White House Hosts Tech Giants For Discussion on Nation’s Cybersecurity

Published · Aug 27, 2021

President Biden met with the private sector and education leaders on August 25, 2021, to discuss the state of the United State’s cybersecurity. Due to an alarming increase in cyberattacks on US institutions, more must be done to combat the rising threat.

Among those in attendance were prominent tech firms, such as Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Amazon, and Google. In an opening statement, President Joe Biden pointed out that the private sector owns and operates most of the US cyberinfrastructure. As a result, “the federal government can’t meet this challenge alone.”

The steps needed to bolster the country’s cybersecurity rely on improving existing tech. One example is rolling out “zero-trust” mechanisms for networking systems involved in cloud hosting and for other utilities, like digital storage.

Other measures include establishing frameworks to address incidents, educating citizens on general cybersecurity, and upskilling workers to tackle threats.

Commitments Made

This year has seen many cyberattacks hit US entities. One put a major pipeline in danger, and another saw thousands compromised during the 4th of July weekend.

The speed at which technology has proliferated has opened up a lot of vulnerable spots. Companies are now rushing to patch them.

The White House released a fact sheet with a summary of the meeting and commitments made during it. It shows that Google pledged to invest $10 billion into expanding zero-trust systems.

Amazon’s assistance will come in the form of security training. Normally reserved for its employees, it’ll now be available to the public for free. IBM promised to train 150,000 people in cybersecurity over the next three years.

Microsoft committed to investing $20 billion in the cause over the next five years. Lastly, Apple plans to establish new programs in partnership with its suppliers to improve cybersecurity. Several educational institutes also pledged to improve education on the topic.

This meeting has been a long time coming. Industry experts speculated it would come about after the US government acknowledged the escalating cyberattacks and approached Russia to clamp down on ransomware gangs operating out of its territory.

Garan van Rensburg
Garan van Rensburg

Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.