Tech moguls are vowing to invest billions to fight cybercrime following a White House meeting with President Joe Biden, the AP and other news outlets reported on Thursday (Aug. 26).
“The reality is most of our critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector, and the federal government can’t meet this challenge alone,” Biden said, per AP. “I’ve invited you all here today because you have the power, the capacity and the responsibility, I believe, to raise the bar on cybersecurity.”
Wednesday’s (Aug. 25) cybersecurity discussion was scheduled during a time when data breaches and other hacks are at a historic high. CEOs from some of the biggest U.S. tech firms — Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM — committed to making the necessary investments to beef up cybersecurity efforts and train more people in the field.
Before the meeting, Biden said during public remarks that cybersecurity is a “core national security challenge” for the country, according to the report.
Following the session, the White House said that Google pledged to back cybersecurity efforts with $10 billion through 2026. Microsoft indicated that it would put $20 billion into the fight, including $150 million in tech services to help local governments beef up security measures.
IBM said it will have 150,000 workers trained in cybersecurity by 2024. Apple, meanwhile, is planning to create a program aimed at bolstering the tech supply chain. Amazon is making its in-house cybersecurity training available to the public.
Aside from tech moguls, executives from the financial, energy, education, and insurance industries were invited. The original initiative was to bolster cybersecurity at electric utilities, but it was expanded to include natural gas pipelines, the White House said, per the article.
Ransomware was supposed to be the main topic of discussion at Wednesday’s meeting, but the overall purpose had a broader intent to “root causes of any kind of malicious cyber activity,” an anonymous senior White House official told reporters, according to the AP.