The Turnbull Government has awarded Microsoft with Protected Certification, creating a clear path for Government agencies to host Protected data sets in Microsoft cloud services.
The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) has designated Microsoft Azure and Office 365 with Protected Certification for inclusion on the Certified Cloud Services List (CCSL).
Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor said awarding the certification to Microsoft will accelerate the adoption of cloud technology by Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments, confident in the knowledge that Azure and Office 365 have undergone this rigorous level of assurance.
"It has never been more important for government and Australian enterprises to strategically manage cyber security risks," Minister Taylor said.
"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.
"The Australian Government welcomes Microsoft's investment in the Australian public sector, including an initiative to deliver cloud computing skills to an additional 5,000 employees by 2020."
Microsoft is the first hyperscale public cloud provider to achieve Certification for Protected data in Australia, and joins four other service providers with the Protected classification – Dimension Data, Macquarie Telecom, Sliced Tech and Vault Systems.
Minister Taylor said the Turnbull Government's election commitment to prioritise cloud technology has been recently reinforced in the Secure Cloud Strategy released in February this year.
"Along with awarding five cloud service providers with Protected classification in the past 12 months, we are reforming our cloud certification capability.
These reforms include a new senior responsible officer within the Australian Cyber Security Centre, a new agency engagement plan, publishing clear guidance for agencies and partners, and a review of the certification program to ensure that it meets the requirements of emerging technology."