Defense Secretary Cohen, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Gates Discuss Need to Secure Nation’s Critical Information Infrastructure

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 18, 1999 — Speaking today before Microsoft Corp. employees and information technology professionals from the U.S. Army, Defense Secretary William Cohen and Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates said that the technology industry and government must work together to protect and secure the nation’s critical information infrastructure, a key component of national defense in the digital age.

Secretary Cohen visited the Microsoft campus in Redmond as part of a West Coast trip to discuss the military’s mission in the post-Cold War era with American businesses and communities. Secretary Cohen met with Gates and the company’s software security experts to discuss ongoing corporate and industry efforts to strengthen the protection of computer systems that manage the nation’s energy, telecommunications, transportation and other critical systems. Cohen praised Microsoft for its leadership in working with the government and industry in several areas of mutual interest.

“The men and women of the U.S. military, like employees in this industry, come from every state in the nation to do the best job they are capable of doing,”
Cohen said.
“I’m proud of the partnership we have.”

Gates pointed out that the U.S. military is an important partner and customer for the company on a variety of fronts.

Securing Critical Information Infrastructure

Microsoft has actively participated in the President’s Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection (PCCIP) and the federal agency that grew out of that commission, the Critical Information Assurance Office (CIAO). Microsoft also works with the various Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERT) in the Department of Defense to provide threat and vulnerability information.

“Security and privacy in the information age are priorities for both government and industry,”
Gates said.
“Microsoft is contributing leading technology and experts in this field to help build solutions that will make us safer at home and abroad. Secretary Cohen’s leadership and vision on this important issue will benefit all Americans. The men and women of the armed forces are working hard to ensure that the world is a safer place. In this fast-paced industry, it’s important that we remember the outstanding job they do.”

Microsoft’s Military Skills 2000 Initiative

Secretary Cohen recognized the Microsoft® Skills 2000 initiative, launched in May 1997. Microsoft’s goal with Skills 2000 is to significantly address the work force shortage in information technology (IT) fields by reaching out to people interested in developing technical careers, including members of the military. In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and several other organizations, Microsoft earlier this month announced the Microsoft Skills 2000 Military IT Career Initiative, aimed at recruiting service members making the transition from the military into the growing IT industry. Through this collaborative, multicompany initiative, Microsoft and supporting companies will provide a complete set of resources and skills-development and job-placement services to assist personnel leaving the military who would like to make the transition to an IT career.

Microsoft Technology Helps to Power the U.S. Armed Forces

Gates and Secretary Cohen noted that Microsoft technology is used throughout the military in a variety of strategic programs:

  • The Pentagon’s Joint Deployable Intelligence Support System is often referred to as the military intelligence community’s nervous system. The system provides on-site automation support, connectivity and interoperability for the entire array of military intelligence professionals, from the soldier in the field or sailor at sea to the intelligence analysts at headquarters and ultimately the officers who must make decisions to minimize risk to life while ensuring a mission accomplished. It has supported every major national security event since Desert Shield and Desert Storm. It is also one of the first Joint Intelligence Programs to adopt a comprehensive commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) doctrine by migrating to a Microsoft Windows NT® operating system environment.

  • With the Windows NT-based N u TCRACKER porting tool, the Navy’s Space and Air Warfare Center has been able to slash costs and redeploy staff by moving mission-critical applications from a legacy UNIX platform to Windows NT. N u TCRACKER is a Windows NT-based porting tool from MKS/DataFocus Inc. of Fairfax, Va., that migrates UNIX code onto Windows NT, where it is recompiled so UNIX-based applications can run as native Windows® 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT operating systems-based applications.

  • Microsoft teamed up with the Navy’s Type Commander headquarters to collect, store, report and analyze mission-readiness data for the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. Microsoft’s business challenge was to fully automate and integrate the management of fleet readiness data. With a Windows NT-based data warehousing solution using Microsoft SQL Server
    ™, Microsoft Office, Internet Information Server software and Visual Basic® development system-based applications, Microsoft associate InnovaSystems Inc. automated Navy fleet readiness data management procedures. Readiness reports today take 10 minutes – not four hours – to prepare. The Navy uses 30 percent fewer staff to more accurately and cost-effectively manage fleet readiness data.

  • The U.S. Army engaged Microsoft to help improve its strength management, balancing of skills and deployment of U.S. Army enlisted personnel in Europe. Microsoft’s solution was a highly integrated database solution accessing several legacy personnel systems on the back end with a client/server and Web front end accessing strategic and tactical reports. The effort has yielded improved U.S. Army strategic personnel forecasts, balancing, deployment and readiness reports for Europe.

Microsoft has helped the Army’s tactical capabilities track individual enlisted personnel, meeting individual needs such as the stationing of married U.S. Army couples.

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