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Microsoft Industry Blogs – Australia

Microsoft becomes the first global cloud provider to achieve Certification for Protected data in Australia.

Assured with Protected Certification for both Azure and Office 365

Microsoft is the first global public cloud provider to be awarded Certification for Protected data in Australia, dramatically accelerating the opportunity for all levels of Government and National Critical Infrastructure to advance their use of secure cloud computing.

Microsoft Azure and Office 365 have been awarded Protected Certification by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), for inclusion in the Certified Cloud Services List (CCSL). This is a major milestone that Microsoft has been working towards in partnership with Government since 2014 and unleashes an enormous digital transformation opportunity across the public sector in both Australia and New Zealand.

This coincides with the announcement earlier today from Microsoft of the availability of Azure Australia Central regions, two new Microsoft Azure cloud regions located within highly secure, resilient, Australian-owned facilities of Canberra Data Centres. These regions are specifically designed to support mission-critical demands of government and critical national infrastructure.

This announcement creates a clear path for Government agencies to host higher classified data sets in Microsoft cloud services and will accelerate the ability for Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to adopt cloud – confident in the knowledge that Azure and Office 365 have undergone this very high level of assurance.

Steven Worrall, managing director, Microsoft Australia was delighted that Microsoft’s Azure and Office 365 are the first global public cloud services to achieve Protected level certification in this country.

“This injects new opportunities for public sector innovation, transformation and service agility thanks to the range of sophisticated Azure services already available and certified. Office 365 will support the Australian government’s ambitions to streamline government processes and digitally transform public sector workplaces.  At the same time agencies can avail themselves of the mature and open ecosystem of partners and developers who build on the Azure cloud.” he said.

The Protected certification follows the announcement in 2017 that 40 Azure services and 10 Office 365 services had received ASD certification to handle Unclassified (DLM) data. Within those services 35 were formally assessed for Protected Certification.  With the announcement today, Australian Signals Directorate has formally certified those services for inclusion on the CCSL.

The security controls required for Protected Certification of Azure and Office 365 have been implemented in all Australian regions where the Microsoft cloud is available: Sydney, Melbourne and now Canberra.  The Azure Central regions offer some unique additional capabilities for connectivity, resilience and hybrid flexibility that will provide further assurance to government and national critical infrastructure customers with mission critical needs.  With the background of new legislation in the form of the Critical Infrastructure Security Bill that require national critical infrastructure organisations to monitor and report on the security of their information supply chain, the Australian ownership and premium security capabilities of Canberra Data Centres is also compelling.
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