Google and Microsoft will spend R449 billion to improve cybersecurity

Tech giants Google and Microsoft will spend a combined $30 billion (R449 billion) over the next five years to bolster cybersecurity within their own companies and the US, CNBC reports.

These commitments came after a cybersecurity summit with various major tech companies hosted by President Joe Biden at the White House on Wednesday.

Following the meeting, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella tweeted the company had committed $20 billion to deliver more advanced security solutions over the next five years.

This is a big increase from the $1 billion the company has spent on cybersecurity each year since 2015.

$150 million of this amount will be used to help US federal, state, and local government agencies upgrade protections and to expand Microsoft’s cybersecurity training programmes.

Google will invest over $10 billion in improving cybersecurity in its software supply chain and open-source security in the next five years.

It also pledged to train 100,000 US citizens in technical fields like IT support and data analytics.

Although they did not divulge details around financial contributions, Apple, IBM, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have also committed to combatting cybersecurity threats.

The White House stated that Apple would create a programme dedicated to bolstering security across their technology supply chains. This includes working with their suppliers to adopt multi-factor authentication and security training.

IBM said it would provide cybersecurity skills training to over 150,000 people in three years. It also unveiled a new data storage solution for critical infrastructure companies and said it was working on safe encryption methods for quantum computing.

The summit was held in the wake of multiple high-profile cyberattacks on US entities, including government software contractor SolarWinds and the Colonial Pipeline oil pipeline.

Lastly, AWS plans to give its account holders free multi-factor authentication devices to improve data protection and has offered to give security awareness training to organisations and individuals.

The US government has also upped its own measures, with Biden recently signing an executive order that requires government entities to use two-factor authentication for logins.

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Google and Microsoft will spend R449 billion to improve cybersecurity