Four cloud providers have received certified strategic status under the Australian government’s hosting certification framework (HCF). The companies are Amazon Web Services, AUCloud, Sliced Tech, and Vault Cloud.

The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) selected these companies as part of the first wave of cloud providers to receive the certified strategic status.

The HCF is responsible for a new digital infrastructure service within the DTA, which entails assessing and measuring supply chain risks presented by hosting providers, and determining standards, measures, and timelines to achieve the government’s desired hosting standards.

According to the Minister responsible for whole-of-government data and digital policy Stuart Robert, the HCF positions the federal government “as an exemplar in data protection and demonstrates our continued commitment to safeguarding the security and privacy protection of government-held data”.

All relevant government data under the framework can only be stored in either certified assured or certified strategic providers.

In June, Australian Data Centres (ADC), Canberra Data Centres (CDC), and Macquarie Telecom’s Canberra Campus became the first three data centre providers certified to store sensitive data locally.

The June certifications were for the certified assured status, however, rather than the certified strategic status. The difference between the two is that certified strategic status is for cloud providers and the certified assured status is for data centre providers.

These are the first set of certified cloud providers for the federal government since July last year, after its previous certified cloud list was scrapped upon recommendations made by the Australian Signals Directorate.

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