NSW Parliament gets managed security

Piecemeal approach trumped by hosted service

The Parliament of New South Wales has inked a multi-year managed security services (MSS) deal to manage its core and edge network security at the main premises in Sydney and some 94 electoral offices throughout the state.

The contract with Sydney-based MSS outsourcer Earthwave follows parliament's unsuccessful attempts to run its complex security operations in-house.

The value of the deal has been kept in commercial confidence.

NSW Parliament network manager Neil Dammerel said the government department has always taken extraordinary measures to ensure the privacy and integrity of its information and this agreement "sets a new precedent" for data protection.

"We chose to work with Earthwave because if its understanding of Australian laws and government needs, its risk-based approach to security, local presence, and certified operations," Dammerel said.

"We also recognized Earthwave's ability to address both insider threats as well as well as those external to the parliament, and its ability to support a wide range of solutions."

Earthwave began as a specialist MSS company in late 2000 and runs its operations from a purpose-built datacentre in Sydney's north west.

To complete the solution, Parliament deployed Cisco security technology at all its external offices.

Parliament information services being managed by Earthwave include firewall, SSL, IDS, IPSec, two-factor authentication, e-mail filtering and spam protection, Web filtering, and PKIs for SSL.

Earthwave founder and managing director Carlo Minassian said Parliament gains access to event correlation, pattern discovery tools, and expert engineers as part of the deal.

"We analyze all the data and logs locally and don't send it offshore, which is important for government organizations," Minassian said.

"We can log access to mobile devices and Active Directory so if there is a breach we will raise an alarm," he said. "We do e-mail filtering for two million mailboxes using two types of vendor appliances and no data goes offshore."

Minassian also said Earthwave is the only local company to offer Sun's identity management software in a hosted solution.

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