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National security agencies and the cloud: An urgent capability issue for Australia

By John Coyne, Michael Shoebridge and Albert Zhang

This new ASPI report, argues for the development of a national security cloud. If the community doesn’t shift to cloud infrastructure, it’ll cut itself off from the most powerful software and applications available, placing itself in a less capable position using legacy software that vendors no longer support.

The report’s authors argue that if this need isn’t addressed rapidly and comprehensively, Australia will quite simply be at a major disadvantage against potential adversaries who are using this effective new technology at scale to advance their own analysis and operational performance.

The report identifies four significant obstacles that stand in the way of Australia’s national security community moving to cloud infrastructure. These obstacles need to be crossed, and the change needs to be driven by ministers and agency heads. Ministers and agency heads have both the responsibility and perspective to look beyond the important current technical security standards and rules and think about the capability benefit that cloud computing can bring to Australia’s national security. They’re the ones who must balance opportunity and risk. 


Supporting the report, in a special episode of Policy, Guns and Money, we continue the important conversation on cloud computing. Michael Shoebridge and John Coyne, co-authors of ASPI’s recent report ‘National security agencies and the cloud: An urgent capability issue for Australia’, are joined by Oracle’s Kirsty Linehan and Nathan Cook, experts in cloud computing, for an in-depth discussion on cloud computing in Australia’s national security infrastructure.