Microsoft Will Invest $20Billion In Cyber Security

The United States' leading technology companies have committed to investing billions of dollars in strengthening cyber security defences and in training skilled workers in response to President Biden's initiative at a private meeting with top executives.

The purpose of this unique event was to consider possible public-private partnerships to help address ongoing cyber security threats to the country’s critical infrastructure and private industries.  Prominent amongst the participants is Microsoft , who have pledged to $20 billion over the next 5 years in cyber security, four times its previous investments of $1 billion per year to protect its services. 

The company also pledged $150 million in technical services to upgrade security protection at all three levels of government. 

Mirosoft operates some of the world’s most used software, making it a prime target for cyber attacks. The company says it will also expand its partnerships with community colleges and non-profits for cybersecurity training programmes.

President Biden called on the technology leaders to do more to respond to cybersecurity threats. “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
“You have the power, capacity and responsibility, I believe, to raise the bar on cybersecurity. Ultimately we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

In April, the ransomware gang REvil attacked the Colonial Pipeline, forcing the company to shut down its pipeline that provides nearly half of the fuel capacity to the East Coast. A few months earlier, in December 2020, Russian hackers attacked government computer systems, gaining access to the Treasury Department and Department of Defense and last month the US State Department suffered a breach, temporarily cutting off email communications.

The meeting took place as Biden's national security team has been consumed by the troop withdrawal in Afghanistan and the chaotic evacuation of Americans and Afghan citizens. That it remained on the calendar indicates the administration regards cybersecurity as a major agenda item, with the administration official describing the meeting as a “call to action.”

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