Macquarie Government claims protected-level cloud accreditation from ASD

Macquarie Government joins Sliced Tech and Vault Systems in offering the Australian government protected-level cloud services.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Macquarie Government, part of the Macquarie Telecom Group, has received accreditation from the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), allowing it to store highly classified government information up to "protected" level on its GovZone Secure Cloud platform.

Protected-level certification for cloud services is currently the highest security level approved by the ASD on its Certified Cloud Services List (CCSL), which also includes two other Australian players, Sliced Tech and Vault Systems, who scored protected-level certification in March.

Also in its March round of certification, the ASD gave Macquarie Unclassified DLM certification for its GovZone (launch) offering, with the Australian Securities Exchange-listed company now boosting its capability to the highest certification level achievable.

At the same time, a total of seven cloud vendors in the local market were granted unclassified DLM status -- with ServiceNow joining the list earlier this month -- which still allows for the storing of sensitive government data, but at a less protected level.

In addition to Sliced Tech, Vault Systems, ServiceNow, and now Macquarie, cloud giants Amazon Web Services (AWS) made the list for its EBS, EC2, S3, and VPC offerings; IBM for Bluemix; Microsoft with its Azure cloud, Dynamics CRM Online, and Office 365 platforms; and Salesforce with its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings.

Microsoft received further accreditation from the ASD in June that saw Australia's intelligence agency formally certify 50 services on the ASD CCSL across Azure and Office 365.

At the time, Microsoft Azure Engineering Lead for Australia James Kavanagh, as the company's Australian national technology officer, told ZDNet there were services "coming downstream" to allow government organisations to "go beyond" just the unclassified data route.

Microsoft last month then announced the launch of two new Australian datacentre regions at Canberra Data Centres (CDC) to offer Australian governments access to Microsoft Azure from early 2018.

CDC built its facilities in advance as top secret, which allows Microsoft to offer services from within CDC, inheriting the characteristics already in place and thus complying with Australian government requirements.

Macquarie Telecom's managed cloud service was initially given the security tick by the ASD in May 2015, making it the first Australian cloud provider to be listed on the federal government's certified list.

"Macquarie has invested hugely in specialised infrastructure in our highly secure datacentres in Canberra and Sydney, and in building a team of over 100 security cleared staff, all because we believe security is the foundation of government digital transformation," the company said of its upgraded classification on Tuesday.

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