Microsoft knows a good business when it sees one. With politicians more worried than ever about cyber attacks and the loss of sensitive data, Microsoft just announced a new cyber security initiative aimed squarely at Latin America.
This initiative goes back to 2015, when the company first established a Cyber Defense Operations Center in Redmond, a state-of-the-art facility used by security experts to “protect, detect, and respond to threats in real time.” Bret Arsenault, chief information security officer at Microsoft, said at the time that the facility would help the company “empower organizations to modernize their IT platforms, move to the cloud and keep data safe.”
In many ways, this new project is an iteration made for Latin America.
“The new center will work together with Microsoft’s Cyber Crime Center in Redmond, Washington,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive VP and president of Microsoft global sales, marketing and operations. “The objective is to help companies and governments with security solutions which facilitate their digital transformation through the cutting-edge intelligence, data analysis, forensics and legal strategies that we offer.”
Although the Center’s principle aim will be to support government agencies, it will also provide a limited number of services to private-sector companies and individuals. The facility will be designed to “dismantle criminal organizations” that employ botnets to spread malware and compromise online security. It will also offer training programs for public security personnel.
“At Microsoft, we are committed to invest in the region so we can bring our cyber security capabilities to customers by identifying threats that affect the economy’s prosperity. By opening this Cyber Security Center, we offer our clients protection from attacks and security risks, as well as ways to detect them and find solutions,” added Jorge Silva, general manager of Microsoft Mexico.
Among other capabilities, the Center will help:
- Train governments to proactively fight cybercrime, especially botnet schemes;
- Facilitate collaboration between LatAm cyber security experts and Microsoft specialists;
- Act as headquarters for technical training and support activities.
Microsoft has also agreed to establish a joint Government Security facility with Mexico’s Federal Police that specializes in cyber security research and technical training.
The agreement was signed by the head of the Federal Police, Manelich Castilla, and Jorge Silva of Microsoft Mexico. Renato Sales Heredia, the Interior Ministry’s national security commissioner, and Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive president of Microsoft global sales, marketing and operations, were present as honorary witnesses.
“By opening this center, we are committed to bringing Microsoft’s security offer increasingly closer to customers and becoming a strategic part of their transformation. Together, we will help the nation and region become more prosperous, productive and, above all, safer,” said Jorge Silva.
Given all the bugs and vulnerabilities that have permitted agencies, hackers and cartels to routinely infiltrate Windows-based systems, Microsoft has arguably more experience battling cybercrime than any other organization in the world.
It’s about time it put this vast knowledge to good use.