The Cost of Cyber

The Air Force has made a concerted effort to protect its top priorities in its Fiscal 2013 budget request, said Secretary Michael Donley. “This is good news for Air Force cyber programs,” he said in his March 23 address at AFA’s CyberFutures Conference in National Harbor, Md. Donley estimated that the budget request includes about $4 billion that “will allow the Air Force to continue investing in advanced technologies to monitor and secure classified and unclassified networks.” That includes the migration to a single Air Force network—an effort to increase network situational awareness and improve information-sharing capabilities, he said. However, he acknowledged that the dollar figure for cyber-related expenditures actually could be much larger when one considers communication program elements and other network information technologies spread throughout the budget that also impact the cyber domain. “Defining a discreet set of cyber numbers is pretty difficult,” said Donley. “I don’t think it’s settled yet, which actually proves the point in how ubiquitous this technology is in every aspect of our work. It’s very pervasive so I don’t think the numbers matter all that much right now.”