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AUCloud Managing Director, Phil Dawson talks at CISCO Live March 2019

In March 2019 Phil Dawson, Managing Director of AUCloud participated in an on-stage live conversation at CISCO Live in Melbourne. The session focused on the latest innovations to help transform infrastructure to securely interconnect workloads and data, enable agile app deployments, and staying ahead of infrastructure demands by extending automation across multicloud environments.

Phil talks about the use of CISCO kit to support AUCloud’s sovereign, multi-tenanted IaaS and specifically use of automation and orchestration to drive efficiency and quality performance.


Data Sovereignty and the Cloud: Protecting Critical Data in Australia

Independently certified, owned, managed, and operated in Australia by Australian citizens, AUCloud is the nation’s sovereign cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider. It services the country’s government agencies as well as enterprises that must maintain and protect sensitive information. The company operates from datacenters in Canberra and Eastern Creek (Sydney) that are independently accredited to host highly classified data for the Australian government.

We connected with Brad Bastow, AUCloud’s first CTO and former CTO of Australia’s Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, to learn what organizations must keep in mind when considering the public cloud and the evolving data sovereignty landscape.

Q: What is the importance behind having access to a sovereign IaaS provider?

We believe it is vital that consumers of our services be assured that we are a safe haven for critically sensitive data. Protection underpins the smooth and safe operation of our economy and is crucial to ensure the wellbeing and safety of our citizens.

Australia has specific guidelines related to the consumption of cloud services by federal government agencies. AUCloud’s services are built from the ground up with compliance requirements incorporated into our technical and operational controls from the outset. This can be demonstrated by our Australian Sovereignty — our guarantee that data hosted in our cloud neverleaves Australia . All of our operational staff are also Australian security cleared.

Q: What are the most pressing risks when it comes to the cloud and the sovereignty of data?

Having led major adoptions of public clouds for several government departments, my advice is to be wary of the controls you must implement to secure data hosted in a public cloud in order to meet demanding security requirements.

Many cloud providers typically offer their services to everyone — from online dating sites to healthcare services and fashion retailers. While security is a necessary burden, or sometimes an afterthought for some of these entities, for government agencies, data security is paramount.

When using some of these services you will invariably need to wrap additional security services around your public cloud deployment to meet the regulatory and security requirements of your jurisdiction. This may include encryption at-rest, multifactor authentication, and network traffic protection. These additional services are not free and require a significant administrative burden to manage and maintain.

For many public cloud services, it is also difficult to know where services are hosted, as well as if and what metadata leaves the local datacenter. It is precisely for this reason that the sovereignty of services should be a fundamental consideration for any cloud project. It is also why AUCloud services are built to comply with government security requirements without the need for additional controls.

Q: Why is it important that AUCloud be VMware Cloud Verified?

There are three reasons. First, because the majority of on-premises workloads in our federal government are already hosted on vSphere, vCloud Director enables us to provide a seamless path to hybrid cloud, test/dev deployments, disaster recovery, and backup. Agencies are working with products they are familiar with and comfortable using.

Second, by employing the rich API library provided by vCloud Director, we can expose these APIs and enable our customers to deploy true infrastructure as code.

Finally, we value the extensibility of vCloud Director. Our soon-to-be deployed second iteration of Container Service Extensions for vCloud will allow our customers to consume and manage Kubernetes clusters on AUCloud. Using vCloud Director we help our customers manage the risks associated with transitioning to the cloud, without compromising the future proofing of their transition approach.

Learn more about AUCloud and its partnership with VMware here.


AUCloud and Quant Network partner to provide world’s first blockchain operating system for Government and Critical National Industries

AUCloud and Quant Network are pleased to announce a formal partnership to apply the world’s first Blockchain Operating System to sovereign cloud computing creating greater security and functionality for Australian government, defence and critical national industry. This Blockchain as a Service will overcome the current siloed design of deploying multiple blockchain systems, creating an easy to use and more secure set of national capabilities.

Scott Wilkie, Director of AUCloud stated that Australian Government, Department of Defence and major industries are using or testing blockchain to interact with their supply chain, critical infrastructure, national record keeping and financial services. These organisations require the interoperable functionality that can only come with an operating system like Overledger and the security of the leading sovereign Australian cloud platform. Without Overledger, none of these projects or systems will be able to communicate with each other or enable cross party collaboration.

Gilbert Verdian, Founder and CEO of Quant Network additionally noted “we have been working with AUCloud for more than year on how best to integrate our Blockchain Operating System onto the AUCloud platform to provide highly secure and interoperable Blockchain-as-a-Service for Australian Government and Defence and the critical national industries and supply chains that serve the nation. The idea for Overledger stemmed from the challenges faced while working in senior roles across definitive projects for both the UK and Australian Governments and subsequently led to founding the Blockchain ISO Standard TC307 in 2016.”

The key areas of focus for the partnership are to remove today’s complexity with blockchains, providing choice, flexibility and an interoperable cloud platform to:

  • Benefit from a multi-chain strategy
  • Reduce implementation time from 8 months to mere minutes and with just 3 lines of code
  • Have choice, flexibility and prevent blockchain lock-in or proprietary technology
  • Avoid integration costs and the need to buy additional infrastructure
  • Utilise a tried and tested cloud delivery model
  • Comply to security and regulation when interconnecting corporate and distributed networks
  • Use existing technical skills and resources without the need to hire specialist blockchain expertise

Brad Bastow, CTO AUCloud (previously CTO Department of the Prime Minster & Cabinet) stated that “applying world leading blockchain technologies to enhancing the cyber security of cloud IaaS and PaaS can significantly improve the ease of adoption and reduces risks for all government users and citizens.  We aim to bring the most effective and assured technologies as-a-Service and Quant Network have some of the most advanced blockchain technology in the world in this respect.”


AUCloud appoints Suzanne Roche to head Marketing and Communications

AUCloud, the leading provider of sovereign cloud IaaS to Australian Governments, is delighted to announce the appointment of Suzanne Roche to lead Marketing and Communications, as part of a wider leadership team role.

Managing Director of AUCloud, Phil Dawson (previously co-founding CEO of UKCloud) stated “I’m absolutely delighted that Suzanne is joining our growing team. Her deep experience across the Australian digital sector is second to none, her business insight is exceptional and her awareness of the human challenges and societal opportunities presented by new technologies, including cloud, is world leading. I’m hugely excited by the contribution that Suzanne will make to the on-going growth of AUCloud”

Suzanne, previously GM Policy and Advocacy for the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) for the last five years, as well as previous roles with SMEs and within government noted “I’m highly motivated by the opportunity to work with Phil, Scott and the wider AUCloud team. Proven success building UKCloud into the leading provider of cloud IaaS to UK Government, leading Australian entrepreneurial investors, deep operational and security experience across Australian Government, a rapidly growing channel partner base combined with a deep seated belief in making a difference, were attributes that I simply could not ignore”

Suzanne will lead AUCloud’s brand development, thought leadership and increased presence across Governments and Critical National Industries. As AUCloud serves a rapidly growing number of channel partners and direct customers with their Australian developed and supported platform certified with PROTECTED controls, Suzanne will play a key role in positioning AUCloud’s unique position as the lead provider of sovereign IaaS.  With her advocacy for women in technology, SMEs and passion for innovation, Suzanne will add further depth to an already focussed and ambitious AUCloud team.

Scott Wilkie, Director Strategy & Growth said “Suzanne joins AUCloud at a key point in our growth and development.  For AUCloud to exceed the mature requirements of our customers, while experiencing rapid growth, we need a clearly articulated sense of “Why” within our business, with principles and business practices that embody our commitment to delivering high quality, trusted services to customers.  “We need to ensure we keep our partners, customers and stakeholders top of mind. We need to work and communicate with our ecosystem clearly and transparently to warrant the confidence and trust they put in us.  Suzanne’s appointment represents an important commitment to making sure we get the messaging, communications and relationships ‘right’ “ concluded Scott.


AUCloud and Forticode partner to promote CIPHERISE(TM) across Protected Sovereign Cloud

AUCloud the leading provider of sovereign cloud IaaS to Australian Governments and cyber security company Forticode, developer of Cipherise™, are pleased to announce a formal partnership to apply world leading, decentralised authentication and authorisation technology to cloud computing creating greater security and functionality for users.

Managing Director of AUCloud, Phil Dawson (previously co-founding CEO of UKCloud, the leading provider of cloud services to UK Government, Defence and Health) stated that “having met Tony Smales on the recent Australian-British Chamber of Commerce Cyber Mission to UK with the then Minister for Cybersecurity Angus Taylor, I was captivated by the sheer simplicity and genius of the Cipherise™ authentication solution.”

Tony Smales, Founder and CEO of Forticode noted “over the period that Forticode has worked with the AUCloud team, we have been hugely impressed by their values, their technical skills and their absolute commitment to delivering customer-centric cloud services. Combining the revolutionary security methodology of Cipherise™ with AUCloud’s sovereign platform for Government, Defence and National Critical Industry is a no-brainer.”    

The key areas of focus for the partnership are the implementation of Cipherise™:

  • across all AUCloud customer service authentication processes and interactions to enhance customer’s service security and experience fundamentally transforming traditional identification and verification processes;
  • deployment of Authentication-as-a-Service for all customers of AUCloud’s Unclassified Data Community and Protected Data Community Environments;
  • hosting of Forticode systems on AUCloud’s Unclassified and Protected Data Environments

Brian Smith, Founder of cyber security specialist QuadIQ, observed “AUCloud’s investment in the development of new products and the innovative deployment of technologies like Cipherise™ allows QuadIQ to focus on our core mission to optimise client security and resilience through data-driven intelligence.”

AUCloud CTO Brad Bastow reiterated that “applying ground breaking secure multi-factor authentication to the cyber security of cloud IaaS can significantly reduce risks for all government users and citizens.  We aim to bring customers the most effective technologies as-a-Service and Forticode has developed some amazing technology in this respect.”


AUCloud and QLABS to develop quantum encryption for cloud

AUCloud and QuintessenceLabs (QLabs) are pleased to announce a formal partnership to apply world leading Quantum Encryption (QE) technologies to cloud computing creating greater security and functionality for users.

Managing Director of AUCloud, Phil Dawson (previously co-founding CEO of UKCloud, the leading provider of cloud services to UK Government, Defence and Health) stated that “applying world leading quantum encryption technologies to enhancing the cyber security of cloud IaaS and PaaS can significantly reduce risks for all government users and citizens.  We aim to bring the most effective and assured technologies as-a-Service and QLabs have some of the most advanced technology in the world in this respect.”

Vikram Sharma, Founder and CEO of QLabs additionally noted “we have been working with AUCloud for more than year on how best to integrate our quantum encryption technologies into the AUCloud platform and provide QE Security-as-a-Service for the benefit of government and defence customers.  AUCloud is aligned with our mission to improve the security of valuable data for end customers and we are excited to partner in a number of key areas of joint development.”

The key areas of focus for the partnership are quantum encryption of:

  • At rest stored data as part of QE Storage-as-a-Service
  • Microsoft Office and similar Protective Enclave as-a-Service to enhance risk mitigation of data leakage
  • Cross-Platform data transfer between low and higher-level data classifications

Jan Marais-van Vuuren, Founder of Defence/Intelligence consultancy Terra Schwartz, endorsed the partnership’s vision and stated that “the defence, law enforcement and intelligence sectors have long sought the utility of cloud platforms with the security of high assurance and encrypted controls. Quantum encryption was beyond a pipe dream even a few years ago.”

AUCloud CTO Brad Bastow reiterated that “the value of a Quantum Encrypted PROTECTED Enclave, available as-a-Service for government to consume, would be a fundamental leap forward from the traditional method of manually building and managing secure enclaves and projects”.


AUCloud appoints Brad Bastow from PM&C as CTO

AUCloud is pleased to announce the appointment of Brad Bastow as the company’s inaugural Chief Technology Officer, following his highly successful and transformative term as CTO for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet where he was responsible for numerous innovations in the development and application of policy, including the adoption of cloud services.

Managing Director of AUCloud, Phil Dawson (previously co-founding CEO of UKCloud, the leading provider of cloud services to UK Government, Defence and Health) stated that “Brad is an exceptionally talented technology leader, who has been at the forefront of Australian Federal Government Cloud strategy since inception. AUCloud is delighted that Brad has joined our growing company and on a personal level, I am really looking forward to working with Brad as we seek to help the Australian Public Service deliver better, more secure and more efficient user-centric services for Australian citizens”

Brad Bastow noted “I had considered myself a career public servant surrounded by clever people and good policy as the only route to effect change on a national scale. However, I also recognised that we sometimes let ourselves down by failing to execute effectively, thereby not meeting citizen demands. I came to a realisation that by working within a proven, accomplished and innovative cloud provider, I could enable and improve adoption across multiple portfolios from a different perspective. Having worked with many cloud providers in my past roles, I concluded that AUCloud, with its provenance of success and credible experience at scale, could provide the exemplar for Australia as to what is possible when entrepreneurs design something truly fit for purpose – an Australian owned and managed company developed to support the country’s sovereign goals.”

Brad will lead the rapidly growing AUCloud technology and security teams, applying the breadth of his Government and Defence Signals Directorate (precursor to the Australian Signals Directorate) experience to Federal and State Governments as well as a growing number of AUCloud’s Channel Partners, who are supporting Digital Transformation activities across the nation.

Scott Wilkie – Director and international Cyber Security thought leader – said that Brad would contribute directly to the scale out of AUCloud platforms from UDLM to Protected and Confidential control sets, enabling a higher degree of security, cross-classification data flows, analytics and sovereign data certainty than is currently available for the Australian Government.

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