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Google and Microsoft Investing Billions in Cybersecurity 

October 11, 2021

A quick search on the internet of ransomware trends will return thousands of articles on the increasing number of ransomware attacks and cyberthreats, estimated by Cybersecurity Ventures to reach $20 billion in cost of damages this year. It’s no surprise then to hear that two of the largest tech companies are making substantial investments in improving cybersecurity efforts.  

In a meeting with the Biden Administration in August both Google and Microsoft pledged billions of dollars to further cybersecurity efforts.

“Google promised to invest $10 billion over the next five years on bolstering the security of software supply chains and open-source software, while Microsoft announced a $20 billion investment over the same time period (which represents a quadrupling of its prior planned spend),” writes Martin Giles in an article for Forbes.

One area of particular interest are supply chain attacks, which target the companies, hardware, and software that are used by tech giants to conduct their day-to-day business. These types of attacks can be especially difficult to detect and prevent. 

To that effect, “Apple pledged to launch a new program to bolster security at its suppliers—including more than 9,000 businesses in the U.S.—that will include a greater emphasis on security training,” says Giles.

The cybersecurity skills gap is a major concern. In their annual report, “The Life and Times of Cybersecurity Professionals 2021,” the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) and analyst Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) stated that the cybersecurity skills gap is in its 5th year with little to no improvements shown. 

“The top ramifications of the skills shortage include an increasing workload for the cybersecurity team (62%), unfilled open job requisitions (38%), and high burnout among staff (38%),” reports ISSA. “Further, 95% of respondents state the cybersecurity skills shortage and its associated impacts have not improved over the past few years and 44% say it has only gotten worse.

A number of tech companies are increasing efforts to fill the estimated nearly 500,000 vacant cybersecurity positions. IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon have all made pledges to address these gaps, shares Giles, including:

  • “IBM will train 150,000 people in cybersecurity skills over the next three years and will partner with more than 20 historically black colleges and universities to establish leadership centers that will help build a more diverse cybersecurity workforce. 

  • Microsoft pledged to expand its partnerships with community colleges and nonprofits for cybersecurity training. 

  • Amazon said it will offer to the public for free the same security awareness training that it offers its employees.” 

Giles note that it’s important that these efforts extend beyond America. He noted that the Biden Administration is working with the G7 countries to hold nations accountable if they harbor ransomware criminals. The Administration is also working toward updating NATO’s cyberpolicy.

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