Tech giant Google has announced it will invest $10bn (€8.51bn) over the next five years to strengthen cyber security.

The focus will be on expanding zero-trust programmes, helping secure the software supply chain, enhancing open-source security and training Americans.

The company pledged it will help 100,000 US citizens earn Google Career Certificates in fields such as security, data privacy IT support and data analytics, as well as train more than 10m in digital skills from basic to advanced by 2023.

The initiatives come in the wake of an increasing number of serious cyber-attacks and was announced as company representatives participated in a cyber security meeting with President Joe Biden.

“Governments and businesses are at a watershed moment in addressing cyber security. Cyber-attacks are increasingly endangering valuable data and critical infrastructure,” said Google’s senior vice-president of global affairs Kent Walker, who identified three key challenges for governments and companies: 

  • Organisations depending on vulnerable legacy infrastructure and software, rather than adopting modern IT and security practices, while “too many governments” rely on legacy vendor contracts which limit competition and choice, inflate costs and create privacy and security risks;
  • Nation-state actors, cyber criminals and other malicious actors targeting weaknesses in software supply chains, with many vendors not having the tools or expertise to stop them; and
  • Countries lacking enough people trained to anticipate and deal with those threats. 

Walker said the Presidential meeting was an acknowledgment of the threats faced and a call to action to address them, commenting: “It emphasised cyber security as a global imperative and encouraged new ways of thinking and partnering across government, industry and academia.”

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