Microsoft 365 for Campaigns is a new tool for Microsoft's product bundle subscription services. As the name suggests, the recently announced feature is focused on election campaigns. Specifically, Microsoft wants to make election campaigns become more secure.
Considering the ongoing legal wrangling over Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, Microsoft's push is as timely as ever. In a blog post detailed Microsoft 365 for Campaigns, Microsoft said campaigns are often stretched and don't have funds to roll out a robust security operation.
With Microsoft 365 for Campaigns, politicians and their organization can leverage security “regardless of level of technical experience”.
In the blog post, Jan Neutze, Senior Director Digital Diplomacy at Microsoft, detailed some of the abilities of Campaigns:
- Multi-factor authentication: Additional security through an extra authentication step at sign-in
- Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection: Protects email from phishing and malware attacks
- Mobile app protection: Secures access to sensitive data on mobile devices and in mobile applications while leaving personal data like photos and text messages untouched
- Document classification and protection: Allows people to label documents as confidential and identifies content like credit cards or social security numbers, applying policies for encryption and sharing
- Update prioritization: Accelerates the installation of security patches and feature updates to installed Office apps
Microsoft 365 for Campaigns is now available as a $5 add on per month for Microsoft 365 users.
Microsoft has been aiming to make elections more secure in recent years, including through the release of its ElectionGuard SDK. Launched earlier this year, ElectionGuard is new SDK that provides verifiability and audits for voting systems, built on a new homomorphic encryption type.
Among the abilities of ElectionGuard is to make voting systems auditable and verifiable. Voters can track their decisions on a web portal through a unique code that is given just to them. Furthermore, users have the option of confirming their vote was correctly handled and not tampered with or wrongly counted.