When the American President gets personally involved in an issue, one is bound to presume it is a really important one. Well, the issue we are discussing in this news relates not only to the U.S Government, but nearly every person who uses the internet in some way.
Recently, Joe Biden, the U.S President, hosted a cyber security summit at the White House. The attendees were top individuals from some of America’s largest tech companies. The heads of companies which attended the summit belonged to a wide range of sectors.
The summit had only one main agenda item, how to bolster the cyber security posture of US companies in the shortest possible time. While there is no quick fix to such a complex issue, most attendees were positive about the direction in which things were headed.
This landmark cyber security summit at the White House comes in the wake of some high profile cyber attacks on large US based companies. One of the companies which was targeted was SolarWinds, a government software contractor.
Colonial Pipeline was yet another notable victim of a cyber attack, which triggered a shut down of its operations. This resulted in a panic buying of gas by thousands of Americans, especially in the areas that were served by the pipeline giant’s supply line.
One major limitation that emerged out of this meeting was that the US Government currently does not have the powers to mandate the adoption of cyber security controls. In a first step towards the right direction, the President has focused on US agencies.
Through an executive order by the President, US agencies are now mandated to use Two Factor Authentication for logins. Top executives from US tech companies also agreed on the gravity and urgency of the situation, which is why huge financial commitments were made.
US tech companies have vowed to adopt a two pronged approach to tackle this complex issue of cyber security. The first aspect starts with investing in cyber security controls, which not only include the core organizations, but their associates as well.
The second, and perhaps a more important one, is to invest in the training of cyber security professionals so they can put this training to good use across US companies. It is estimated that there are nearly 500,000 vacancies of cyber security jobs across USA.
Google has vowed to invest over US $10 Billion in the next five years on cyber security. The tech giant also plans to train nearly 100,000 professionals across USA in the fields of cyber security, IT support and data analytics.
Microsoft has committed a sum of US $20 Billion, which will be spent on the procurement and development of advanced cyber security tools over the next five years. IBM has an ambitious plan to train over 150,000 people in various aspects of cyber security.
This summit on cyber security, by no less than the US President himself, speaks a lot of the urgency of the matter. Given the Government’s resolve on this issue, coupled with a positive response from large US companies, we are heading towards a safer tomorrow.