the cyber operations budget for 2015 will be 8.5 per cent larger than 2014 and this was how he arrived at the $5 billion figure above, adding, “In any case, the budget for cyber operations is huge. For comparison, I believe DARPA’s budget is $3 billion.”

DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is another strand to the US government’s cyber defence arsenal and is responsible for developing new technologies for use by the military.

In addition TK Keanini, CTO at Lancope, told IT Security Guru that the country’s military forces, as well as the civilian population, is growing increasingly dependent on information systems. He also stated that by the trend continuing, there will also be a significant growth in budgets to protect and secure the systems.

“The budget for cyber spend is tricky because in some cases, you are addressing shortcomings and in other cases the spend is for an advantage. In the end, if nothing bad happens then budgets will likely be cut; and if bad things happen budgets will be increased and this is the paradox we face,” Keanini said.

Fighting cyber crime is something that the UK is also taking seriously and plans are afoot to increase the training that Police receive due to a report that revealed just two per cent of Police staff across England and Wales have sufficient knowledge.