Microsoft Build 2019: Microsoft launches election security service, SDK

ElectionsGuard is an open source software developer kit for security and Microsoft 365 for Campaigns also aims to secure federal races.

Developer conferences: Have they jumped the shark and forgotten about developers? ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley and Larry Dignan lament how developer conferences such as Microsoft Build, Google I/O, Facebook F8 and Apple WWDC are more about corporate vision statements and less about the actual tools developers actually use. Read more: https://zd.net/2V0mt0A

Microsoft is getting into the political game as it aims to secure voting systems via ElectionGuard, an open-source software development kit, and Microsoft 365 for Campaigns, a security service for political parties and campaigns.

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The ElectionGuard SDK was developed with Galois, a security and verification firm. Galois in 2016 spun off an election technology company called Free & Fair. The ElectionGuard SDK will be available this summer on Github and Microsoft will partner with election technology companies for pilots.


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Microsoft's push into campaigns is a bit different than the approach by Amazon Web Services, which has elections as a service to provide tools for outreach, marketing and voter engagement. Microsoft is focused primarily on the security aspect of voting.

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Microsoft 365 for Campaigns will be available in June and provide security tools for campaigns aimed at federal US offices. The service will be preconfigured and build on Microsoft's AccountGuard threat detection service.

AccountGuard is a nation state threat detection and attack notification service launched last year.