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Macquarie launches high-security cloud for health data

Macquarie Cloud Services has launched a Health Cloud to provide government-grade security for the health data of Australians.

In a statement, the company said its new cloud offering would provide easy and convenient access to government services.

Officially known as Macquarie Launch Health Cloud, all data that is stored will remain onshore and in a physically separate cloud which only hosts Australian health system data.

Only Macquarie staff who have security clearance from the government will be able to access the data which will be stored on cloud infrastructure that is certified by the Australian Signals Directorate to comply with the standards for Protected cloud.

The company said the service had been developed after the Department of Human Services issued directions about protecting the integrity of data entrusted to it. All third-party software connecting to the DHS has to meet certain standards.

“This is a great example of leadership by a government agency, and of the way organisations with a good understanding of cyber security can drive change beyond their own business,” said James Mystakidis, group executive, Macquarie Cloud Services.

“Through the updated policy, the DHS is demonstrating how it is possible to transform ICT while at the same time elevating cyber security standards.

“This is particularly relevant as there has been a lot of talk about how supply chains can create cyber security risks. This is an example of how the government can use its supply chains to push secure transformation through an industry.

“This means that Australians will – for the first time – be able to be assured that their data which is moving from a health software company’s cloud services into the Medicare system will be protected end-to-end to the same standard.

“The health system is a case study of an industry delivering an essential service, but which is widely dispersed across private and public organisations of many sizes in many places. Private data in such situations is only as secure as the weakest link in the chain.”

Macquarie is one of five companies that are certified to store top-secret government data, having been granted the so-called Protected cloud status from the ASD. The other four are Dimension Data, Sliced Tech, Vault Systems, and Microsoft.

However in Microsoft's case, there are a number of additional requirements that the company has to meet. Additionally, the ASD has allowed overseas staff from the company who do not have security clearance to access the systems on which this class of data is stored.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

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