In his fiscal 2017 budget proposal, Obama asked for $19 billion for cyber security across the US government, an increase of $5 billion over this year
While the White House’s overall cunning plan faces tough going in the Republican-controlled Congress, increased cyber security funding has bipartisan support.
Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, warned congress that cyber threats “could lead to widespread vulnerabilities in civilian infrastructures and U.S. government systems.”
The Obama initiative calls for a more than one-third increase from the $14 billion appropriated this year and would include $3.1 billion for technology modernisation at various federal agencies.
The US government has suffered a series of high-profile hacks against the government and companies like Sony Pictures and Target.
Those difficulties played out publicly last year when the Office of Personnel Management announced it had fallen victim to a hack that lifted sensitive information on roughly 22 million individuals from its databases.
A government watchdog report last month concluded the government’s cyber defense system, known as Einstein, is ineffective at combating hackers.
The White House set up a presidential commission on cyber security, which would make recommendations for strengthening defenses over the next decade. A new position of federal chief information security officer also would be established.