Inside Cybersecurity

May 19, 2024

Daily News

Walden: Upcoming memorandum on fiscal 2025 spending priorities will focus on national cyber strategy

By Sara Friedman / May 10, 2023

The Office of the National Cyber Director will provide details on agency needs to implement the national cyber strategy in an upcoming joint memorandum with the Office of Management and Budget on the fiscal 2025 spending cycle, according Acting NCD Kemba Walden.

The memo is a follow-up to a joint ONCD-OMB memo from July 2022 that dictated the Biden administration’s cyber priorities for fiscal 2024 agency budgets. It was largely based on the 2021 cyber executive order and sought details from agencies on their spending needs to implement requirements from the EO, including zero trust.

“You’ll see a similar spring guidance coming out soon with priorities this time pegged to the national cyber strategy,” Walden said Tuesday in a fireside chat at a tech summit hosted by BSA-The Software Alliance.

Reviewing agency cyber budgets is one of the key functions of the National Cyber Director and is mandated in the fiscal 2021 NDAA that created the position at the White House. Federal CISO Chris DeRusha has a dual-hat role with a second job as deputy national cyber director for federal cybersecurity where he engages with agencies on their IT budgets.

Walden highlighted the cyber spending increase in Biden’s fiscal 2024 budget request. It includes $12.7 billion for civilian agency cyber activities, representing a 13 percent increase over the prior year.

The ONCD is currently working on an implementation plan for the national cyber strategy that will provide the agency, consulting agency and “clear objectives” for each task, Walden said. She highlighted how the strategy focuses on harmonization and shifting liability on software design.

The liability discussion will be “iterative” moving forward, Walden said, emphasizing how she’s interested in hearing directly from industry to get feedback on next steps.

Walden also reflected on efforts to secure space including a visit to Long Beach, CA following a media roundtable at the RSA conference to meet with space startups and a March forum where the White House brought together stakeholders in the space system ecosystem to hear about cyber challenges and how to build resilience. -- Sara Friedman (