- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 1, 2018

Bill Clinton on Friday called on the Trump administration to spend more of the nation’s defense budget on cybersecurity, raising his concerns while touting a novel the former president co-wrote about a fictional attack against the nation’s computer networks.

Mr. Clinton made the plea during an event in Orlando, Florida, held in support of the book he co-wrote with author James Patterson, “The President is Missing,” The Orlando Sentinel reported.

“We only spend about 5 percent of our defense budget, at least what’s listed, on cybersecurity,” Mr. Clinton said during the event, the newspaper reported. “Most experts without regard to party believe [it’s] a major threat. We need to do more.”

“We are the most vulnerable and interconnected of major countries,” Mr. Clinton added, according to the newspaper. “We are in the middle of all of this, and we intentionally wrote a book about the worst-case scenario hoping that all of you would say, ‘Wow, what a good book,’ but would say, ‘Whatever my politics, I want my country to do more.”

Published in June, the the thriller involves a fictional president dealing with a wide-scale cyberattack that risks crippling the nation’s electrical grid and computer infrastructure.

President Trump signed a defense appropriations bill in September that provided $674 billion toward military operations in Fiscal Year 2019, which started Oct. 1, 2018.

The Department of Defense reported $8.5 billion in cybersecurity funding in fiscal year 2018, the White House said previously.

“Due to the sensitive nature of some activities, this amount does not represent the entire cyber budget,” the White House said previously.

“The Budget continues to place a high priority on cyber security and those responsible for providing it by requesting more than $8 billion in 2019 to advance DOD’s three primary cyber missions: safeguarding DOD’s networks, information and systems; supporting military commander objectives; and defending the Nation,” said the White House.

Last month, meanwhile, the Department of Defense and Homeland Security entered an information-sharing agreement aimed at safeguarding critical infrastructure through cooperation between agencies.

“We will jointly prioritize a set of high-priority national critical functions and non-DoD owned mission critical infrastructure that is most critical to the military’s ability to fight and win wars and project power,” Jeaneatte Manfra, the assistant secretary for cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, told members of Congress last month. “Based on this prioritization, we will forge a common understanding of strategic cyber threats that can enable private sector network defenders, critical infrastructure owners and government actors to proactively secure their networks and operations.”

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