With the advent of what has been labelled by some as a new 4th industrial revolution, there is an opportunity for us to enable businesses, organizations and governments worldwide to leverage the latest technology advances and drive toward measurable societal and economic impact so every person on the planet benefits.
Technology continues to rapidly evolve, offering us new ways of working and powering digital transformation for all organizations – whether governments or commercial enterprises. It can help solve some of the most pressing global challenges, which is why Microsoft is committed to working with governments, commercial enterprises, non-profits and all stakeholders to progress against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
But we continually step back to think about and address the paradox and complexities created by the digital economy – from the displacement of jobs to the risk that big data will entrench or worsen existing inequalities. When I last visited the Asia-Pacific region I met with leaders to discuss how governments can better use technology to fight human trafficking, particularly as traffickers become more adepts at using technology to identify victims. So it is this paradox that frames our opportunity and responsibility as digital leaders to be purposeful and principled to ensure that our cloud-based technologies are trusted, responsible and inclusive.
A couple of weeks ago I and a number of Microsoft leaders relayed this message as we kicked off our “Empowerment Tour” at the UN General Assembly. Our upcoming tour stops will provide government and business leaders and policymakers the opportunity to learn how Microsoft cloud solutions and emerging technologies impact the most significant societal issues facing countries and citizens today.
Today, I am extremely pleased to be in Singapore and announce the launch of a joint Transparency Center and Cybersecurity Center, which directly relates to our efforts toward helping to meet UN SDG Goal #16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. The Microsoft regional Transparency Center in Singapore will serve the wider Asia-Pacific region and advance our worldwide commitment to empower countries and drive transparency, security and trust in digital technologies in our mobile-first and cloud-first world.
This Center is a cornerstone of our long-standing Government Security Program (GSP), where we support, collaborate and enable governments to protect citizens, public services and national infrastructure from cybercrime threats and meet their rigorous cybersecurity requirements by building strong protect, detect & respond capabilities.
Participating government agencies can review the source code of Microsoft products, access information on cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities, and benefit from the expertise and insight of Microsoft security professionals. Nearly 40 countries and international organizations currently participate in the Microsoft GSP program with 9 participants from Asia.
To address the rapidly changing cybersecurity landscape, and the rise in cybercriminal activities, the Cybersecurity Center will comprehensively bring forth innovations and advancements by way of a security platform, threat intelligence analytics, advanced threat protection, machine learning capabilities, security services and cloud security. Our security investments include investigating, disrupting and prosecuting global cybercriminals and sharing threat intelligence through a broad set of public-private partnerships.
In the drive to fight and disrupt cybercrime and make Internet a safer place, the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) has fostered various public-private partnerships with public sector and enforcement agencies in the region in the last few years. This includes strategic collaboration with Interpol in global malware botnet disruption operations and a PhotoDNA licensing collaboration to support Interpol’s efforts in preventing child sexual exploitation online, as well as cyber threat intelligence sharing partnerships with several Internet Service Providers in the region and government Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs).
To support a comprehensive, cross-company and cross-industry approach to cybersecurity, Microsoft invests more than a billion dollars a year in security research, innovation and development. This includes a recently announced global Cyber Defense Operations Center (C-DOC), a state-of-the-art 24/7 facility that brings together security response experts from across the company to help protect, detect and respond to threats in real-time, securing Microsoft’s internal resources, cloud infrastructure, customer online services, devices and products. We’ve has also recently established an Enterprise Cybersecurity Group (ECG) – a dedicated team of worldwide security experts who will deliver security solutions, expertise and services that empower organizations to modernize their IT platforms, securely move to the cloud and keep data safe.
We operate in 191 countries and serve consumers, enterprises, and public sector agencies across more than 120 subsidiaries. When we work with governments, our Microsoft partners and other public sector organizations, we believe that we can create more opportunities for the world’s 7.4B citizens through our Cloud for Global Good.
I invite you to follow me as we make more Tour stops throughout the year and look to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.