Lute: Sequestration will delay Einstein-3A and DHS cybersecurity outreach


Sequestration will delay the rollout of the next generation of intrusion detection systems to federal networks, said Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute.

The system, Einstein 3-Accelerated, and automation of continual diagnostics and monitoring will be impacted by the across-the-board cuts that went into effect March 1, Lute told the House Homeland Security Committee during a March 13 hearing.

Einstein-3A is meant to detect and prevent malicious traffic on federal networks. The Homeland Security Department infrastructure protection and information security budget line, which funds the Einstein program, is subject to a 7.8 percent sequester rate, according (.pdf) to the Office of Management and Budget.

Sequestration will disrupt "our ability to reach out to stakeholders, as well," Lute said.

During Feb. 14 testimony before the House Appropriations Committee, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said sequestration would also disrupt DHS cybersecurity workforce building efforts and leave up to 20 percent of positions at the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team vacant.

Personnel costs account for the vast majority of federal cybersecurity expenditure. According to the most recent annual Federal Information Security Management Act report (.pdf), released by the Office of Management and Budget March 12, personnel accounted for 90 percent of the $14.6 billion the 24 largest federal agencies spent on cybersecurity during fiscal 2012.

The department spent $615.5 million on information technology security during that fiscal year; it had 395.44 government employee full-time equivalents and 635.52 contractor FTEs.

For more:
- go to the hearing webpage (prepared testimonies and webcast available)

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