Saying it wants to protect the integrity of democratic processes and institutions in the Philippines, Microsoft said it will introduce a new service from their Defending Democracy Program.
Called Microsoft 365 (M365) for Campaigns, the service offers high-end security capabilities of the Microsoft 365 Business offering to political parties and campaigns.
The majority of security breaches faced by political campaigns originate from malicious phishing attacks targeting email and file sharing systems. Despite such incidents, many campaigns are still ill-equipped to deal with threats from nation-states and criminal scammers, Microsoft said.
Campaign staffers and leaders in campaign technology often discuss how security solutions for email often were too hard to configure and too expensive. M365 for Campaigns addresses these issues by making it easy to deploy advanced security features at a lower cost.
“Microsoft’s Defending Democracy Program continues to work with the government to explore technological solutions to preserve and protect electoral processes,” said Microsoft Philippines legal corporate affairs director Raul Cortez. “Philippine democracy must not fall to threats such as malicious phishing and file sharing systems which can be prevented.”
The company said a campaign staff need not be an IT expert to get advanced security protections from the types of threats they face. M365 for Campaigns streamlines the configuration and setup for high-impact security settings, it said.
Furthermore, any campaign using M365 for Campaigns will have free access to Microsoft’s AccountGuard service, which provides notification about cyberthreats, including attacks by known nation-state actors, in a unified way across both email systems run by organizations and the personal accounts of these organizations’ leaders and staff who opt in.
To date, AccountGuard is protecting more than 36,000 email accounts in 26 countries and has made hundreds of threat notifications to participants.
“Microsoft is currently exploring ways to bring Microsoft 365 for Campaigns to the Philippines in order to protect campaigns from hacking and increase political advertising transparency online,” said Cortez. “Cyber-enabled interference has become a critical concern, pushing Microsoft to strengthen partnerships with the government with a goal to protect free and fair elections.”