Microsoft seeks to safeguard Aussie elections

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Microsoft seeks to safeguard Aussie elections

With the federal election looming, Microsoft has extended its AccountGuard security service to political parties and organisations across Australia.

The free AccountGuard add-on is designed to provide an additional layer of protection to political parties, candidates, staffers, campaign offices and eligible think tanks that use Microsoft Office 365.

The service provides notification about cyber threats — including attacks by known nation state actors — across email systems run by political parties and organisations.

Microsoft first introduced AccountGuard as part of its Defending Democracy program in the wake of the well-publicised allegations about potential Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections.

The service is now available in the US, Canada, India and the UK, as well as in Ireland and 12 other European markets following its introduction in February to coincide with the European Parliament election season.

Microsoft Australia and New Zealand Director of Corporate, External and Legal Affairs Tom Daemen said the launch is aimed at protecting Australia’s democratic rights and institutions.

“We have witnessed in recent times how forces disruptive to democracy have harnessed technology to game our political systems,” he said.

“Australians were reminded in February of this emerging threat to our own institutions, when the federal government revealed that a sophisticated cyber attack had been launched against Parliament House and the people working there. Further, it was revealed that some of our major political parties had also been targeted by the same malicious actor.”

Image credit: ©picsfive/Dollar Photo Club

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