iGA partners with Microsoft to deliver secure modern workplaces for Government entities

  • article
16 May 2018

The Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA), in partnership with Microsoft, held an exclusive event to empower the Kingdom’s governmental entities and work more productively while improving security.

Co-hosted by iGA and Microsoft Bahrain; a series of training sessions were conducted at the Wyndham Grand, Manama, under the title “Government Future Direction with Microsoft” which focused on transforming the way employees work while ensuring the highest standards of security. The attending delegates from government entities across the Kingdom were introduced to the power of Microsoft 365 - a complete, intelligent solution that brings together the best of Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise, Enterprise Mobility and Security to empower everyone to be creative and work together securely.

“The Information & eGovernment Authority is keen on strengthening partnership with Microsoft in order to rise to higher levels of delivered services and cloud computing solutions - available with Microsoft – that are in line with the strategic decision of migrating to the cloud by adopting the ‘Cloud First Policy’,” stated Information & eGovernment Authority CE Mr. Mohamed Ali AlQaed as he stressed that the partnership with Microsoft contributes in enhancing efficiency of entities to provide high-quality services and support the Kingdom’s strategic direction that forms a quantum leap in the field of adopting the latest technologies. He continued saying that the partnership enables public entities to protect user confidentiality by utilizing the most up-to-date technology tools, developing skills and building capabilities of human resources working in this field.

The event included sessions of iGA and Microsoft speakers, demonstrating how technology is transforming the way people collaborate securely and how the company has simplified tools and licensing models to empower organisations to achieve more.
Beside AlQaed; iGA representatives included Sh. Salman bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Acting Vice Chief Executive of Operations & Governance; Hesham AlHashimi, Acting Director of Support & Maintenance of Government Systems; along with Ahmed Abulfateh, Director of Emergency Response who highlighted the urgency for robust Internet security to address the increasing threats, focusing on the email and web-browser protections found in CIS Controls Version 7.

From Microsoft; General Manager for Bahrain & Oman Saif Hilal AlHosni together with Enterprise Public Sector Senior Manager Hamad AlSaie who both highlighted how solutions such as Microsoft Office 365 as well as Windows 10 form a complete platform that ensures the security of data and the capability to manage risk, identity management, threat and information protection, all while providing the flexibility of a modern workplace.

“With goals such as enhancing data security while improving citizen engagement and services, it has become vital for government agencies to digitally transform into a modern workplace. We commend the Government of Bahrain for their efforts to optimise operations and empower its employees to be creative as well as work together more securely. Microsoft stands forth to support iGA Bahrain in this journey and work together with them on securing our shared digital future so that all citizens and businesses can partake in the great promises of digital transformation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said AlHosni.

From Microsoft Gulf; Productivity and Mobility Solution Specialist Moustapha Kamel and Security and Modern Workplace Regional Director Mohammed Arif demonstrated how to unlock the creativity of the workforce and inspire teamwork through MS Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility and Security. Also from Microsoft Gulf, Senior Solutions Specialist Shadi Shaat provided a walk through the latest Microsoft project-management tools, covering how to design and assign tasks as well as set important milestones for productivity and efficiency.

In a recent Microsoft survey conducted among regional security professionals during the company's CISO Executive Series roadshow, nearly half of respondents (49%) said they did not have the capability to detect whether a user identity had been compromised following a phishing or brute-force attack, and 68% said they could not track or revoke access to externally shared documents."

Microsoft Gulf Technology Solutions Professionals - Mohamed Mourad for Modern Workplace and Hesham Saad for Windows and Devices Security - took attendees through the methodologies and tools that can help to assess current security postures to protect endpoints. Their demonstration focused on the anti-virus and endpoint detection as well as response capabilities within Windows 10.

At a time when recent Microsoft surveys have shown that around 80% of GCC organisations use only usernames and passwords for authentication Technology Solutions Professional of Identity & Information Protection at Microsoft Gulf Eric Marinho urged attendees to think carefully about secure user identities. Marinho showed how Microsoft Authenticator, Windows Hello and Fast ID Online (FIDO) tools could make passwords a thing of the past and lead to more secure environments that ensured information protection and encryption. Microsoft Enterprise Mobility and Security Suite provide conditional access and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) capabilities, as well as Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM).