IT security spending to keep pace with budget

IT security spending to keep pace with budget

Money requested in the fiscal 2004 budget for IT security would increase about 10 percent to $4.7 billion, according to the Office of Management and Budget. At that figure, allocations for security would hold steady at about 8 percent of federal IT spending.

Much of the growth in IT spending, from an estimated $52.6 billion in 2003 to $59 billion requested in 2004, reflects the focus on homeland security, said Mark Forman, OMB's associate director for IT and e-government. Money earmarked for IT security has not been broken out in agency proposals that were released today, however.

Overall civilian domestic defense spending proposed for the coming year is estimated at $34.6 billion, the bulk of that'$23.9 billion'in the new Homeland Security Department. The request for the new department includes $500 million to identify critical infrastructure vulnerabilities and support improved security. The department's total request for information analysis and infrastructure protection is $829 million.

The budget also includes $3.5 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology for developing and certifying a standard for biometric identifiers, required under the USA Patriot Act. The proposal includes an increase of $12 million for homeland security standards, which also includes physical elements such as high-rise building safety. The overall NIST budget would shrink by 11.5 percent to $498 million, however.

The Justice Department would receive $60 million to investigate cybercrime in 2004, and the FBI would receive $37 million to improve security, including information security. The FBI also would get $12 million to link federal, state and local law enforcement information systems.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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