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CISA Budget Hike to Enhance Cyber Defense Programs’ Capabilities Against Chinese Hackers

Cybersecurity boost

CISA Budget Hike to Enhance Cyber Defense Programs’ Capabilities Against Chinese Hackers

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency plans to improve three of its cyber defense programs for critical infrastructures, particularly the systems against Chinese cyberattacks, Jen Easterly, CISA director, told a hearing of the House Appropriations homeland security subcommittee on Tuesday. 

Easterly, a 2024 Wash100 award winner, pointed out to the lawmakers that the improvement plan hinges on a $150 million portion of the $3 billion CISA budget for fiscal year 2024 that President Joe Biden had proposed. Biden’s proposal increases the agency’s budget by $136 million from FY 2023, CyberScoop reported Tuesday.

The CISA head disclosed to the House subcommittee that one of the programs that the agency plans to enhance is the CyberSentry partnership with at-risk critical infrastructure operators and owners. Earlier, the CISA director announced that the agency is already pilot-testing an automated vulnerability warning program to alert organizations on looming cyberattacks.

Another CISA program for FY 2024 funding calls for a further increase in the agency’s cybersecurity and physical security advisers to help small and medium-sized enterprises combat cyberattacks. The agency also plans to increase the capacity of its hunt teams, which evicted hackers in 97 operations in FY 2023.

Easterly said the eradicated cyber actors included Chinese hackers intruding into the U.S. water, power, energy and transportation sectors. She stressed that in CISA’s view, the past cyberattacks were “just the tip of the iceberg.” 

In a January testimony before the House Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, Easterly also identified telecommunications as a target of Chinese hackers, which include the “Volt Typhoon” group.

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Category: Cybersecurity

Tags: China Chinese hackers Congress CyberScoop cybersecurity Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency FY 2024 budget Jen Easterly