U.S. President Joe Biden held a meeting with the heads of U.S. high-tech companies, during which he urged them to strengthen cybersecurity of the country’s critical infrastructure and economy. Among those invited to the meeting were the heads of Apple, Alphabet, Amazon.com, Microsoft, IBM and JPMorgan Chase.
According to President Biden, while “the technologies we rely on – from cell phones to pipelines to power grids – can be targeted by hackers and criminals,” “the number of cybersecurity professionals has not grown enough to successfully defeat” these attacks. Citing estimates from technology companies themselves and government data, the president noted that about half a million cybersecurity jobs remain unfilled. But given that much of the most critical infrastructure is privately owned and operated, the federal government, the president said, cannot meet the challenge of cybersecurity alone. That’s why this meeting was organized.
In more detail, the president and heads of companies discussed the possibility of cooperation between the government and the private sector in the field of cybersecurity behind closed doors. However, as Bloomberg reports, at the end of the meeting the companies made statements with specific commitments.
For example, Google pledged to invest more than $10 billion over three years to develop cybersecurity software and to retrain 100,000 Americans in information technology support and analytics programs. Apple has pledged to launch a program to improve supply chain security. IBM intends to train more than 150 thousand cybersecurity specialists within three years. Microsoft allocated $150 million to provide technical assistance to federal and local governments to strengthen computer security. In addition, the company pledged to expand training programs for cybersecurity professionals. Microsoft will also invest $20 billion over five years to integrate cybersecurity into its development. Amazon will conduct a campaign to inform and educate its employees about protecting critical information from cyberattacks.