Tech Overlook

Microsoft expands defending democracy program to UK


By Hugh Milward, Microsoft UK Director, Corporate External & Legal Affairs

Today, we’re taking another important step forward in protecting democracy with the launch of Microsoft AccountGuard for the UK, part of our Defending Democracy Program and an expansion of AccountGuard for the US, announced in August.

We work with governments and other customers around the world daily to help them take steps to strengthen their security and concerns have been raised about possible interference in elections. We have seen foreign entities attempting to carry out cyberattacks and attempting to undermine trust in the democratic process.

Effective immediately, Microsoft AccountGuard is open to all candidates running for office; the campaign organisations of all elected politicians; political parties; technology vendors who primarily serve campaigns and committees; and certain charity and non-governmental organisations, such as bodies that organise the electoral process, involved in the democratic process.

Microsoft announced AccountGuard for the US in August
Microsoft announced AccountGuard for the US in August

The service will provide notification about cyberthreats, including attacks by known nation-state actors, in a unified way across both email systems run by eligible organisations and the personal accounts of these organisations’ leaders and staff. It will also offer ongoing security guidance and education and provide early adopter opportunities for security features.

The technology is free of charge to eligible organisations using Office 365 and is designed to protect organisations that underpin democracy from cyberattacks. Interested organisations can visit www.microsoft.com/accountguard to learn more.

As we’ve said before, we know that Microsoft can’t solve this challenge alone, and as we continue to expand the program, we’ll look for opportunities to work with others across government, civil society and industry.

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