After over a year where the U.S. faced slews of cyberattacks hitting hospitals, banks, and just about everything else, President Joe Biden is turning to tech’s top players for some advice. Bloomberg was first to report that Biden has plans this Wednesday to meet with the CEO’s from Apple, Microsoft and Amazon to discuss private-sector efforts to beef up their cybersecurity.
Citing “people familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg reported that Apple’s Tim Cook, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, and Amazon’s Andy Jassy are planning to attend a White House event scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. (“People familiar with the matter” also confirmed to Gizmodo that Jassy would be attending the meeting.) Meanwhile, CNBC reported that IBM CEO Arvind Krishna would be at the meeting, too.
The head honchos of other major firms — including banks and energy companies — are also reportedly on the invite list. Bloomberg reported that JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was extended an invite, and Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning has plans to attend.
Reached for comment, Amazon declined to publicly comment on the meeting. A Microsoft spokesperson referred Gizmodo to the White House. The White House, IBM, Apple, and JP Morgan did not yet respond to requests for comment.
Bloomberg didn’t get the specifics of what these executives would be talking about during their White House sojourn, but considering this is Biden we’re talking about, it’s worth assuming “infrastructure” will be high on the list. Last month, the White House issued a National Security Memorandum that was meant to help certain major players in the private sector — like the aforementioned banks — establish “new standards” to beef up their cybersecurity strongholds.
It appears as though Biden will try to court these CEOs into helping him achieve that. One senior official told Bloomberg that the executives “are likely to discuss how software can drive better security in the supply chain.”
And frankly, the supply chain needs all the help it can get. When cyberattacks hit these infrastructure strongholds, jobs get lost, gas prices climb, and the water supplies for entire towns get poisoned. Unless the Biden administration gets a handle on these hacks ASAP, things are only going to keep getting worse.