REDMOND, Wash. — April 15, 2009 — Today at the Worldwide Public Safety Symposium, Microsoft Corp. announced two ways the company is helping governments increase multiagency operational effectiveness, reduce costs, and improve collaboration and information sharing to help combat threats to public safety and security.
Introducing software solutions and services designed to help governments respond in real time to threats to public safety, Microsoft launched the Citizen Safety Architecture. Also today, Microsoft announced support of the International Criminal Police Organization’s (INTERPOL) Global Security Initiative (GSI), which addresses international security challenges. Both Citizen Safety Architecture and GSI are designed to improve public safety, reduce crime and bring humanitarian relief to crisis situations demanding collective action across multiple disparate groups.
“Given the direct correlation between the declining economy and the rise of public safety concerns, there is a pressing need for innovative, collaborative and integrated solutions, like Citizen Safety Architecture, that deliver to governments the tools they need to ensure the safety of their citizens,” said Tim Bloechl, managing director for worldwide public safety and national security at Microsoft. “Microsoft and INTERPOL recognize the strong synergies between Citizen Safety Architecture and GSI, and our pledge to develop a long-term relationship with organizations like INTERPOL supports the overall goal of Citizen Safety Architecture.”
Microsoft’s Citizen Safety Architecture equips law enforcement, intelligence agencies and emergency services with a platform that allows access to services and rapid partner solution development. The result is a fast and economical deployment of software and services solutions specifically designed to improve public security and safety. By design, Citizen Safety Architecture is based on familiar, proven Microsoft tools to cost-effectively extend and augment organizations’ existing IT investments. These tools include Microsoft Single View Platform, (SVP), Microsoft FusionX, “Eagle,” Microsoft Intelligence Framework, the Microsoft Incident Response Platform and Global Security Operations Centers (GSOCs).
While the initiatives are independent, the goals of Citizen Safety Architecture and INTERPOL’s GSI are similar: They both create enhanced information-sharing and connectivity frameworks addressing the need to protect citizens both physically and virtually, and address the need to synthesize data from a variety of sources. These common interests, along with today’s ceremonial signing of an agreement that Microsoft will provide its Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor (COFEE) tool free of charge to INTERPOL for international distribution, demonstrate the steps Microsoft and INTERPOL are taking to develop a broader relationship. COFEE is a Microsoft-developed application that uses common digital forensics tools to help officers at the scene of a crime gather volatile evidence of live computer activity that would otherwise be lost in a traditional offline forensic analysis. Through the agreement, COFEE will be distributed to INTERPOL’s participating 187 countries around the world to aid global law enforcement in addressing cybercrime.
“To meet 21st-century security threats, and equip global police forces with cutting-edge tools, INTERPOL is forging strategic long-term partnerships with global industry leaders such as Microsoft,” said Elaine Dezenski, managing director of INTERPOL’s Global Security Initiative. “As the world’s global police organization, INTERPOL launched the GSI to partner with the public and private sectors to establish initiatives that will address security threats common to all stakeholders. Our broad, long-term collaboration with Microsoft will raise security standards globally against IT crime, and with COFEE will deliver a vital tool to law enforcement on the front lines.”
Both Citizen Safety Architecture and GSI are grounded in international best practices and embrace the latest government and commercial standards to underpin agile intra-agency and inter-agency collaboration and information gathering. They are focused on delivering enhanced capabilities for intelligence-gathering and investigation, but Citizen Safety Architecture also delivers emergency response, transportation and border control, physical security, and disaster and crisis management.
In addition, Citizen Safety Architecture draws upon Microsoft’s collective knowledge and expertise of a vibrant and growing ecosystem of both international and local partners committed to developing powerful, cost-effective Microsoft-based solutions tailored to public safety needs. Scyron, a provider of security and surveillance solutions, is a Citizen Safety Architecture partner currently working with the policing community and is seeing the impact of Citizen Safety Architecture firsthand.
“Scyron is delighted to join Microsoft in the CSA initiative. We have a special interest in the Microsoft Intelligence Framework, which offers significant collaborative and information-sharing capabilities to assist in ‘Intelligence-Led Policing,’” said Michael Wilks, CEO of Scyron Ltd. “This fits in well with Scyron’s DEMON suite of intelligent surveillance and digital evidence management solutions already in use by many law enforcement organizations around the world, such as Derbyshire Constabulary presenting at the symposium.”
By focusing on interoperable solutions that can work well in mixed environments, evolve over time and serve the needs of constituents, Microsoft’s Citizen Safety Architecture is helping governments face global security challenges.
“Gartner is seeing its public safety clients face more global threats of both crime and terrorism, which defy previously understood neat boundaries for certain government agencies,” said Jeff Vining, research vice president at Gartner Inc. “Effective action to foil criminals and terrorists demands collective action across a disparate phalanx of groups. Technology that enables diverse groups to communicate, collaborate and share critical information holds the key to mobilizing effective resources against these types of threats.”
Solutions addressing critical infrastructure protection and major event management will be added to Citizen Safety Architecture later this year.
About Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Safety Symposium and Citizen Safety Architecture
Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Safety Symposium, running today through April 16, 2009, brings together more than 300 national security operatives, public safety professionals and criminal justice officials. Microsoft is using the forum to demonstrate how the company is already delivering on the Citizen Safety Architecture with a set of innovative software solutions and services to help governments proactively plan for and effectively respond to terrorist attacks, criminal acts and natural disasters:
Microsoft Single View Platform (SVP). SVP helps governments by providing them with a single view of information and data, enabling users to turn situational awareness into action. The platform can be agency- or program-defined, depending on the program requirements and the kind of information needed by the user or agency. Microsoft SVP is an open, industry standards-based technology that provides a highly integrated foundation for data visualization solutions in the area of business intelligence, information sharing, workflow and business processes, project management, and network systems. SVP partners include Advantage Factory Inc., GreenLine Systems, IDV Solutions, Information Strategies Inc., Infusion Development, I.S. Consulting (ISC), The Mariner Group LLC, MicroLink LLC, Planet Technologies, Projility and Twisted Pair Solutions Inc.
Microsoft FusionX. Built to support fusion centers, Microsoft FusionX takes data from disparate sources across federal, state, local and tribal governments, in addition to the private sector, and fuses it into one complete picture to enhance awareness, planning, prevention and incident response. Microsoft, in partnership with the Illinois State Police and other law enforcement agencies, has designed a technology platform and architecture for the sharing of law enforcement intelligence that fills a critical void and could make the world a safer place.
“Eagle.” In the Netherlands Microsoft, Geodan and ESRI have been working on an implementation of the Microsoft Citizen Safety Architecture to deliver a suite of applications and services that allow multiple agencies to collaborate seamlessly. The purpose is to increase responsiveness and realize a single Common Operational Picture to support fast and effective decision-making in a highly complex environment. This cooperation has resulted in the “Eagle,” a solution where Microsoft Office Groove, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, Geodan Movida and ESRI ArcGIS are integrated together into a disaster management information system winning the prominent Dutch Public Safety Award 2008. Jan (J.Th.W.) Slakhorst, deputy director of the fire brigade and chief of disaster management for Crisis Region Gelderland Midden, notes that the “Eagle” system is a perfect collaboration platform for disaster management, saying “It is user-friendly, based on the daily routine. It is usable in different scenarios, from railroad incidents up to extensive flood scenarios.”
Microsoft Intelligence Framework. The Microsoft Intelligence Framework (IF) helps local, national and international law enforcement and intelligence-related organizations share information and work together to provide a coordinated approach to preventing and detecting acts of terrorism, and solving organized and major crime cases. The IF is the result of a five-year collaborative partnership between Microsoft, its partners and law enforcement agencies from around the world that faced a common threat from cybercrime. The framework gives investigators the tools for all-source analysis, which means they can store, search and analyze a broad spectrum of potentially related investigative information.
The Microsoft Incident Response Platform. The Microsoft Incident Response platform provides an effective solution to provide process and role guidance to incident responders, while the built-in geospatial information viewer delivers timely situational information. Microsoft Incident Response Platform is composed of solutions from established Microsoft partners such as E•SPONDER, IDV Solutions, Infonic and CRN Solutions Inc. These solutions help capture structured data and facilitate the movement of this data both vertically and horizontally.
Global Security Operations Centers. Microsoft maintains three world-class 24×7 operations centers to monitor, communicate and coordinate responses for more than 700 Microsoft sites worldwide. The centers, located in the U.S., the U.K. and India, leverage solutions such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, Microsoft Office InfoPath, Microsoft Office Communicator and Microsoft Virtual Earth.
Additional information on the Public Safety Symposium and Microsoft’s vast Citizen Safety Architecture can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/pss/default.aspx.