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Microsoft Industry Blogs - Canada

A cyber defence team in action

Canada’s defence and intelligence agencies are undergoing an important cultural shift. They are increasingly embracing the idea of exploiting the full potential of technology in support of their mission. There is a clear recognition that technology-based innovation is vital to staying one step ahead of potential threats to our national security and we’re seeing more government and military organizations put cloud, AI and machine learning technologies at the core of their defence strategy.

The evolving landscape of global threats

Defending against cyber threats is a complex, ever evolving and never-ending challenge. This past September, we released the Microsoft Digital Defense Report illustrating how threat actors are increasingly sophisticated in their techniques and what organizations and agencies can do to defend against them.

Looking at the data and signals from the cross-company teams, one area that came into sharp focus was nation state threats. Defined as cyber threat activity that originates in a particular country with the apparent intent of furthering national interests, nation state attacks represent some of the most advanced and persistent threat activity Microsoft tracks. These threat actors seek to collect trade secrets and intellectual property for a number of reasons, which can include accelerating the growth of their own domestic industries, advancing a military program, or determining how advanced an adversarial nation’s weapons or technology capabilities are. Government organizations are among the top targeted industry sectors with threat actors specifically focusing on military institutions, foreign ministries and national legislatures.

An ally to the defence and intelligence community

At Microsoft, we are focused on delivering world-class capability and digital transformation to the Canadian and international allied defence community. It is our goal to advance their mission, and we do this by helping to keep critical data safe and ensuring compliance while delivering capabilities through a secure hybrid cloud infrastructure. When thinking about how an agency may want to deliver trusted and secure infrastructure and services, it can take several different shapes. This includes:

  • Delivering secure access to hyperscale clouds​ to modernize infrastructure for improved access, security, scalability and flexibility.
  • Distributing cloud enabled capabilities to the tactical edge​ enabling forward deployed forces to digitally conduct reconnaissance.
  • Extending networks and cloud capabilities with 5G and space connectivity to help meet your mission in a variety of environments.

Making cybersecurity a part of your mission

As more defence and intelligence agencies focus on cyber threats, there are also steps they can take to protect their information domain and grow cyber force capabilities including:

  • Implementing Zero Trust to help defend the integrity of the mission against advanced threats. Microsoft’s approach to Zero Trust involves leveraging technology from across our stack, integrating, coordinating and synchronizing it through policies, dynamic risk assessments and conditional access policies. We combine all of this with telemetry and monitoring.
  • Modernizing Security Operations Centres to help protect military data and information shared across defence and intelligence networks from cyber threats. A Modern Security Operations Center (SOC) environment needs massive scale and elasticity, and built-in machine learning and AI, that frees your security operations personnel from managing infrastructure and provides the ability for them to focus instead on monitoring and responding to alerts.
  • Delivering cybersecurity assessments, training and ranges for improved infrastructure security and agility without exposing network vulnerabilities.

According to Kate Maxwell, Chief Technology Officer, Defense & Intelligence for Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector, information is helping our defence customers get ahead of their adversaries, so it’s critical these agencies have extensive security measures in place to keep their data safe against the rapidly evolving global threat landscape. With over 40 years experience in serving defence and intelligence agencies and the most comprehensive set of compliance and security solutions, we remain dedicated to driving digital innovation and transformation that empowers agencies and protects national security.

For more information on cybersecurity in defence and intelligence, please visit Defense and Intelligence | Microsoft Industry