Microsoft signs agreement with NATO to bolster government cybersecurity

Microsoft EMEA VP Joe Macri meets with NATO NCI GM Koen Gijsbers at the agreement's signing

In 2003, Microsoft launched the Government Security Program (GSP), an initiative designed to provide national governments with key Microsoft products and services to protect against potential cybersecurity threats.

Since then, Microsoft has broadened the GSP to address new cybersecurity threats, and include new Microsoft services such as vulnerability and threat intelligence to over 25 partner governments across the globe. Now, Microsoft is taking the next step to boost its GSP by signing a landmark agreement with NATO, providing GSP services to many of its member nations.

Microsoft further detailed the program in a press release:

A program designed by Microsoft to help governments evaluate and protect existing systems, and create, deploy, and maintain more secure infrastructure, the GSP fosters partnership and trust. It is open to government agencies regardless of a commercial contract with Microsoft, and is an important part of what we consider to be our duty as global citizens.

According to Microsoft, the Redmond, WA-based company has long maintained a cybersecurity relationship with NATO, and this official signing will solidify that relationship for the foreseeable future.

Speaking on the agreement, NATO NCI (NATO Communications and Information Agency) General Manager Koen Gijsbers detailed how Microsoft's GSP will protect against future cybersecurity threats.

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, NCI Agency strongly believes in rapid and early information sharing on threats and vulnerabilities with leader companies worldwide, such as Microsoft. Trust is the key to success.

In addition to providing NATO member nations with Microsoft products and services to address cyber threats, the agreement will also open up clear channels of communication for information flow between Microsoft and NATO nations.

This agreement is part of Microsoft's expanded enterprise and government offerings, which it has strongly bolstered in the months leading up to its release of Windows 10. Late last week, in a similar attempt to address growing cyber threats, Microsoft acquired Israeli security firm Adallom. As threats grow, the company will likely take steps to remain the top choice for enterprises and governments seeking to mitigate threats to customer data and other sensitive information.

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