Thursday 26 August 2021 8:12 am

Big Tech vows to ramp up cybersecurity after White House summit

Major US tech firms have pledged to ramp up their cybersecurity defences following a White House summit yesterday.

Google, Microsoft, Amazon and IBM were among the companies to make multi-billion-dollar commitments as President Joe Biden called on top chief executives to “raise the bar on cybersecurity”.

During a meeting alongside his members of his Cabinet, as well as bosses from the finance and infrastructure sectors, Biden outlined plans to work with industry to hammer out new guidelines to shore up security in the technology supply chain.

“The federal government can’t meet this challenge alone,” the president told executives. “You have the power, the capacity and the responsibility, I believe, to raise the bar on cybersecurity.”

Amazon boss Andy Jassy, Apple’s Tim Cook, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella, Google’s parent Alphabet boss Sundar Pichai and IBM chief executive Arvind Krishna were among the attendees.

It comes after a series of high-profile cyber attacks on critical US infrastructure, including the Colonial Pipeline attack in May, as well as on businesses such as Solar Winds.

Following the meeting the White House said the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) would work with industry on building new guidelines for building secure technology and assessing the security of technology, including open source software.

Microsoft said it will invest $20bn over five years — a four-fold increase on current rates — to accelerate its cybersecurity work and make available $150m in technical services to help federal, state and local governments to help keep their security systems up to date.

Google said it would spend $10bn on cybersecurity over the next five years, but it was not clear how much of this was new spending. It also said it would help 100,000 Americans earn digital skills certificates that could lead to high-paying jobs.

Amazon said it will make its cybersecurity training available to the public for free.