Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told lawmakers during a Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing today that President Biden’s fiscal year 2024 budget request would allow the agency to invest more in cybersecurity and infrastructure security protection.

“Our critical infrastructure is increasingly the target of cyber-attacks launched by transnational criminal organizations and hostile nation-states, including the People’s Republic of China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea,” Mayorkas said. “This budget invests in personnel infrastructure and enhances tools and services to increase our cybersecurity preparedness and resilience.”

The Biden administration’s budget FY 2024 budget request asks for $60.4 billion in discretionary funding for DHS. Among the list of the agency’s priorities are further investments in cybersecurity.

Specifically, DHS would invest in cybersecurity and infrastructure security protection, building upon investments made in FY 2023, and is asking for an additional $149 million for cybersecurity and infrastructure protection programs, to a total of $3.1 billion.

Notably, DHS would use $98 million to implement the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act and $425 million for a new Cyber Analytics Data System – a robust and scalable analytic environment capable of providing advanced analytic capabilities to cyber operators at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Mayorkas also urged lawmakers to codify into law DHS’ Cyber Safety Review Board (CSRB) “to ensure it has the necessary authority to be effective.”

The board was created last year by DHS, stemming from instructions in President Biden’s cybersecurity executive order. The board’s job is to assess past cybersecurity events, “ask the hard questions, and drive improvements across the private and public sectors.” For example, in July 2022 the CSRB released a report on CISA’s response to the ongoing Log4j software vulnerability.

The FY 2024 budget also includes investment for CISA to manage several councils, including the CSRB.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.