recommended reading

Pentagon to Ask for More Cyber Spending in Next Budget

Defense Department

The Pentagon's cyber budget will get a boost as part of the department's fiscal 2015 budget request, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday.

"We are adjusting our asset base and our new technology," the Pentagon's top official said, adding that the department will increase spending to help improve its cyber capabilities, including a larger focus on cyber security, intelligence gathering, and reconnaissance.

The department's budget request will be released March 4, as part of the Obama administration's budget, and the secretary is expected to offer a preview Monday. Hagel and other top Defense officials have largely sidestepped questions about what spending they are asking to have increased—or what programs to cut.

"Of course, it's going to shift the proprieties and the balance of forces, and where you invest your money to be able to ensure readiness for your forces, capability, … and capacity," Hagel said.

The Defense Department, he said, is in a time of transition, dealing with a budget crunch and adjusting its focus as it wraps up major U.S. troop involvement in two wars.

Officials previously said they would request $542 billion for the upcoming fiscal year, but December's budget agreement put base spending for the Pentagon at about $498 billion.

Funding aside, the department's increased focus on cyber doesn't come without its own road bumps, Hagel said.

"One of the complications we have is there's a line … between the private sector and the Defense Department," the secretary said, while acknowledging that the department already has a "tremendous capacity" to deal with the growing cyber threat.

It's not the first time Hagel has sounded the alarm on DOD's increased focus on cyber, and he's not alone. Defense officials called cyberattacks the greatest threat to national security in a Defense News Leadership poll released earlier this year.

And FBI Director James Comey, then-acting Homeland Security Secretary Rand Beers, and Matthew Olsen, the director the National Counterterrorism Center, pressed the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for greater cooperation between the government and corporations on boosting cybersecurity.

Although the White House released guidelines to help businesses defend themselves earlier this month, they're voluntary, and it's unclear how much the administration can do to enforce the standards without legislation from Congress.

Hagel's comments came during a wide-ranging Q&A at Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, Md., on Tuesday night; the session is part of the synagogue's "Conversations with Key American Leaders" series with Ken Feinberg, an attorney who oversaw the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.