February 10, 2016

Multiple publications feature Ari Schwartz's reaction to president's proposed cybersecurity budget

2 min

On February 9 and 10, 2016, multiple publications featured Venable's Managing Director of Cybersecurity Services Ari Schwartz's reaction to President Obama's proposed budget calling for an additional $19 billion in cybersecurity funding. The increased funding would be used to update antiquated computer systems, the appointment of a chief information security officer, and putting the government on more equal footing with private companies. The proposed budget also sets aside $3.1 billion for the creation of an Information Technology Modernization fund to help agencies retire and upgrade older systems.

"In the past, most of the money in the budget has gone to the protector agencies such as the Defense Department, DHS or DOJ," Schwartz told Law360. "But the breaches at government entities such as the U.S. Postal Service and the State Department and the Office of Personnel Management have taught people that we can’t just rely on a few agencies to protect everyone. The agencies also need to protect themselves."

Speaking with CNET, Schwartz said the proposed budget represents a shift in spending priorities and that he believes there is a good chance for the president to get the funding he wants. "In general, cybersecurity is a nonpartisan issue." He echoed those comments in an interview with Computerworld, saying the president "has been getting what he has asked for" when it comes to cybersecurity.

In an interview with Network World discussing the Information Technology Modernization fund, Schwartz said, "It's not similar to anything that's been done before." He added, "The proposed scheme would change the philosophy behind how to protect government networks. Before, the departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Defense were put in charge of defending old systems that were never going to be upgraded."