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Portugal joins nations coordinating to fight cyber crime

09 May 2012 | Martin Slijkhuis, Public Safety and National Security Industry Lead, Microsoft Western Europe

​Cyberspace has increasingly become not only a place of learning and social relations but also a hub of national economic activity. World governments must take action to protect the networks that serve global relations as well as private citizens’ needs.

So, we are proud to share the news that Microsoft has signed a protocol with Admiral Torres Sobral, Portugal’s National Authority for Security, to help the Portuguese government defend against national cyber crime. Through this new partnership, Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit (DCU), the division of Microsoft dedicated to combating digital crimes such as spam, malware, hacking and exploitation, will directly support Portugal’s future National Cybersecurity Center, whose implementation is being led by the country’s National Security Office.

Portugal has already seen success with a previous coordinated effort to reduce malicious attacks. In 2008, the country launched its Service Incident Response Computer Security center (CERT.PT) to respond to security incidents, and the 12th volume of Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report (SIR), released last week, showed that software infections have declined substantially since CERT’s launch. Still, the attack rate on PCs in Portugal is higher than the world average, and recent data suggests that the malware used in these attacks is becoming more sophisticated.

The new partnership with Microsoft will empower Portugal’s national public entities operating in the area of cybersecurity to develop the knowledge, methodologies and practices that help combat crime in this ever evolving landscape. Microsoft and Portuguese officials will work together to develop activities for government entities and public administrations based on information sharing, technical training and continued discussions around the issue of security in cyberspace. These programs aim to create the critical information hubs among public, private and academic groups that have proven to be one of the most effective tools for maintaining cybersecurity.

With this announcement, and the ongoing development of its National Cybersecurity Center, Portugal joins an elite group of countries that have established coordinated, government-led efforts around cybersecurity, including Luxembourg and France, among others. In January, the Dutch government opened its own National Cybersecurity Center, and in February signed a letter of intent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agreeing to coordinate a number of security initiatives to promote a safe, secure and resilient cyber environment.

Partnerships such as these strengthen countries’ abilities to combat terrorism and transnational crime, ensure a stronger and more resilient global supply chain, and better protect the safety of their citizens. This growing trend of international cooperation signifies the importance of high-level coordination in national security and stability worldwide, and we look forward to seeing future collaborations develop.

For more information about DCU’s new partnership with Portugal, read the full announcement (in Portuguese) in the Microsoft newsroom.

Have a comment or opinion on this post or a question for the author? Let me know @MicrosoftPSNS or email us at safetyanddefense@microsoft.com.

To learn more about the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, visit www.microsoft.com/dcu.

Martin Slijkhuis
Public Safety and National Security Industry Lead, Microsoft Western Europe

Microsoft on Safety and Defense Blog posts

About the Author

Martin Slijkhuis | Public Safety and National Security Industry Lead, Microsoft Western Europe

Martin advises defense, justice, and police organizations on emerging technologies for defense transformation and citizen safety architecture. This includes bridging knowledge transfer for governments developing strategies to address cyber threats.