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Microsoft signs renewed cybersecurity agreement with NATO

Mon 14 Sep 2015

Microsoft and NATO have today signed a renewed cybersecurity partnership which will see the tech giant exchange threat intelligence information with the agency’s Communications and Information department.

The agreement falls under Microsoft’s Government Security Program (GSP), established in 2002, to allow worldwide federal bodies controlled access to Microsoft source code. The company currently holds GSP partnerships with over 40 national agencies linked to more than 25 global governments, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Poland and Russia.

“We have found that supporting an open dialogue and collaborative environment is the most effective way to increase transparency, reliability and integrity in our collective desire for improving cybersecurity,” said Glenn Pittaway, Microsoft senior director of Trustworthy Computing Government and Industry Programs.

The NATO deal incorporates the GSP’s newly expanded capabilities and provides the agency with online access to Microsoft’s source code for its key product ranges including Windows and Office, as well as its cloud services and security resources such as vulnerability and threat intelligence information.

“Through this agreement, the NCI Agency will gain access to technical information and documentation about Microsoft products and services, as well as information about internet safety, threat intelligence, online training tools, and guidance to help mitigate the effects of cyberattacks across the region,” added Pittaway.

NATO’s NCI agency general manager Koen Gijsbers, commented that “NATO is facing new and increasingly dangerous threats to cybersecurity across the world and these threats could affect national economies and citizens.” To avoid it, Gijsbers believes in rapid and early information sharing on threats and vulnerabilities with companies such as Microsoft, concluding that “trust is the key to success.”

Today’s signing is part of NATO’s wider Industry Cyber Partnership scheme, which the group launched last year. The treaty organisation was one of the first federal agencies to sign up to the Microsoft GSP initiative, and has been working alongside the IT firm for the last 12 years.

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