Reserve Bank to deploy 'next-gen' firewall

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Inks one-year, $3.9 million contract.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will deploy an "application-aware" firewall to replace an ageing network security system, under a new one-year, $3.9 million contract with Data #3.

The central bank this week revealed that it had selected Data #3 to supply, support and maintain "next generation firewalls", concluding a tender process that commenced early this year.

Tender documents issued in January indicated that the RBA's firewalls would approach end of life in the next two years.

The RBA sought to implement an application-aware, integrated network platform that could perform deep-packet inspection of traffic across its networks, and block attacks at both the traditional port/protocol level and the application layer.

The next generation firewall tender excluded dedicated intrusion prevention systems, dedicated web application firewalls and externally managed or hosted firewall services.

The RBA -- which is responsible for maintaining the nation's economic stability and providing selected banking services to the Government -- declined to disclose details of the Data #3 contract.

Tender documents called for a firewall with fine-grained role-based access control, compatibility with an ArcSight information and event management system, and the following specifications:

  • EAL4+ or under EAL4+ CC evaluation with completion dates
  • High Availability
  • IPv6 compliant – IPv4/IPv6 dual stack
  • Centralised management – IPv6 compliant (or road mapped )
  • 802.1Q VLAN tagging
  • 10Gbps throughput
  • Integrated IPS – include IPS throughput performance
  • Capability to define policy by service/user/application including visibility and tracking
  • OSPF implementations for IPv4 and IPv6 (or road mapped)
  • Active Directory/LDAP integration for user identification
  • Compatible with Cisco equipment without additional configuration required such as adding static ARPs
  • Lights-out or similar out of band remote management console
  • Full packet capture and export capability
  • Quality of service

The RBA also indicated that the tendered solution should be rated highly in analyst firm's Gartner’s Magic Quadrant.

Data #3 was expected to support the new system for at least three years from delivery.

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