Microsoft has been given the tick of approval by the Australian Signals Directorate to host protected-level datasets of government agencies in its public cloud.
The company was awarded protected certification for its Azure and Office 365 cloud services today, approximately 12 months after receiving its protected IRAP certification.
It is the first hyperscale public cloud provider to gain inclusion on the certified cloud services list for protected level data, and joins Vault Systems, Sliced Tech, Macquarie Telecom and Dimension Data.
The announcement came as Microsoft switched on two new Azure public cloud regions in Canberra, aimed at servicing the mission-critical workloads of government and critical infrastructure.
Microsoft's push into Canberra has been fuelled by the public sector's increasing demand for cloud services, which is only likely to continue with the release of the federal government's revised cloud strategy.
The directive by the Digital Transformation Agency reiterates the need for agencies to use cloud services – particularly public cloud – for new or modernised services where appropriate.
Cyber security minister Angus Taylor said he expected the Microsoft certification would accelerate cloud adoption by the federal, state and territory governments.
“It has never been more important for government and Australian enterprises to strategically manage cyber security risks,” he said today.
“Australia is under increasing cyber security threat and as government and critical infrastructure innovate and transform, it is imperative that we remove risk in our existing systems and use modern, secure cloud technology.
“Awarding Microsoft the protected certification reflects the Turnbull government’s commitment to prioritise and deliver secure cloud services, ensuring a very high level of security for Australians.”
Microsoft’s biggest competitor, Amazon Web Services, is yet to receive protected level certification from ASD.
It announced last week it had obtained a ‘protected’ IRAP certification for its Sydney facilities.