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Microsoft hails European cyber security efforts

07 Feb 2013
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A pair of European cyber security initiatives are helping to make the region safer to surf, according to Microsoft.

The company said in its Security Intelligence Report that countries which participate in the Council of Europe and London Action Plan security initiatives are more likely to have better IT security than those that do not.

Signed in 2001, the Council of Europe cybercrime convention has since been ratified by 37 countries, while the 2004 London Action Plan has been signed by 27 countries.

While each initiative provides a guidance for policies and international cooperation, Microsoft said that they also contribute to strong overall security policies. Of the nations that meet Microsoft's standards for overachieving on security, 51 percent participate in the Council of Europe cybercrime agreement.

"In essence, the COE has succeeded because it has helped to spur governments to enact cybercrime legislation domestically and work to combat international cybercrime. and focuses on problems of cross-jurisdictional importance that serve the interests of many states rather than few," Microsoft said in the report.

"Though there is clearly contention among nations regarding the need for new international treaties related to cyber security, these principles — of establishing enabling mechanisms for intergovernmental action and advancing the interests of a large number of nations — should guide any future treaty with significant relationship to cyberspace."

Furthermore, the company found that 46 percent of nations who overachieved on the report were participants in the London Action Plan resolution.

Microsoft said that going forward, nations should look to strike further cooperation and policy agreements to help combat cybercrime.

"To meet our future security challenges in cyberspace, Microsoft urges governments to participate in a broader dialogue on normative standards to better protect citizens on the internet that includes perspectives from the ICT industry," the company said.

"This process develops rules of behaviour in cyberspace that can reduce threats, increases confidence and trust, and helps improve security of the cyber ecosystem at the international level."

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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