Microsoft Sri Lanka Partners with IT Stakeholders on Clean IT & Cybersecurity

February 20, 2014

The threat of cyber crime is increasing in the Sri Lankan IT landscape at large, fuelled by the growth of PC & Broadband penetration and increasing use of IT & Internet for personal, business, trade and financial transactions. However, with the potential growth of IT and broadband there is a possibility for increase in cyber crime, cyber threats and incidents, where the use of licensed software plays a pivotal role, Microsoft Sri Lanka said in a statemnent yesterday.


Microsoft in 2013 had released a “Computer Security Study” with a focus on South-East Asia, which established that 2 out of 3 new & branded computers installed with pirated software at the point of sale were infected with dangerous malware, which were designed to cause serious vulnerabilities. The study highlighted the value of “Clean IT” (genuine & legal software) for enhanced cyber security and Internet safety of consumers and businesses.

Jayantha Fernando,Director Legal, Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) commented: “increase of Cyber threats and Cybercrime incidents have become a negative factor towards the growth of ICT and Internet and there is a need to address the root cause. The Government has taken many policy initiatives to address this problem by enacting the Computer Crimes Act No. 24of 2007, modeled on the Budapest Cyber Crime Convention and establishing Sri Lanka CERT as the National Centre to mitigate of cyber threats and incidents at a national level. Further, ICTA adopted a High Level Information Security Policy along with the e-Government Policy (2009) in order to make Governments organisations aware of challenges associated with Information Security and creating awareness amongst people. Information Security best practice suggests that malware and other vulnerabilities can be greatly mitigated by using licensed software with regular updates, instead of using pirated software. It is important for consumers and businesses to adopt genuine and legal IT for a comprehensive cyber security foundation”.

“Microsoft Sri Lanka is committed to increase its contributions to counter cyber crime, by promoting the benefits of “Clean IT” and healthy IT business practices around Software Asset Management (SAM), in partnership with important IT Stakeholders and Government in the country. Microsoft not only offers strong and robust IT products and cloud solutions, but also works towards strengthening the capacity of law enforcement bodies to combat cyber crime and reduce software piracy”, said,Keshav Dhakad, Regional Director of IP and Cybercrime, Microsoft Asia-Pacific & Japan, Singapore.

In addition to technical support, Microsoft has offered assistance to the country’s law enforcement authorities in their mission to curb cyber crimes and prosecute cyber criminals. Sri Lanka Police, in collaboration with the Criminal Investigation Department and Information Technology Division, has set up ‘Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3) to probe into complaints pertaining to cyber crimes.

Lal Dias, Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team Coordination Centre (Sri Lanka CERT|CC), says that Microsoft having initially partnered them to conduct the annual Cyber Security Week, resulted in Sri Lanka CERT becoming one of the first signatories to the Microsoft Security Corporation Programme (SCP) and the Digital Crimes Community Portal.  The Associationestablished in 2007 to protect the nation's information infrastructure and coordinate protective measures against cyber security threats, has worked very closely with Microsoft Sri Lanka from its inception. “With the setting up of the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC), this association further blossomed with daily feeds of malicious URL’s and weekly feeds of botnet traffic,which has immensely benefitted our Sri Lankan constituents in the Public and Private Sectors.Now, with the setting up of the expanded Digital Crimes Unit, we expect this relationship to mature further, not only with the provision of Malware and Botnet feeds but through increased visibility and expertise through Microsoft’s global footprint and by helping us interact with international Law Enforcement Agencies to take down malicious sites,” says the CEO.

Cybercrime ranges from unauthorized access to IT systems, hacking of bank accounts, identify theft, confidential data theft and alteration, denial of services attack, Phishing, SPAM, theft of intellectual property, etc, and IT security experts are increasing saying that cyber crimes would soon be the biggest challenge for police and other law enforcement bodies due to its growing sophistication and transnational nature.

Microsoft recently announced the launch of its state-of-the-art “Cybercrime Center”, a center of excellence to advance the global fight against cyber crime. Microsoft’s Global Digital Crimes Unit (DCU), an international team of lawyers, investigators, analysts, cyber forensic experts, are part of the Cybercrime Center and collaborate with industry partners, customers and law enforcement to help lead the fight against cyber crime, in particular attacking and disrupting malicious software crimes (botnet operations), Intellectual Property (IP) crimes (piracy), and technology-facilitated child exploitation (child pornography).