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Aust gov tightens internet security

The Australian federal government has moved to tackle cyber-attacks and other intrusions under an initiative that will reduce the number of internet gateways within government from 124 to just eight.

05/10/2012

This secure internet gateway programme is designed to improve security involving internet traffic – while helping save the government US$25 million (AUD$25 million) in costs over the next three years.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) is the first lead agency to sign-up for this programme, and will play a key role to manage internet traffic for participating departments.

Graham Gathercole, DAFF’s chief information officer, says negotiations have involved identifying the “best value option” that meets the Australian government’s cyber-security and information protection needs.

“Negotiations have resulted in an outstanding commercial and technological proposal for the Australian government and DAFF that all parties are happy with,” he notes.

DAFF is managing a part of the gateway programme for participating departments that come under its auspices. These departments include the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities; Bureau of Meteorology; Geoscience Australia; Department of Innovation, Industry, Science, Research and Tertiary Education; Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority; and the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.

This secure internet gateway initiative is part of the Australian government’s “Internet Gateway Reduction Programme” that is being managed by the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO).

This programme affects all Australian government agencies that are governed by the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997.

Reducing the number of internet gateways will improve security through a more consistent approach to gateway management, accreditation, monitoring and incident response, according to AGIMO.

Australian telco carrier, Macquarie Telecom, has been awarded the five-year Secure Internet Gateway outsourcing contract where DAFF is the lead agency for those agencies identified in the group above.

This is understood to be the first major outsourcing contract signed as a part of the “Internet Gateway Reduction Programme.”

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