US State Department beefs up new cyber office with $37 billion budget request

Starting today, the US State Department will hire up to 100 new employees for its Office of Cyber ​​and Digital Policy, according to a Washington Post report.

Between two presidential administrations and eleven years, the office of cyber coordination is finally making its debut and likely the funding to go with it, as today’s announcement is accompanied by a request from the Biden administration for $37 billion. to set it up.

The new cyber office will take its current 60 employees and focus on raising awareness of cyber diplomacy with the war in Ukraine, a slew of ransomware attacks that include the Microsoft Exchange Server 2021 data breach, the recent Lapsus$ hack, as well as the attack on the Colonial Pipeline among many others.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed expanding the scope and accountability of the new Cyber ​​Office as such: “‘Democracies must collectively answer the question of whether universal rights and Democratic values ​​will be at the center of our digital lives – and so digital technologies offer real benefits in people’s lives. To do this, we need American diplomats to lead the way. This is why the work of the CDP Office will be so important.”

US State Department bolsters new cyber office with $37 billion budget request - - April 4, 2022

As for the finer details, Jennifer Bachus, who headed the US embassy in the Czech Republic, will lead the operation for now while the Senate holds confirmation hearings on a more permanent chief’s post.

Bachus’ opening mandate will accompany diplomatic talks regarding 5G telecommunications equipment currently banned from Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE, discussions of the proliferation of ransomware in the corporate sector and internet governance issues, according to the Washington. Post.

The official rollout of the Cyber ​​Office should help companies interface in a more organized and faster way when ransomware or state-sponsored cyberattack issues occur, such as what happened with SolarWinds.

Although the goal is to recruit up to 100 people into the office, ideally outside help from companies such as Google, Microsoft, IBM and others will help bolster its efforts in the future.

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