DHS to split cybersecurity division in two; Congress fund cybersecurity

Published 17 October 2005

Congress has accepted DHS secretary Michael Chertoff’s recommendation to split the DHS division dealing with information analysis and infrastructure protection into two separate units: the analysis and operations wing and the preparedness directorate. President Bush will sign the new measure into law

tomorrow. The split-up of the division has long been advocated by industry and lawmakers. The cybersecurity division would now be removed from information analysis and infrastructure protection and its director would be made an assistant secretary to focus more resources and attention on cybersecurity. The cyber division has been given $93 million in the FY2006 budget. Congress has also funded several other cyber security initiatives:

* $17 million for the science and technology division to research and develop devices that would prevent and respond to cyber attacks

* $5 million to the immigration and customs enforcement division for its cyber-crimes center and investigative efforts

* $532 million for other infrastructure protection and information security programs, which will now be moved to the preparedness directorate

* $112 million to gather information from the private sector and form partnerships to protect the country’s critical infrastructure

* $69 million to identify and analyze key assets

* $20 million to continue building a machine that would simulate terrorist attacks or natural disasters

* $14 million for surveillance equipment to combat a bioterrorist attacks

* $143 million to protect telecom systems.

Congress has directed the department to spend $50 million on the National Center for Critical Information Processing and Storage. The conference report said officials must use the money to continue developing the data center. They also said officials should spend $20 million on a database of the nation’s key assets.