Macquarie Telecom Group announced it is partnering with Australian satellite communication provider Blacktree Technology to deliver defence-ready data co-location services as both organisations commit further to protecting Australia’s defence industry against cyber attacks. Headquartered in Perth, Blacktree Technology provides specialised communication systems for military and commercial use cases across Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States. To accommodate the expansion of the business, the organisation decided to transition its internal systems into a certified commercial data centre.

According to Managing Director of Blacktree Technology Joe Nevin, it was critical the chosen data centre provider offered highly available connectivity to key locations around Australia, and met the Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) standard to provide assurance around security and compliance. Macquarie Telecom Group was selected from among a small group of providers to host Blacktree Technology’s equipment in its Canberra data centre Intellicentre 5 (IC5). The facility was selected due to its Zone 4 credentials, which is a requirement for defence, as well as its ability to be extended to Zone 5 capability. Macquarie was also chosen due to the location of its data centre in Canberra, which is within close proximity to personnel who will be accessing the information. As well as ensuring minimal latency, the onshore location of both the data centre and Macquarie Telecom Group staff guarantees the information will remain under Australia’s jurisdiction at all times.

Nevin said Macquarie was the logical choice to host Blacktree Technology’s information due to the shared vision between both companies to protect Australia’s critical assets. “Security, sovereign ownership and sovereign control over data are causes paramount to both Blacktree as a commercial organisation and in support of our customers’ goals and business objectives,” he said. “The recent passing of the Critical Infrastructure Bill, under which defence is listed as a critical sector requiring mandatory reporting when a cyber-attack occurs, demonstrates the need for swift and decisive measures to protect the sector and manage internal risk. The Macquarie solution has exceeded our requirements to draw on a resilient sovereign capability that we can use as a base for building our systems that support both the management of sensitive information and the growth of the Blacktree business systems.”

Managing Director of Macquarie Government Aidan Tudehope said “This latest deal with Blacktree Technology is another way we’re putting Macquarie’s defence-ready capabilities into practice. Last year our organisation passed the 200-mark for government-cleared security staff, a milestone which constitutes a doubling of our security staff in less than one year. We see it as our responsibility to invest in the sovereign skills and security clearances needed to provide the Commonwealth and key Defence partners such as Blacktree with the level of capability required to support defence.”

The Blacktree Technology signing follows Macquarie becoming one of a select few Australian data centre providers certified by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) to meet the highest level of security compliance to support sensitive government data. It also follows former head of the Australian Defence Force’s information warfare division Maj Gen (rtd) Marcus Thompson AM PhD joining Macquarie’s federal government advisory board to champion a stronger cyber defence for Australia, and Defence ICT industry leader Mike Foster joining the company to run the Defence and national security portfolios for the company’s government business.

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