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Australia names ‘strategic’ datacentre operators

Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency certifies Macquarie Telecom, Canberra Data Centres and Australian Data Centres as strategic operators for hosting government data

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Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has certified three “strategic” datacentre operators that can provide the highest level of security for hosting government data under its hosting certification framework.

Released in March 2021, the framework will assist agencies to mitigate against supply chain and datacentre ownership risks and enable them to identify and source appropriate hosting and related services.

A strategic datacentre operator must demonstrate its ability to record, manage and mitigate supply chain risks, with key personnel vetted by an Australian government security vetting agency, among other requirements. For now, the three certified strategic operators are Macquarie Telecom, Canberra Data Centres and Australian Data Centres.

Along with the announcement of strategic datacentre operators, the DTA will soon require government data to be stored only in onshore datacentres that are certified strategic or certified assured.

Aidan Tudehope, managing director of Macquarie Government, part of the Macquarie Telecom Group, said the requirement for government data to be stored in certified data centres will ensure greater security of Australia’s sovereign data.

He noted that recent events have demonstrated the importance of protecting Australia’s critical sovereign data, and the infrastructure and hosting arrangements that store, protect and manage that data. “Ensuring sensitive information is kept within Australian borders is vital to protecting our national security and privacy interests.

“The government’s intent to prioritise local cloud and data storage service providers will set a strong example for the private sector to invest locally, ensuring Australia works towards enhancing its sovereign digital ecosystem that serves the national economy by providing world-class security for Australia’s sovereign data,” he said.

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David Hirst, group executive of Macquarie Data Centres, said Macquarie’s portfolio of Australian datacentres, including the recently completed IC3 (Sydney) and IC5 Bunker (Canberra), are ideal for supporting both government workloads, and also hyperscale and software-as-a-service that indirectly support and house government data.

“Our facilities continually measure up against rigorous global certification standards. Our recognition by the DTA as certified strategic is further evidence of this commitment. These certifications, along with the fact that we are one of the few integrated service providers to government, mean we are best placed to host critical government information.”

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