As reports continue to hint at possible political interference in the electoral process, the tech giants are also working on tools to secure the campaigns and relevant authorities. Microsoft has launched a pilot program called AccountGuard aiming to provide threat monitoring and security services to political committees and election campaigns ahead of the 2018 US midterms.
"Microsoft’s AccountGuard service provides additional security and threat monitoring for Microsoft accounts belonging to participating US campaigns, political committees, campaign tech vendors, and their staff, who are likely to be at a higher risk in the lead up to elections," the company says (via WalkingCat).
Microsoft regularly monitors accounts for cyber threats and provides protection from phishing emails, malware attachments, and suspicious logins. With AccountGuard, we will notify you in the event of a detectable cyber incident and provide reactive remediation support through our standard channels. We will also provide prescriptive best-practice security guidance and work with you to proactively prevent incidents.
The company said that the pilot has been launched in preparation for the 2018 US midterm elections. Participation in the pilot program is being offered on a non-partisan basis to users from the following organizations:
- US-based political campaigns
- US-based political committees
- Select campaign technology vendors
- Select individuals may also participate, if invited by eligible campaigns and affiliated organizations
We have written to Microsoft for a confirmation and more details about this project. In the meantime, it appears that the Redmond software maker is accepting applications from users who want to benefit from Microsoft's Election Defense Technologies.
AccountGuard is part of the Microsoft Defending Democracy Program, which is an initiative that offers cybersecurity solutions for political and electoral organizations. "Cybersecurity has become a critical concern for political campaigns, elections authorities, journalists, NGOs, and more," the company said. "This sampling of Microsoft’s broad security portfolio is meant to be quickly actionable and targeted for small and midsized organizations with high security risks."