Microsoft unveils major security awareness plan


3 Mar 2004

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Microsoft Ireland has launched a major new programme of training seminars and webcasts to raise the profile of IT security and highlight its importance to Irish businesses.

The initiative comprises a programme of free nationwide security training seminars as well as webcasts aimed at improving the software security skills of more than 1,200 IT professionals working in the sector. The plan will also be backed by a radio campaign, with the slogan “protect your PC”, scheduled to run during March and April.

The software giant will also visit third level education institutions throughout Ireland over the next four months.

As part of the nationwide security training programme for IT professionals, Microsoft experts will host training modules in Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Limerick and Galway over the next four months to June 2004. Interested participants will also be able to avail of 90-minute web casts and can access key training materials online.

Topics covered by the security training programme will include everything from the essentials of security and the need for establishing a process for security within an organisation, to applied security strategies which build on a company’s existing knowledge of server, client and network security.

“Security is the number one priority for Microsoft this year,” said Leon McCarthy, business and marketing officer, Microsoft Ireland. “We understand the needs of our customers and the increasing security threats their systems may face. Recent high profile security alerts, such as the MyDoom virus, have further heightened the need for customers to be more vigilant about security.”

More information on upcoming Microsoft security events is available online at www.microsoft.com/ireland/security.

This programme is the local implementation of a Microsoft plan to raise its profile in relation to IT security and to recognise its importance. In the past, the company came in for strong criticism in many quarters for the ease with which its systems could be attacked or compromised.

Security expert Conall Lavery, managing director of Dublin-based IT firm Entropy, welcomed the latest Microsoft initiative. “I had been sceptical about Microsoft’s commitment to security before, but a lot of good, positive things have happened since then,” he told siliconrepublic.com.

Microsoft’s commitment has been in evidence by the financial backing it has given to the Irish security campaign, Lavery added. “You can see that commitment locally, on the ground. There are a lot of local initiatives I’m aware of that they are planning.”

By Gordon Smith