Large-Scale Companies Pledge to Amplify Cybersecurity [Weekly Cybersecurity Brief]

Cybersecurity is not a new topic for the Biden administration. Since stepping into the White House, its leaders have been addressing attacks from SolarWinds to Colonial Pipeline. As cybersecurity concerns persist, the administration is now reaching out for help in its journey to prevent them from happening. This week, we are examining what happened when Biden convened some of the most influential companies to discuss a cybersecurity alliance.

During the meeting held last week, prominent companies in fields ranging from tech to insurance agreed to put hefty funds toward cybersecurity initiatives. The commitments included distribution of tools for other organizations’ cybersecurity practices, training programs for potential employees and helping to develop a set of standards for cybersecurity programs. Among the attendees were leaders from companies like Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon. Google pledged to allocate more than $10 billion over five years and launch a “Career Certificate” program, and Microsoft agreed to invest $20 billion as well as $150 million to help government agencies upgrade their security systems and training. In addition to setting a goal to increase training in cybersecurity, IBM set the goal to aid in diversifying the field by partnering with historically Black colleges and universities.

During the meeting, Amazon also agreed to take on cybersecurity education efforts. It announced that it will release its Security Awareness training resource to the public beginning in October. This includes informative videos and assessments created to teach techniques in maintaining data security. According to a report for Chain Store Age, the training materials are routinely updated to reflect new developments in cybersecurity risks. Amazon also said that it will provide qualified Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers with a free multi-factor authentication (MFA) device.

While this convening came in the wake of high-profile attacks, it also comes as cybersecurity threats are evolving. Ransomware has certainly been a consistent risk, however Karim Hijazi, CEO of cyber intelligence company Prevailion, recently wrote that “…as bad as this kind of malware is, businesses and investors can expect to face a growing number of sophisticated cyber threats that could be even more disruptive and difficult to prevent.” Hijazi summarized some of the emerging methods sounding the alarm. Filling out the list is wiper malware, malicious AI, firmware attacks, supply chain attacks and developing capabilities to take advantage of 5G+ connectivity. 

Key Takeaways:

“Google, Microsoft plan to spend billions on cybersecurity after meeting with Biden” – Lauren Feiner, CNBC

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/25/google-microsoft-plan-to-spend-billions-on-cybersecurity-after-meeting-with-biden.html

  • Companies such as Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon agreed to invest in cybersecurity initiatives during a meeting at the White House.
  • The commitments included distribution of tools for other organizations’ cybersecurity practices, training programs for potential employees and helping to develop a set of standards for cybersecurity programs.
  • Google pledged to allocate more than $10 billion, Microsoft agreed to invest $20 billion, and IBM set the goal to aid in diversifying the field.

“Amazon to offer free cybersecurity training” – Dan Berthiaume, Chain Store Age

https://www.chainstoreage.com/amazon-offer-free-cybersecurity-training

  • As a part of the meeting, Amazon also agreed to take on cybersecurity education efforts.
  • It announced that it will release its Security Awareness training resource to the public beginning in October.
  • Amazon also said that it will provide qualified Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers with a free multi-factor authentication (MFA) device.

“5 emerging cybersecurity threats facing the U.S.” – Karim Hijazi, Yahoo Finance

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cybersecurity-threats-facing-us-122710451.html

  • Ransomware has been a persistent issue; however cybersecurity threats are evolving.
  • Karim Hijazi, CEO of cyber intelligence company Prevailion, recently wrote that “… businesses and investors can expect to face a growing number of sophisticated cyber threats that could be even more disruptive and difficult to prevent.”
  • Hijazi listed wiper malware, malicious AI, firmware attacks, supply chain attacks and developing capabilities to take advantage of 5G+ connectivity as some of the growing concerns.
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