Big Tech pledges billions to bolster U.S. cybersecurity defenses – TechCrunch

After meeting with President Joe Biden on Wednesday, tech giants Apple and Microsoft pledged billions of dollars to strengthen U.S. cybersecurity.
This meeting was attended by representatives from the education and financial sectors. It took place after months of high-profile cyberattacks on critical infrastructure and several U.S. government departments. There is also a significant cybersecurity skills gap. According to CyberSeek data, almost 500,000 cybersecurity jobs are still unfilled in the U.S.

Biden stated at the beginning of the meeting that most of our critical infrastructure is owned or operated by the private sector and that the federal government cannot meet this challenge alone. You all have the power, capacity, and responsibility to improve cybersecurity, which is why I've invited you all.

Big Tech promised to invest billions in cybersecurity defenses and training cybersecurity workers to aid the United States in their fight against an increasing number of cyberattacks.

According to the White House Apple has pledged to work with its more than 9,000 suppliers in the U.S. to encourage mass adoption of multifactor authentication and security training.

Google announced that it will invest more $10 billion in the next five-years to increase zero-trust programs, secure the software supply chain and improve open source security. Google, the search and advertising giant, has also promised to train 100,000 Americans in IT support and data analysis. This will allow them to learn in-demand skills such as data privacy and security.

According to Kent Walker, Google's global affairs chief, robust cybersecurity is dependent on the ability of people to implement it. This includes those with digital skills that can design and execute cybersecurity solutions.

Microsoft also announced it was committing $20B to integrate cybersecurity by design, and deliver advanced security solutions.

AWS, Amazon's cloud computing arm and IBM were also present. The first stated that it will make security awareness training free to the public, and will equip all AWS customers in the US with hardware multi-factor authentication devices. IBM claimed it will train over 150,000 people in cybersecurity skills within the next five years.

Although many people have welcomed the Big Techs commitments David Carroll, managing Director at Nominet Cyber told TechCrunch that these new initiatives set a strong precedent and show that some in the cybersecurity industry are still skeptical.

Some infosec veterans pointed out that the U.S. has a lot of vacant cybersecurity jobs and they are not competitive in terms of pay and benefits.

Khalilah Scott, founder of TechSecChix (a foundation that supports women in technology), tweeted that there are 500,000 cybersecurity jobs available and nearly the same number looking for work. It makes sense.