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News Article

Tech Giants Disclose Investments to Improve Cybersecurity

By Andrea Villar | Thu, 08/26/2021 - 17:16

At a high-level meeting held by US President Joe Biden's administration at the White House with leaders from the technology, banking, insurance, energy and academic sectors, the President named cybersecurity issues a “core national security challenge,” prompting major investments by tech giants and pledges to address the threat.

“We have seen time and again how the technologies we rely on, from our cell phones to pipelines, the electric grid, can become targets of hackers and criminals,” Biden said in a statement, pointing to recent attacks on US companies that have jeopardized citizens' day-to-day lives, including the attack on Colonial Pipeline in May.

In response, Google said it would spend US$10 billion on cybersecurity initiatives, while IBM pledged to provide broader backup services already used by critical infrastructure operators. Meanwhile, Microsoft said it would spend US$20 billion over five years on cybersecurity initiatives and pledged US$150 million in support of federal, state and local governments that want to improve their security. Amazon's cloud computing division also said it would provide free multi-factor authentication devices to US customers who spend at least US$100 a month on average on Amazon Web Services, the White House reported in a statement. 

Meanwhile, Apple said it would take measures to strengthen its supply chain security, agreeing to encourage its suppliers to strengthen their cybersecurity through the use of multi-factor authentication and better record-keeping. Back in April, the company led by Tim Cook was the target of a US$50 million ransomware attack after a set of product engineering and manufacturing schematics were stolen from Quanta, a Taiwan-based company that makes Apple's MacBooks and other products. Russian hacking group REvil, which previously also targeted Acer, leaked never-before-seen photos of Apple products owned by Quanta. 

In early June, the US Department of Justice raised ransomware attacks to the same level as terrorism, showcasing the “elevated risk these attacks pose to national security, the economy, society and democracy,” told the Director of Strategic Threat at Darktrace, Marcus Fowler, to Mexico Business News. “The standards regarding how companies should be protecting themselves could also be improved – higher standards defend companies from a variety of cyber threats and prevent ransomware attacks,” he said. 

Mexico has been no exception to hackers' targets, ranking as the country with the second highest number of cyberattacks in Latin America. In addition, 95 percent of companies in the country do not have insurance to protect them from cyberattacks that steal data and personal information, revealed a study by insurance company Sekura.

Andrea Villar Andrea Villar Journalist and Industry Analyst