REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 2, 2005 — As part of Microsoft Corp.’s Government Leaders’ Forum, hosted this week in Prague, Czech Republic, Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman and chief software architect, today announced Microsoft’s Security Cooperation Program (SCP). This offering provides a structured way for governments and Microsoft to engage in cooperative security activities in the areas of computer incident response, attack mitigation and citizen outreach. The goal of the SCP is to help governments address threats to national security, economic strength and public safety more efficiently and effectively through cooperative projects and information sharing. This program launches with global support that includes Canada’s Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Chile’s Ministry of the Interior, the Norwegian National Security Authority, and the state of Delaware Department of Technology and Information.
“This innovative alliance demonstrates the government of Canada’s commitment to cybersecurity,” said the Honorable Anne McLellan, deputy prime minister and minister of public safety and emergency preparedness for the government of Canada. “Prevention of cyberdisruptions and improving our capacity to respond to incidents are critical to securing both our economy and public safety.”
As participants, Canada, Chile, Norway and the United States will work cooperatively with Microsoft, exchanging information that can be used to better anticipate, help prevent, and respond to and mitigate the effects of information technology (IT) security attacks. Among the types of data to be exchanged are these:
Information about publicly known and reported vulnerabilities that Microsoft is investigating
Information about upcoming and released software updates to facilitate resource planning and deployment
Security incident metrics
Incident information in the event of a critical incident or emergency
Information on Microsoft® product security, Microsoft’s approach to security, and its incident response process
In addition to information exchange, the SCP provides opportunities for cooperation with Microsoft on projects identified by the participating government agencies, including these:
Cooperative consumer outreach and education activities, including development and distribution of materials and special events
Collaboration in computer incident response processes, including joint response in the event of an emergency
“The Digital Age creates some unique challenges for governments to help secure their computing environments,” said Gerri Elliott, corporate vice president for the worldwide public sector at Microsoft. “By taking a collaborative approach with global governments, we can bring to bear the combined expertise from public and private sectors and enable governments to better prepare, manage and mitigate the impact of security incidents.”
“Safeguarding IT security is a daunting job for any organization, but for a national government it’s an especially formidable task,” said Cristin Pea Arenas, chief technology officer for the government of Chile. “Partnerships between the private and public sector on programs like this Security Cooperation Program can contribute to better preparation and innovative solutions to address our unique challenges.”
“One of Delaware’s technology goals is to be ever vigilant in increasing cybersecurity,” said Thomas Jarrett, chief information officer for Delaware. “We are delighted to be an ally with Microsoft in its new Security Cooperation Program and look forward to providing improved cybersecurity defenses for our state government network.”
The Security Cooperation Program is a no-fee program that helps further strengthen Microsoft’s comprehensive approach to providing the technology and services that help enable secure government computing environments. In addition, Microsoft introduced the Government Security Program in January 2003 that provides national governments with controlled access to Microsoft Windows® and Office source code and other technical information they need to be confident in the enhanced security features of the Windows platform. This initiative also builds on the security mobilization effort as part of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Initiative.
In addition to programs that address security concerns, Microsoft sponsors Government Leaders Forums around the world that bring together representatives from global governments and top businesses driving information, citizenship and technology agendas to discuss how countries can empower their citizens through the use of information technology. Among the programs discussed are ones that address the challenge of digital inclusion, such as the Local Language Program, Unlimited Potential, Partners in Learning and Windows XP Starter Edition.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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