ASX-listed Macquarie Telecom Group has said that it has surpassed 200 government-cleared security staff mark.
Further, Macquarie added that it will grow that number, continue to invest in local skills and capability to protect Australia’s sensitive government and citizen data.
Surpassing 200 security-cleared staff is double the number Macquarie had only a year ago, exemplifying the rapid growth the company is experiencing. The milestone means Macquarie has the largest cohort of security cleared staff of any Australian data centre and cloud service provider.
The clearances are Australian Government security accreditations governed by the Department of Defence. They require rigorous background assessments of individuals, security training, and certification in order to receive them, and permit access to classified information and resources up to and including the SECRET level.
Cyberattacks against government
Macquarie Government Managing Director Aidan Tudehope says the impact of cyberattacks against government are far more serious than those against private enterprises, due to the nature of the data in play.
“Attack attempts on government data and departments are far more frequent than what we see in enterprise settings,” said Tudehope.
“Government holds the nation’s data crown jewels. It belongs to all of us, every single person in Australia in some way or another. Our government is entrusted to secure that data on behalf of every Australian. On the other hand, as individual citizens, we make the choice to share – or not – our personal data with private enterprises. These decisions are ours to make.
“With government data the decisions on where and how sovereign data is stored and protected is the responsibility of government. This also highlights the importance of the supply chain that is engaged to assist government with the storage and protection of that data. As one of those trusted suppliers, we see it as our responsibility to invest in the sovereign skills and security clearances needed to provide the Commonwealth with the level of capability that is required to support this vital national asset.”
The milestone comes as Australia continues to battle the war on cyberattacks on two fronts – skills shortages and rising cybercrime. AustCyber, the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network, predicted in its 2021 Annual Report that Australia will need over 10,000 additional cyber security specialists by 2025 in order to mitigate threats and protect our sovereign data. The prediction comes as Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) data shows about one cybercrime is reported every 10 minutes.
At the state level, the company is also building a Sovereign Cyber Security Centre of Excellence (CSCOE) in partnership with the New South Wales Government. This will be housed in the company’s new Intellicentre 3 (IC3) Super West data centre in Sydney.
In August, Macquarie Data Centres, part of Macquarie Telecom Group, said that its Sydney data centres in the Macquarie Park Data Centre Campus and Sydney Central have achieved the Certified Strategic designation under the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) Hosting Certification Framework.
The latest certification by the DTA confirms that Macquarie Data Centres’ facilities has the requisite capability to support government information up to Top Secret classification with full redundancy at the Certified Strategic level.
“At Macquarie we are – and have always been – committed to developing sovereign capability to support data storage and processing,” added Tudehope.
“At Macquarie Telecom Group we are blessed to have hundreds of talented people who deliver the most dynamic cyber security capabilities in the country, supporting a prolific, ‘always-on’ and in-demand industry.”