By Lloyd McCoy Jr.
Marketing Intelligence Manager
immixGroup (an Arrow company)
The recent FY17 White House budget request reveals an administration pulling out all the stops to address growing cybersecurity threats. The $19 billion cybersecurity budget request represents a 35 percent increase over FY16, with particular emphasis on fortifying federal government networks and developing a professional cadre of cyber defenders. We’ve already seen an alphabet soup of initiatives coming out of the White House like the Cybersecurity National Action Plan and the Cybersecurity Strategy and Implementation Plan, all aimed at helping agencies identify cybersecurity gaps and systems needing prioritized protection. So what does all of this mean for tech companies? What opportunities can we expect?
Here are some priorities reflected in the President’s FY17 budget request that help us identify the direction of cybersecurity funding…
For the civilian sector, one of the biggest priorities is protection of critical infrastructure and the .gov domain, both under the Department of Homeland Security. With yearly rises in the number, size, and effects of cyber attacks on our critical infrastructure, the government is going to need industry’s help in uncovering vulnerabilities and fortifying defenses for systems, many of them designed before the advent of the Internet.
Additionally, some of the biggest federal cybersecurity contracts involve protection of civilian federal networks, with a big focus this year on insider threats (identity and access management in particular) and advanced persistent threats.
The Department of Defense has about $7 billion of the $19 billion in cybersecurity funding under the proposed budget, a 16 percent increase over what the agency received last year. Its biggest priority will be making its inventory less vulnerable and ensuring cybersecurity is built into its ongoing infrastructure modernization initiatives like mobility and cloud adoption, as well as network overhauls.
DOD also wants to better integrate cybersecurity into what it does best: warfighting. Many of the command and control systems that coordinate and manage everything from aircraft to missiles were designed decades ago when cybersecurity was not a concern. The military will be looking to vendors to help identify where vulnerabilities exist and incorporate predictive analytics in cyber defense. Cybersecurity vendors also specializing in automated technologies should take note that DOD sees automation as critical in dealing with rising cyber threats with limited resources.
Cybersecurity remains the highest priority across the federal government through FY16 and into FY17. In the wake of the Office of Personnel Management breach, there’s a sense of urgency and agencies are looking for industry’s help in plugging leaks and identifying vulnerabilities. And as agencies struggle to replace legacy and antiquated equipment, they want cybersecurity built into their modernization plans from the start.
BIO Lloyd McCoy Jr. is a Market Intelligence Manager with immixGroup (an Arrow company), which helps technology companies do business with the government. Lloyd focuses on Defense Department agencies and public sector cybersecurity. He can be reached at Lloyd_McCoy@immixgroup.com or connect with him on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/lloydmccoy.