Big Tech Plans to Work with the Public Sector for Cybersecurity

Both Microsoft, Inc. and Alphabet, Inc. will put a combined $30 billion dollars into cybersecurity over the next five years and work with the public sector on several initiatives to help improve cybersecurity.

The leading members of major tech companies met with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House yesterday to discuss all cybersecurity threats and pledged to invest in the sector to help them out.

The White House says the meeting is to discuss opportunities to bolster the nation’s cybersecurity in partnership and individually. Also in attendance were leading members from Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon, among others.

Biden says the following to the group.

Most of our critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector, and the federal government can’t meet this challenge alone. You have the power, the capacity and the responsibility, I believe, to raise the bar on cybersecurity.

Just following the meeting, the administration along with the companies involved announced a range of security-related initiatives they had come to agree upon.

The White House said that the US National Institute of Standards and Technology would work with the major companies to develop a new framework to improve the security and integrity of the technology supply chain.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella thanked the president for convening a critical conversation on cybersecurity and said his company would invest $20 billion dollars in security solutions over the next five years. It will also make $150 million dollars available to help US Government Agencies upgrade protections and expand cybersecurity training partnerships.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google, said he’s been glad to join the meeting to discuss the private-public cooperation. His company committed to investing $10 billion in cybersecurity over five years, including $100 million to support groups that manage open-source security protocols and address vulnerabilities, and training 100,000 people in fields related to security.

Amazon did not put a number on its investment in security, but announced two initiatives: it will publish its internal cybersecurity training materials for public use and is giving free multi-factor authentication devices to qualified customers of Amazon Web Services to help protect against security threats.

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said it was an honour to be part of the discussion and that his company would train more than 150,000 people in security over the next three years. IBM will also partner with historically black colleges and universities in the US to build cybersecurity leadership centres and diversify the workforce in the sector.

Apple, whose CEO Tim Cook attended the event, said it would aim to drive continuous security improvements throughout the technology supply chain, noting that it has more than 9,000 suppliers in the US alone. The company will push these suppliers to adopt features like MFA, security training for employees, incident response protocols, and event logging.

A number of smaller companies and educational institutions were also represented at the meeting and announced initiatives of their own.