As I always say, it’s about people, process and technology and at Microsoft our security strategy is very much aligned to these three areas. The threat landscape is continually evolving and challenges appear in the form of malware, inappropriate security policies and the regulatory environment. Our security efforts are therefore focussed on the area of partnerships, innovation and prescriptive guidance. Microsoft is working in partnership with Government and industry groups to thwart security threats. So for example, in the UK, we are an active member of the Government backed Get Safe Online program, which aims to educate consumers and businesses on the importance of security.
We are continually developing our products to protect computer users and stay one step ahead of the cyber criminal. So for example, as I’ve already mentioned, our Security Development Lifecycle is used to ensure rigorous testing of software code in products such as Windows Vista. In addition, our MSN Hotmail service blocks 3.4 billion spam messages per day.
Finally, at Microsoft, we’re committed to providing guidance to help businesses and consumers act and secure their digital lives. In the UK alone, according to recent figures from APACS (the UK payments association), online banking fraud alone cost £22.5m in 2006. Therefore we are deeply engaged in customer education programs such as our partnership with GSOL. In fact, a big part of my role is to liaise between customers and our internal development teams, finding out what the problems are and seeing how they can be resolved. My number one message is that prevention is the best defense! You don’t need to wait to protect yourself today. There are numerous resources available (both from Microsoft and across the industry) to help protect against the growing severity of information security threats.
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