Macquarie Government — the government-focused business of the ASX-listed Macquarie Telecom Group — has joined the ranks of cloud providers whose services are certified for use with classified government information.
Macquarie Telecom was the first local cloud provider to join the government’s Certified Cloud Services List (CCSL), which is maintained by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD). The company’s GovZone infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offering was added to the CCSL in May 2015.
Initially the company’s cloud services were certified for use with Unclassified – DLM information (data that is not classified but is not intended for public release.)
However, this morning the ASD formally listed Macquarie Government’s services as having been certified for use with data classified at the PROTECTED level. Just two other companies — Sliced Tech and Vault Systems — have services on the CCSL certified for use with PROTECTED data.
“It’s a very, very small club,” Macquarie Government managing director Aidan Tudehope told Computerworld.
The process involves a lengthy and rigorous IRAP certification process.
“Security is still the number one concern when people think about moving to the cloud,” Tudehope said.
“While five or 10 years ago there was an element of irrational apprehension about cyber security, today it’s far more rational. It still is the primary concern: Will my data be secure?”
The PROTECTED certification “is a tick to give government agencies a high degree of confidence that they can put their classified information into the cloud in a secure way,” he said.
“It also highlights that not all clouds are equal,” Tudehope added.
“This is about separating those that have a heightened focus on cyber security and the need to protect data, from those that are more focused on providing, I guess, the other attributes of cloud computing and not so much the cyber security bit.”
The Macquarie Government head said that he expected the certification to “unlock a lot of conversations and a lot of opportunities.”
“Our belief is that those conversations will help government with their underlying drive around the digital transformation of the way they deliver services,” he said.
More than 40 per cent of federal government agencies and departments already contract with Macquarie, according to the company — many of them through its secure Internet gateway offering, which is also certified for use with PROTECTED data.
On the cloud front, the business counts the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade among its key Commonwealth clients.
The company’s long-standing provision of gateway services led to it being invited to sit inside the Australian Cyber Security Centre and to a close relationship with the ASD, Tudehope said.
Macquarie operates a Canberra data centre — Intellicentre 4 (IC4) — purpose-built for delivering services to government.
IC4 is directly connected to the federal government’s ICON fibre network. In February this year, the company announced it had significantly boosted the capacity of IC4.
Macquarie eyes growth in NSW
Although it has historically had a focus on federal agencies, earlier this month Macquarie Government announced its services had been added to the New South Wales government’s GovDC Marketplace.
In the past, a number of NSW government agencies were customers but the market wasn’t a core focus for the business. Although it’s early days, Tudehope said his team has “been impressed by the enthusiasm that we’ve received,” within NSW government.