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Australian Government Names First Four Certified Strategic Cloud Providers

With so much recent interest in cloud computing, and with more joining in the cloud computing craze every single day, the Australian government has made its move to begin certifying companies as Certified Strategic cloud service providers.

Certification on the Highest Level

It’s more than a simple designation. Having certification from the Australian government enables these service providers to process and store protected-level public sector data on their servers. Since it’s a new program, certification has only recently completed for the first four: Amazon Web Services, AUCloud, Sliced Tech, and Vault Cloud.

All four companies have attained the highest level of accreditation with the Australian government. As such, their data is no subject to ownership and control policies as established directly by governmental officials.

In addition, the Australian government provides a lesser accreditation under their new program. This certification, which grants the title of Certified Assured, is required by any data center or managed service provider that wants to store or process protected-level data on their servers.

While all of this might seem like a moot point, especially when there is very little visible change to the companies involved, it’s an important step in allowing companies like this the opportunity to store, process, and protect highly sensitive data on behalf of the Australian government.

Joining an Exclusive Group

However, it’s important to note that while the aforementioned companies are the first four in their class, they are joining a pool of several other data centers that provide direct services to the government. For the purposes of accreditation, they were considered Certified Strategic before the designation was established.

Their new accreditation is part of a recent initiative that calls for all protected-level data to be stored in a highly secured server from a Certified Strategic or Certified Assured hosting provider. Included in this data is any information that originates from a whole-of-government system.

Additional service providers that have received accreditation include Australian Data Centres, Canberra Data Centres, Macquarie Telecom, Equinix, Fujitsu, and NextDC.

Iain Rouse, AWS’ public sector director of Australia and New Zealand, spoke about the recent accreditation by saying: "AWS is highly sensitive to the security needs of our customers in every location in which we operate. We know how important it is to mitigate risks in supply chains and data centres, and we understand that agencies need to identify and source technology from providers they trust. AWS’ certification reinforces our ongoing commitment to meet the highest standards of digital security and means Australian citizens now have even greater confidence that the government is securing their data.”

Phil Dawson, managing director with AUCloud, spoke about their newfound status as a sovereign cloud provider. He also spoke about increased investments in security and best practices.

The entire program is operated by the Digital Transformation, or DTA, which was established as a means of better controlling IT development, implementation, and security on the governmental level. They regularly provide advice to governmental agencies and entities regarding digital investments and they are fully committed to providing strategic leadership for years to come.


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