The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and Microsoft have embarked on a $5 billion threat sharing partnership.

Described by ASD boss Rachel Noble as a “force multiplier”, the collaboration marks a global first, integrating ASD’s Cyber Threat Intelligence Sharing (CTIS) platform with Microsoft’s Sentinel threat monitoring software in Australia. 

The partnership aims to bolster the nation’s defence against cyber threats by enhancing ASD’s ability to monitor and respond to cybercrime. 

By facilitating the voluntary and confidential sharing of cyberattack indicators, ASD should now be able to preempt and neutralise threats more effectively. 

An early instance of this collaboration's success is the identification of over 150 potential ransomware targets, allowing ASD to proactively warn the implicated organisations. 

Furthermore, through shared intelligence, ASD identified 129 malicious Microsoft Office 365 phishing domains, advising Australian businesses to block them to prevent breaches.

The integration with Microsoft Sentinel leverages a vast pool of global threat intelligence, analysing 65 trillion signals daily. 

This partnership aims to amplify ASD’s visibility of cyber threats and foster a collective defence strategy, engaging Microsoft’s extensive customer base in Australia in the cybersecurity effort. 

Mark Anderson, Microsoft Australia’s national security officer, has highlighted the simplicity of joining the CTIS platform for Sentinel customers, streamlining the process to virtually plug and play. 

This initiative should be able to mobilise a vast network of customers, encouraging their active participation in a shared cybersecurity defence mechanism.