NPR reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been working with Microsoft to improve the security measures of Windows 7. The NSA has been involved with the new operating system since its inception, showing that the agency is committed to getting more involved with the private sector in regards to cybersecurity. The agency revealed its involvement yesterday during a hearing held in Washington.
"Working in partnership with Microsoft and (the Department of Defense), NSA leveraged our unique expertise and operational knowledge of system threats and vulnerabilities to enhance Microsoft's operating system security guide without constraining the user's ability to perform their everyday tasks," said Richard Schaeffer, the NSA's Information Assurance Director. "All this was done in coordination with the product release, not months or years later in the product cycle."
The NSA also helped Microsoft boost the defenses of Windows Vista, and even provided a helping hand with Windows XP back in 2005. The agency, charged with protecting the national security computing infrastructure, depends on private-sector software such as Windows 7. Thus, the agency is working closely to keep its defenses--along with consumers in the private sector--strong against online attacks from all aspects.
"More and more, we find that protecting national security systems demands teaming with public and private institutions to raise the information assurance level of products and services more broadly," Schaeffer said.
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