Microsoft Corporation is making broader inroads into the cybersecurity sphere in Azerbaijan. On Tuesday, representatives from the American company’s local subsidiary signed a strategic partnership agreement with Gilan Holding in Baku.
The agreement between Microsoft Azerbaijan and what is one of the largest holding companies in Azerbaijan’s economy is expected to lead to a strengthening of the overall network security environment in the Caspian country.
The main purpose of the agreement is to support the policy of the Azerbaijani government in the field of information technology and the removal of pirated software and get support from the technology giant in the process of incorporating new generation information technologies into the business, according to a statement published by Marja.az.
Businesses in Azerbaijan is, of course, expected to benefit from the deal, which leverages Microsoft products like Azure cloud computing platform and services. The agreement also takes into consideration licensing and anti-piracy concerns.
Gilan Holding expects that with collaboration, the integrity of its business processes is strengthened, while also using predictive analytics and original software, and enhancing the reliability of information systems, including protection against IT-risks, cyber-attacks, and personal data theft.
Cybersecurity, as an industry and professional practice, is on the rise. A 2018 Global Data Risk Report from Varonis Data Lab notes that 58 percent of companies across the world have over 100,000 data folders that are open to external cyber threats. An IBM-sponsored Cost of a Data Breach Study by the Ponemon Institute revealed that the average cost for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information increased by 4.8 percent year over year, to reach $148 in 2017. The 2018 Internet Threat Security Report compiled by the cybersecurity corporation Symantec suggests that there are around 24,000 malicious mobile apps neutralized by blocking every day.
In turn, the cybersecurity sector in Azerbaijan is growing. The country ranks 48 among 193 countries in the Global Cybersecurity Index compiled by the International Telecommunication Union, trailing only Russia in the Caspian region, which ranks number 10.
In 2009, Azerbaijan’s parliament ratified the Convention on Cybersecurity, also as the Budapest Convention. The treaty is first of its kind, uniting international efforts for seeking ways to address Internet and computer crime by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques, and increasing cooperation among nations.
The government of Azerbaijan is currently developing a national cybersecurity strategy that will address comprehensive safeguarding intervention in the national ecosystem.