TOKYO -- Japan's Nippon Telegraph & Telephone group and Microsoft will share information on threats to cybersecurity in an effort to better protect clients.
In the past two years alone, NTT group companies have detected more than 200 million attacks on networks they operate. Microsoft gleans information on malware through its Windows operating system, used on computers around the world.
Since there is little overlap between the two companies' data on such threats, sharing the information could help bolster their defenses.
If, say, NTT receives a tip from Microsoft on malware activity, the Japanese side can raise its alert level on the infected computer's network to try to stop the release of confidential data. For Microsoft, the partnership could identify previously unknown malware and help develop new security measures.
Microsoft already shares information on cyberattacks with Deutsche Telekom and Spain's Telefonica. By partnering with the U.S. software giant, NTT can stay abreast of attacks against the two European telecommunications groups.
Cybersecurity services let businesses keep abreast of trends in attack activity, but without access to highly sensitive information or potential clues that perpetrators could exploit. NTT and Microsoft will be able to exchange such high-value data, since their partnership will be sealed by a nondisclosure agreement.
Hackers are known to form global collectives through which they share information on targets. But technology companies have struggled to stay informed about cyberattacks outside their own regions of operation, limiting their ability to defend themselves.
Aiming to change that, Hitachi has begun sharing information on threats with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the network and business computing company formed in last year's breakup of Hewlett-Packard.