State Department seeks $750 million to strengthen cybersecurity programs amid growing threats

The funs will be allocated towards implementing zero trust architecture and securing end user devices.

 Person, Security

During a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on US security investments and China relations, Secretary Antony Blinken emphasised the importance of adequate funding to develop secure communication networks, protect undersea cables, and fortify cyberspace. Insufficient budgetary support would leave personnel, facilities, and cyber defence more vulnerable to threats.

To strengthen cybersecurity programs, the State Department has requested $750 million, which would be allocated towards implementing zero trust architecture to continuously monitor breaches and unauthorised access, as well as securing end user devices used by the workforce.

Secretary Blinken underscored the significance of the 2024 budget proposal in countering China’s growing influence and expanding missions in the Indo-Pacific region. He cautioned that any delays or flat funding would convey a message of retreat at a time when the USA needs to project strength globally.

During the hearing, senators and other department secretaries highlighted the potential consequences of further funding delays, warning of compromised national security and the advantage it could provide to Beijing. The recurrent issue of delayed budget completion was acknowledged, with critical acquisitions such as warships and munitions at risk of stalling under continuing resolutions, a norm in the budget cycle.