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NEWS | Oct. 23, 2023

426th Network Warfare Squadron talk network protections and cyber threats with Microsoft

960th Cyberspace Wing Public Affairs

Six members of the 426th Network Warfare Squadron were joined by nine members from the 33rd Cyber Operations Squadron for a visit to Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Virginia, from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, 2023. The team received several in-depth summaries of varying Microsoft defense processes and systems. They also discussed effective avenues of collaborative implementation for future operations.

“Our team, in collaboration with our Regular Air Force partner, coordinated the visits so we could expand on our partnership and better understand how Microsoft’s products and services can address the needs and challenges in our operation of the Air Force Cyber Defense weapon system,” said Lt. Col. Mark Bishop, 426th NWS commander "Specifically, to address our shared interests with industry and our ANG partners in improving our cybersecurity posture and preventing, detecting, and responding to all cyber threats.”

The Cyber Airmen and Microsoft experts discussed capabilities between military and industry response to cyber threats, the scope of vulnerability assessments, and opportunities for partnership that would strengthen both organizations.

Microsoft experts also briefed on their organizational security components including the Microsoft Digital Threat Analysis Center and Microsoft Defender Threat Intelligence platform, the value of community outreach to foster innovative perspectives, and inter-agency initiatives focused on cyber deterrence and synchronized capabilities.

On Sept. 1, the team met with members of the 262nd and 143rd Cyber Operations Squadrons from the Washington Air National Guard for a mission briefing and discussion on opportunities to effectively leverage the talents and capabilities of sister squadrons across the Total Force.

The meetings were instrumental in developing the partnerships across the Total Force and with industry partners. Due to the dynamic, adaptive factors encountered in the cyberspace domain, agile response is a valuable currency that is developed with effective management of training and resources. The members from the 426th NWS and 33rd COS returned from this trip with greater insight into the cyber mission ready to advance cyber defensive operations in the Total Force.