Analysis: Fed cybersecurity spend quintupled from FY2011 to FY2014

​The federal government’s cybersecurity spend quintupled over a recent three-year period, with a large portion dedicated to offensive cyber capabilities, according to an analysis from business analytics firm Govini.

The federal government’s cybersecurity spend increased five-fold over a recent three-year period, with a large portion dedicated to offensive cyber capabilities, according to numbers crunched by a public sector business analytics firm.

Thirty-one billion dollars were spent in fiscal year 2014, according to a new report from Govini, rising from $6 billion in fiscal year 2011. The report breaks down the government’s security spend across unclassified federal networks, differentiating 11 key segments in what the company calls a “cybersecurity taxonomy.”

The largest segment of the taxonomy is categorized as “offensive cyber,” which is further defined as the “proactive and adversarial approach” to protect federal systems. Spending in offensive capabilities jumped 150 percent year over year, from $6 billion in 2013 to $15 billion in 2014. Each branch of the military spent at least $1.6 billion in fiscal year 2014, while Computer Sciences Corp. and CACI Inc. saw large revenue growth due their respective work on Navy’s SPAWAR and work the Army Command.

The segment that saw the largest overall growth, “Cyber Training and Awareness,” was also the smallest segment by dollar amount. The total spend in this category is $109 million, a 309 percent increase over the past three years. CSC also dominated this category, with $100 million capture in revenue in training alone.


“The surprising thing for us was there was no common language or definition of cybersecurity across the federal contractor base,” said Govini founder and CEO Eric Gillespie in a release. “Our customers knew there was significant capital being allocated to cyber, but they didn’t know how much or in what segments. We were challenged to create what is quickly becoming the common language of cyber for the industry.”

At the same time, the numbers only provide a segmented look across the government. The figures Govini provides cover unclassified networks, failing to take into account the money apportioned for the “black budget,” which covers resources dedicated to protecting classified networks and supports the intelligence community.

According to a Washington Post story, it is estimated that $4.3 billion of the “black budget” is dedicated to cyber operations.

Read Govini’s full cybersecurity taxonomy, released last week, on the company’s website.

Greg Otto

Written by Greg Otto

Greg Otto is Editor-in-Chief of CyberScoop, overseeing all editorial content for the website. Greg has led cybersecurity coverage that has won various awards, including accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. Prior to joining Scoop News Group, Greg worked for the Washington Business Journal, U.S. News & World Report and WTOP Radio. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Temple University.

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