Microsoft CEO Meets with Biden, Agrees to Quadruple Cybersecurity Spending

Posted on August 26, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Microsoft with 13 Comments

Image credit: Google

After a meeting with the U.S. President, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has agreed to quadruple cybersecurity spending over five years.

“The reality is most of our critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector, and the federal government can’t meet this [cybersecurity] challenge alone,” U.S. President Joe Biden said in his opening remarks to a group that included Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Mr. Nadella. “I’ve invited you all here today because you have the power and the capacity and the responsibility, I believe, to raise the bar on cybersecurity.”

During the meeting, Biden pressed the tech executives to work with the U.S. government to improve the security of the technology supply chain and make it more resilient to attacks, which are increasingly state-sponsored.

“Thank you [President Biden] for convening a critical conversation on cybersecurity,” Mr. Nadella tweeted after the meeting. “Microsoft will invest $20 billion to advance our security solutions over the next 5 years, $150 million to help US government agencies upgrade protections, and expand our cybersecurity training partnerships.”

Why Microsoft didn’t issue a formal blog post about this investment is unclear, but Reuters reported that it represents a 4x increase in cybersecurity spending from the software giant. Google, however, did issue a post about its own investments.

“We will invest $10 billion over the next five years to strengthen cybersecurity, including expanding zero-trust programs, helping secure the software supply chain, and enhancing open-source security,” Google senior vice president Kent Walker noted. “We are also pledging, through the Google Career Certificate program, to train 100,000 Americans in fields like IT Support and Data Analytics, learning in-demand skills including data privacy and security.”

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Comments (13)

13 responses to “Microsoft CEO Meets with Biden, Agrees to Quadruple Cybersecurity Spending”

  1. navarac

    MSFT (or other companies) shouldn't need to meet the US President, or any other Head of State, before spending more on cybersecurity. A case of MSFTs negligence etc - see Security Now (on TWiT) this week and last. Unforgivable from the viewpoint of a foreign customer of Microsoft's!

    • lvthunder

      Do you ever post anything positive?

      • navarac

        Are you always so freaking rude? I don't particularly agree with your posts a lot of the times, but I am not rude to you. Everyone's views are valid, mate.

      • edlin

        Rude is yesterday's honesty. I appreciate the candid constructive criticism. That is how these technologies were created and bettered. I suggest you avoid listening to interviews with Linus Trovalds. He is a real honest person.... I mean rude.

  2. mikegalos

    And THAT is why Windows 11 requires using the TPM.

  3. waethorn

    Are they going to spend the money to rehire all the QA testers that they laid off?

    • lvthunder

      Why? They aren't good at finding security flaws.

    • edlin

      Beautiful! Exactly! Why do things like keep track of history and avoid making the same mistakes when you can throw the baby out with the bath water and have this new engineering concept replace them and make a multitude of mistakes reminiscent of Windows 97 - Windows 2000?

      Why would we even want things like NO DVR nor XBox in a pro account? Let's give hackers the carrot of a DVR to be found on any national security machine?

      comon' man! Get with the program!

  4. lvthunder

    An increase in spending doesn't mean anything if it's not spent correctly. I think the real need is for more security experts. Sadly that's not something that can happen overnight. It's going to take years to train and for those people to get real-world experience.

  5. badgerboyz

    I don't want to be critical of initiatives that bring more resources and attention to cybersecurity. Having said that, I fear that the average user in his or her personal and family life gets left out of these conversations. Concern with human centric security often seems to stop with the employee human, which is especially shortsighted in today's WFH world. People want more control over their online lives; are companies like Microsoft and Google likely to give it to them?

  6. stevek

    Did the President clear it with the Taliban if it was okay to increase our cyber security?

  7. hecticpolecat

    Basically, the most powerful politician and the single biggest customer, said "do better guys if you want us to rely on your stuff in the future"

    Obviously the scent of future blockbuster contracts similar to JEDI will motivate these companies to move mountains in pursuit of huge revenue opportunities in the future

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