Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said Monday that the company has ramped its cybersecurity spending to over $1 billion a year.
“I became CEO 11 and a half years ago, and we probably spent three to $400 million [per year] and we’re up over a billion now,” Moynihan said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
“The institutions around us, other institutions and my peers, spend like amounts, and our contracting parties spend like amounts,” he added. “In other words, we cause spending in third parties that provide services to us to protect us in the same way. So there’s a lot of money being spend on this, and I think one of the things our industry has done a great job of is work together.”
A series of sweeping cyberattacks have struck private companies and federal government networks over the past year. Two of the most recent were on Colonial Pipeline — the operator of the country’s largest fuel pipeline — and JBS, the world’s largest meatpacking company.
This has led firms and governments to reassess and modernize their cybersecurity defenses, as these attacks have become a source of economic damage. Last month, President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at strengthening U.S. cybersecurity defenses. According to NBC News, the Biden administration is moving to treat ransomware attacks as a national security threat.
However, it also falls on the private sector to do their part. Anne Neuberger, deputy national security advisor, called on corporate leaders in an open letter earlier this month to strengthen their technology defenses.
“The private sector also has a critical responsibility to protect against these threats,” Neuberger wrote.
In the wide-ranging interview, Moynihan also said consumers are spending more freely as the economy continues to open up. He added that 60,000 employees in the U.S. have informed the bank of their Covid-19 vaccination status and are starting to return to the offices.
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