Microsoft is expanding its AccountGuard cybersecurity service to 12 new European markets to help organizations defend against a rise in cyberthreats as they prepare for upcoming Parliament elections.
Nation-states and other attackers aim to influence elections and disrupt democracies around the world. The 2017 French presidential election was subject to hacking and disinformation attacks, and European leaders have predicted more attacks will continue in Europe this year.
These threats extend outside campaigns to hit think tanks and nonprofits that work with government agencies on electoral integrity, public policy, and democracy. Recent attacks, reportedly by Strontium, have targeted 104 accounts of employees of the German Council on Foreign Relations, The Aspen Institutes in Europe, and the German Marshall Fund. Workers were located in Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, and Serbia, Microsoft reports.
Microsoft is expanding availability of AccountGuard to France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovakia, and Spain. It already was available in the US, Canada, Ireland, and the UK, bringing the total to 14 European countries.
AccountGuard is available at no extra cost to political candidates, parties, and campaign offices at local and national levels, as well as think tanks, nonprofits, and non-governmental organizations working on democracy and electoral integrity. The service, which alerts users to cyberthreats across personal and enterprise email accounts, is free for Office 365 users.
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