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Australian Government to Launch Top Secret Cloud

In 2017, the Australian government performed a thorough review of the various security agencies operating within the country. Officially a part of Australia's cyber security strategy, which was unveiled back in 2016, the review ultimately decided on several key technologies moving forward.

The Past

Firstly, the country was to implement a 24/7 response to the most serious cyber incidents, including attacks from malware like WannaCry, Petya, and more. These plans were rolled out during the height of the most recent WannaCry attacks.

Moreover, the Australian government is also relocating the Australian Cyber Security Center, or ACSC. The organization will also employ 700 more staff members in comparison to its current headcount. Another reason for the move revolves around growing concern over access to the premises, especially given its elevated need for stringent security.

Governmental officials also introduced a brand new division, known as "Home Affairs," which includes security experts from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), AUSTRAC, the Australian Federal Police, Border Force, and the Office of Transport Security. A separate, centralized department will be created within the division in order to facilitate policy development and threat response as needed.

The Present

Several years later, the Australian government is bolstering their cyber security infrastructure even further. This time, however, they're doing it with the introduction of a private cloud server that can accommodate approximately 10,000 governmental users.

The National Intelligence Community, or NIC, has only had access to public cloud infrastructure up until now. While they still relied on more traditional means to host top secret and highly classified information, these systems lacked the functionality – including accessibility and security – that the private cloud has to offer.

A recent statement, delivered by the Office of National Intelligence, or ONI, read: "Data is the foundation of the intelligence lifecycle. The volume of data the NIC processes continues to grow in both size and complexity. The NIC is seeking solutions that will assist in accelerating its ability to scale the processing and analysis of large datasets."

Finally, it's important to note that this cloud is totally separate from ASIO's private cloud, which was announced in 2019. Although ASIO is a part of Australia's new "Home Affairs" division, they still maintain their own infrastructure.

The Future

Australia's recent embrace of next-gen cyber security standards is the first step toward achieving several initiatives that have already been outlined by governmental officials. This includes bolstering the number of controlled spaces within Australia, dispersing resources throughout all areas of the country, and ensuring worldwide access to their infrastructure as needed.

However, their infrastructure needs to remain disconnected from the traditional internet. It also needs to accommodate the use of third-party software-as-a-service, or SaaS, implementation.

It's clear that the Australian government is making great strides in their efforts to combat cybercrime in the 21st century. While some might dismiss their efforts as a case of too little, too late, it's certainly a much-needed step in the right direction and something that will ultimately benefit the entire country.


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