NSW govt replaces, reviews shared-services firewalls

The NSW government is asking the IT industry to help install new firewalls it has purchased for its shared services department ServiceFirst, while conducting a review of its existing security measures.
Written by Michael Lee, Contributor

The New South Wales Department of Finance and Services is undergoing a reassessment of its information systems security for its shared services division, ServiceFirst, replacing its existing firewalls and looking for a contractor to implement new ones.

ServiceFirst has already purchased a number of Juniper SRX3600 firewalls that are destined to replace the IGS1000 firewalls in its production and disaster-recovery datacentres. It is looking at engaging a partner from the NSW government's existing contracts panel. This will be one of the last times that a NSW government department will use this method of procurement, as the current panel contracts expire at the end of next month.

The successful applicant will need to provide ServiceFirst with an outline of how it plans to implement the changeover, including high-level costs and the effort involved to complete the work. This plan will be reviewed through a workshop with ServiceFirst.

While the main objective of the tender is a replacement of firewalls, it also includes a review of ServiceFirst's security and network configuration. This includes examining and optimising perimeter and inner security design, reconfiguring its services gateway for better quality of service.

Future proofing the network will also be necessary, and, as such, the successful tender will need to outline plans for how new firewalls, routing or monitoring equipment, and similar changes will interface with the new design.

Part of the security changes will also include keeping the existing firewalls in a state that if anything goes wrong, the network configuration can be rolled back at ServiceFirst's request. This should become immediately apparent, as the applicant is also responsible for developing a test strategy for the changeover, and providing all of the necessary scripts and data to do so during implementation and after it has been completed. Assuming that everything goes as planned, the successful applicant will also be required to provide support for six weeks after final implementation.

There also appears to be scope for ServiceFirst to outsource the management of its network infrastructure to the applicant or another party. In addition to implementation costs, it has requested that the successful tender provide pricing for ongoing maintenance and asset-refresh costs.

ServiceFirst hopes to award the contract by February 15, with work kicking off on February 25. A series of staged workflows has the project set for completion in May.

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