Google and Microsoft pledge billions to help strengthen US cybersecurity

Tech companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft pledged to help strengthen US cybersecurity after meeting President Joe Biden at the White House on Wednesday. Commitments vary by company, but range from spending billions on cyber infrastructure to providing supply chain assistance and education.

Wednesday’s high-profile meeting with tech CEOs follows major cyberattacks targeting US government agencies and energy infrastructure such as the Colonial Pipeline.

“The reality is that most of our critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector, and the federal government cannot face this challenge alone,” Biden said in Wednesday’s meeting.

Apple announced it would work with its vendors to “drive the mass adoption of multi-factor authentication,” as well as new security training, incident response, and vulnerability recovery. Amazon plans to offer a multi-factor authentication device for free to all Amazon Web Services account holders and to make all security awareness training for company employees available to the public free of charge.

Google said it would spend more than $10 billion over the next five years to strengthen U.S. cybersecurity and its software supply chain. Google also pledged to train more than 100,000 Americans in data analytics and IT support through the company’s Career Certificate program. Microsoft said it would invest $20 billion in five years, making similar promises to Google.

Wednesday’s meeting was attended by Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, ​​Apple CEO TIm Cook, IBM Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, along with representatives from other sectors such as energy and education.