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DTA working on secure cloud strategy


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 21 April, 2017


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The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) is working to develop a strategy to ensure government has the skills, knowledge and confidence to manage secure cloud services.

The agency's director of ICT strategy, Andrew McGalliard, announced in a blog post that the DTA has "started discovery to develop the evidence base for a secure cloud strategy".

In developing the strategy the DTA will be consulting with agencies, industry representatives and key stakeholders, McGalliard said. The consultation aims to identify the key outcomes, services and features government needs from cloud services, as well as the perceived barriers to cloud adoption.

While current government policy requires agencies to consider the cloud as a priority for new or replacement ICT infrastructure, governments have traditionally faced challenges adopting cloud for services handling sensitive information due to security and privacy concerns and obligations.

But with the Australian Signals Directorate recently certifying two cloud service providers — Australian managed services provider Sliced Tech and certified government cloud provider Vault Systems — to store even classified information, agencies will have more options to use cloud storage in a secure way, McGalliard said.

"A review of the 2016 eCensus identified a number of possible barriers as to why government has been slow to take up cloud services," he wrote.

"These include fear of breaching privacy obligations, low comfort managing risk and an immature understanding of cloud. Instead, agencies have tended to rely instead on having a physical presence in data centres, which is less flexible and potentially more costly than cloud... The review has prompted government to look at ways to improve agency understanding and uptake of secure cloud and take advantage of the benefits this may bring."

McGalliard added that when complete, the DTA's strategy will provide opportunities for increased whole-of-government adoption of cloud technologies and help reassure agencies in the security and reliability of the cloud.

The DTA plans to release the strategy later this year.

Pictured: DTA Director of ICT Strategy Andrew McGalliard.

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