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White House, tech giants to overhaul cyber security framework

A swathe of new public and private sector reforms have been announced following a meeting between US President Joe Biden and the world’s largest technology companies.

user icon Charbel Kadib
Fri, 27 Aug 2021
White House, tech giants to overhaul cyber security framework
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Representatives from Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft and other tech giants have met with US President Joe Biden to formulate a new cyber security strategy, aimed at building resilience on the organisational and individual level.

Following the discussions, the Biden administration announced that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) would collaborate with stakeholders to develop a new framework to improve the security and integrity of the technology supply chain.

The approach aims to establish guidelines for public and private entities, which includes the development of open-source software, with Coalition, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Travelers committed to participating in the NIST-led initiative.

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The White House also confirmed it would expand the Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Initiative to secure natural gas pipelines.

The technology companies also committed to rolling out independent initiatives:

  • Apple announced it would work with its suppliers to drive the mass adoption of multi-factor authentication, security training, vulnerability remediation, event logging, and incident response;
  • Google revealed it would invest $10 billion over the next five years to expand zero-trust programs, help secure the software supply chain, and enhance open-source security, while also helping facilitate digital skills development;
  • IBM agreed to support the training of 150,000 people in cyber security skills over the next three years;
  • Microsoft announced it would invest $20 billion over the next five years to accelerate the integration of cyber security by designing and delivering new solutions, and revealed it would offer $150 million in technical services to help federal, state, and local governments with upgrading security protection; and
  • Amazon committed t delivering free security awareness training, while also offering a multi-factor authentication device to Amazon Web Services account holders at no additional cost.

“We’ve seen time and again how the technologies we rely on — from our cell phones to pipelines, to the electric grid — can become targets of hackers and criminals,” President Biden said.

“At the same time, our skilled cyber security workforce has not grown fast enough to keep pace.

“… The estimates many of you have given us and we’ve concluded [are] about a half a million cyber security jobs remain unfilled.

That’s a challenge, but it also is a real opportunity [and] I’ve made this a priority for my administration from the outset.”

These latest announcements come just weeks after the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced the launch of the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC) — a new initiative aimed at streamlining cyber defence operations strategies in co-ordination with federal interagency partners, private sector, and state, local, tribal, territorial (SLTT) government stakeholders.

The initiative is expected to reduce cyber risks ahead of a malicious attack, while also facilitating a unified response to an incident.

Specifically, the JCDC aims to:

  • design and implement comprehensive, whole-of-nation cyber defence plans to address risks and facilitate co-ordinated action;
  • share insight to shape joint understanding of challenges and opportunities for cyber defence;
  • implement co-ordinated defensive cyber operations to prevent and reduce impacts of cyber intrusions; and
  • support joint exercises to improve cyber defence operations.

The JCDC will initially comprise of Amazon Web Services, AT&T, CrowdStrike, FireEye Mandiant, Google Cloud, Lumen, Microsoft, Palo Alto Networks, and Verizon.

Government partners currently include the Department of Defense, US Cyber Command, the National Security Agency, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, with Sector Risk Management Agencies also expected to join.

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres

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