Data breaches, cyberattacks, ransomware, and other incidents that compromise digital data security are seemingly becoming routine news items; so much so, in fact, that the public may even become numb to them as many go unreported. At least, many don’t make the news on a national scale.
Large, consequential, destructive, and/or expensive breaches are virtually the only ones that get reported. These staggering figures that do hit the 24-hour news cycle include the importance of what was affected (such as critical infrastructure), how many people were affected, seven-digit figure or higher costs, or who exactly executed the breach.
As with many things, these incidents push people to exclaim that “someone” must do something about it. All too often, nothing is ever done to prevent the next incident from occurring. However, positive news out of Washington recently shows that the government is at last taking steps to protect the United States and its interests in cyberspace.
Enlisting Big Tech for Help
On August 25, 2021 a group of Big Tech CEOs—representing, among others, such giants as Amazon, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, and Google—met with President Biden at the White House to discuss how to handle the rise in cyberattacks. The president acknowledged a challenge in protecting the nation from these attacks, remarking “Most of our critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector, and the federal government can’t meet this challenge alone.”
The president then explained that he invited Big Tech to the White House as these companies had “the power, the capacity, and the responsibility” to be national leaders in cybersecurity. The onus is not solely on Big Tech, however, as President Biden also announced initiatives the United States government would undertake to safeguard the country.
Among other recommendations, the government has directed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to collaborate with others to support the technology supply chain. The NIST currently sets standards, such as CMMC, to protect digital information. It is evident, however, that more must be done across almost all industries. Furthermore, the president’s administration also announced that the Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Initiative would extend to natural gas pipelines.
Big Tech Steps Up
While only time will tell how successful government actions will be, especially in a notoriously partisan-gridlocked and slow-moving system, several of the companies in attendance pledged heavy investment in the private sector. Working to improve cybersecurity is a plus in and of itself, but a boon to America’s workforce arose from the meeting—jobs creation.
Google announced that it would invest over $10 billion in cybersecurity, including “zero-trust” programs, securing the supply chain, and strengthening open-source security. Beyond this investment, the tech giant also stated that through its Google Career Certificate program it would train 100,000 Americans in data analytics and tech support, while also training 10 million Americans in digital skills—ranging from basic to advanced—by 2023.
Microsoft also made an announcement that it would do more in cybersecurity. Over the next five years, it promised to invest over $20 billion in its own cybersecurity capabilities. It also vowed to spend an additional $150 million on cyber defenses for local, state, and federal governments.
Amazon made a unique pledge to enhance cybersecurity. One pledge was to protect its cybersecurity training materials. Qualified Amazon Web Services customers would also be provided with a free multi-factor authentication device to protect against cyberattacks.
IBM meanwhile made its own set of announcements at the White House meeting. One of its pledges was to train 150,000 people in cybersecurity over the next three years.
Securing Data Now
The White House’s Big Tech meeting delivered promising and ambitious pledges, but in all cases these are investments. It is essential to remember that investments almost always require time to mature, develop, and offer any reward.
Although these announcements could mean a more secure future and make cyberattacks less common, the reality is that they are still very much a part of today’s world. No organization can wait three years or longer for the investments to come to fruition—they must act now.
SecureData offers a range of services, from data repair and recovery, to secure offline backups and comprehensive data security solutions through hardware and software. To learn more, contact one of our experts today at 1-800-520-1677.