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

By John Coyne, Michael Shoebridge, Jocelinn Kang, Danielle Cave, Rand Waldron, Jeff Resin

ASPI's John Coyne and Michael Shoebridge, join Oracle's Rand Waldron and Jeff Ressin, alongside Jocelinn Kang, Analyst, ASPI's International Cyber Policy Centre, in a discussion moderated by ICPC's Danielle Cave, about ASPI’s report National security agencies and the cloud - An urgent capability issue for Australia.

Many businesses and organisations know that the powerful processing, big-data analytics and versatile resource configurations that cloud systems provide are simply essential to their success. They have already shifted from traditional on-premises computing to on-demand cloud services or to private cloud systems that give them more control. The industry is also designing new applications and software that take advantage of the technical power of cloud infrastructure.

ASPI's special report, National security agencies and the cloud: An urgent capability issue for Australia, released last month, argues for rapid, large-scale investment in secure cloud infrastructure for Australia’s national security community, with the intelligence agencies an early focus. The report seeks to shift perceptions of new technology as capabilities, rather than as business enablers, and calls on agency executives to drive the required change.

The discussion will focus on the global experience with moving to cloud and why Australia needs a major investment in secure national cloud capabilities. This investment must be made by at least the intelligence organisations, with big defence and other less agile agencies following suit. Panellists be discussing the four obstacles that agencies will need to overcome. If change doesn’t occur rapidly and comprehensively within Australian national security agencies, they will fall behind and be stuck with platforms that vendors only support as legacy activities (think Windows 7). Meanwhile, allies and adversaries will continue to take advantage of the new technology to scale up their operations and analysis and get the capability advantages from cloud systems.