Q-CERT joins Microsoft's Security Program

Wednesday, June 18, 2008
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The Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) and Microsoft announced today that the Qatar's Center for Information Security, Q-CERT, has signed an agreement with Microsoft to join its Security Cooperation Program (SCP).

Q-Cert, Microsoft signing dealQ-Cert, Microsoft signing deal

Through the agreement, Q-CERT and Microsoft aim to promote the security of information systems and networks in Qatar and to exchange information to help that effort.

"Cyber security is not confined to national boundaries. Partnering with Microsoft as part of its Security Cooperation Program will allow Q-CERT to better address cyber security for individuals and business in Qatar," said Khalid Al-Hashmi, Operations Manager at GIMO, ictQATAR.

Through the SCP, Microsoft provides a structured way for governments and Microsoft to engage in cooperative security activities in the areas of computer incident response, attack mitigation, and citizen outreach. The goal of the SCP is to help governments address threats to national security, economic strength, and public safety more efficiently and effectively through cooperative projects and information sharing.

This program was launched in February 2005 with global participation. There are another 45 countries who are signatories of this program.

The Security Cooperation Program is a no-fee program that helps further strengthen the comprehensive Microsoft approach to providing the technology and services that help enable secure government computing environments.
In addition, Microsoft earlier introduced the Government Security Program (GSP) in January 2003 to provide national governments with controlled access to Microsoft® Windows® and Office source code and other technical information they need in order to be confident in the enhanced security features of the Windows platform. This initiative also builds on the security mobilization effort as part of the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Initiative.

The SCP will complement Q-CERT's Cyber Security Network (CSN) initiative, which has been created to bring together the Critical Sector Organisations in Qatar, to better understand their information security requirements and to enable Q-CERT to focus its output to meet them.

"We are pleased to have Qatar as part of our growing Security Cooperation community. The work of Q-CERT and ictQATAR to improve cyber security throughout the country is to be commended and we are pleased to share Microsoft's expertise to assist in their efforts," said Mohammad Hammoudi, the Country Manager for Microsoft.

Q-CERT was established by ictQATAR to safeguard and improve the security of information and communications systems in Qatar. It provides a range of services, advice on current security practices, training on how to improve organizational incident response and recovery and an early warning system of advisories on emerging threats and security trends. Q-CERT can help organizations improve their internal first responder practices, so as to minimize damage and expedite recovery operations.

Additional information about the SCP is available on this link