As the world responds to the outbreak of COVID-19, our thoughts are with all the people most affected, including frontline medical professionals, first responders, utility personnel (water, waste, garbage, etc.) working around the clock to help those most in need. Microsoft and partners like ourselves are doing our part by ensuring the safety of our employees, protecting the health and well-being of the communities in which we operate, and providing technology, information, and resources to government agencies and partners to help them continue to do their best work.
In this crisis, we recognize that governments must continue to deliver critical citizen services while executing their Continuity of Operations (COOP) plans. Microsoft has comprehensive measures in place to minimize any disruption to operations and resources. To ensure Microsoft is prioritizing the unique needs of critical government agencies, it is actively monitoring performance and usage trends to deliver optimal services worldwide.
Enable remote government access
Maintaining the primary functions of government requires secure and reliable tools to break down barriers, share information and work optimally where policies and needs intersect to ultimately create and manage initiatives more effectively. Governments need to ensure continuity of operations for their parliaments, cabinets, and councils to make decisions collaboratively and securely.
Record numbers of citizens are forced to stay home and cannot work or travel to receive benefits or support; many existing systems were not designed to handle the current volumes of requests. Remote solutions and scalable systems are needed to handle demand to distribute services to those in need.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the legal system. It is universally accepted that independent, timely, and fair delivery of justice in a society is vital to the functioning of democracy as it provides a critical check-and-balance against the function of the executive and the legislatures. Courts must be able to maintain operations and carry out judicial proceedings during this crisis, for example Judges interacting with lawyers.
Empower cross agency collaboration
Government agencies need to coordinate and communicate in real-time to share information to respond quickly and save lives. Enabling communication across these agencies such as first responders, hospitals and public health in streamlined and secure channels is paramount. Government agencies need to capture real data about program compliance and impact on infection rates while enabling privacy controls and transparency. Azure powers mobile app to limit COVID-19 spread and stay Healthy App and Azure Maps accelerate COVID-19 dashboard development. Government health organizations also need to visualize and comprehend data, across agencies to track and have an impact on the spread of COVID-19. Microsoft is helping customers with collection and data visualization with sample codebase that can be quickly deployed, and in many cases already connected to key datasets.
The sudden eruption of COVID-19 pandemic has imposed a considerable impact on the fraud detection and prevention market. The COVID-19 pandemic has given positive rise to a new malicious threat i.e. fraudsters, owing to increase in usage of electronic transactions who target susceptible individuals or organizations and seek to exploit the humanitarian crisis for their own benefit.
Deliver trust and secure services
Microsoft security products provide built-in protections against COVID-19 attacks and other threats, and it has published detailed guidance to help organizations combat current threats (Responding to COVID-19 together). Microsoft threat experts are sharing examples of malicious lures and we have enabled guided hunting of COVID-themed threats using Azure Sentinel Notebooks. Microsoft processes trillions of signals each day across identities, endpoint, cloud, applications, and email, which provides visibility into a broad range of COVID-19-themed attacks, allowing us to detect, protect, and respond to them across its entire security stack.