The U.S. Congress is set to vote on the country’s annual defense policy, which plans annual spending of $858 billion this year, a large portion of which will be spent on cybersecurity (opens in a new tab).
The policy includes a larger budget for so-called “hunt forward” missions, new leadership positions and new opportunities for the US president.
As for Cyber Command’s domestic “hunt forward” missions, the organization will receive $44 million in 2023 to make them even more effective. “Hunt forward” missions are described as “strictly defensive” cyber operations that Cyber Command conducts at the request of partner countries. As part of these operations, the Hunt Forward team observes and detects malicious cyber activity on host country networks.
The bill also introduces the position of Assistant Secretary for Cyber Policy at the Department of Defense. The person in this role will be responsible for: informing lawmakers annually about how Cyber Command works with the National Security Agency.
In addition, the bill states that the U.S. president can order operations in “foreign cyberspace” in certain situations – when “an active, systematic and ongoing campaign of cyberattacks by a foreign power” is being conducted against the U.S. government or critical infrastructure.
Finally, the State Department will get a new cybersecurity office headed by inaugural ambassador Nate Fick.
Over the past few years, the United States has suffered a number of high-intensity cyberattacks, prompting the government to take a firmer stance against both domestic and foreign cyberattacks. Ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure and government agencies were particularly damaging, including the attack on Colonial Pipeline, which disrupted oil and gas distribution in many US states.
By: CyberScoop (opens in a new tab)