Macquarie Government and Macquarie Data Centres, part of Macquarie Telecom Group, recently hosted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to officially open the company’s Intellicentre 3 East hyperscale data centre in Sydney. As part of the event, the Prime Minister observed a threat hunt with Macquarie’s ‘cyberwarriors’. The hunt involved exploring a government agency’s IT infrastructure – using a library of more than 4,000 threat intelligence playbooks – to look for patterns of compromise or vulnerabilities which could be exploited by cybercriminals.
The official opening marked the on-time, on-budget completion of the data centre in Macquarie’s Sydney Campus. The project received an initial investment of more than $85 million and supported over 1,200 construction, engineering, cyber security, and IT jobs throughout the COVID pandemic. The facility is designed to support government organisations, hyperscalers, global multinationals and Australian corporations.
Speaking at the event, the Prime Minister hailed IC3 East as an example of the type of secure, sovereign infrastructure Australia needs to bolster our cyber security posture and accelerate the digital economy. “This centre we are finally opening today – is about the economy, it is about the digital world that is transforming the world, and it is about our security,” he said. “Increasingly, our economy and our security depend on each other. This campus is about both – a mighty $200 million data centre, Australian owned, Australian operated, one of the most trusted and certified in Australia, with a team of highly trained engineers delivering up to 50 megawatts of data storage capability. Our Government has set a goal of Australia being a top 10 digital economy by 2030. An essential foundation of such a goal is trust and confidence, trust in the regulatory systems of a country, and confidence it can meet the increasing cyber challenges in our world. Espionage, disinformation, cyber-attacks, foreign interference, and economic coercion – these types of malignant activities mounting in our world.
“The scale, frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks have increased,” Morrison said. “In fact, last year in Australia, a cyber-incident was reported every eight minutes. One quarter of these attacks targeted either our critical infrastructure or essential services. The fact is, the security of our critical digital infrastructure goes hand-in-hand with our national resilience. As we do more business online – and hold more information online – ensuring the protection of our data and our networks is more critical than ever. We’re fortunate to have partners like Macquarie with whom we manage this risk, and entrust parts of our data and cyber security.”
The official opening follows Macquarie’s billing commencement earlier this month of a multi-million-dollar contract with a leading global corporation for circa 10 megawatts (MW) of data centre capacity. The deal led Macquarie to increase its planned opening capacity for IC3 East. It also preceded the company unveiling plans to build another data centre – its largest ever facility – at the Macquarie Park Data Centre Campus. IC3 Super West will increase the Campus’ overall capacity to 50MW.
Macquarie Government Managing Director Aidan Tudehope said that IC3 East has the capability, capacity, and scale to support Australian government organisations as they encounter increased cyber threats. The world has changed quite dramatically in recent years and particularly in recent months. This has had a direct impact on the level of cybercriminal activity which is landing on Australian shores,” he said. “We’re proud to see the Prime Minister take such a personal interest in what we know to be one of the most important issues facing the nation. Macquarie is privileged to partner with more than 42 per cent of Federal Government agencies and personnel, protecting them against cyber threats through our secure, sovereign Data Centre Campuses in Sydney and Canberra.”
Macquarie Data Centres’ Group Executive, David Hirst added that the event showcased the importance of secure cloud and data centre infrastructure to power Australia’s digital economy. “The Government has consistently underscored the importance of cyber security and data sovereignty, including through the Cyber Security Strategy; decision for all government data to be stored in onshore Certified Strategic or Certified Assured data centres; and the Critical Infrastructure Bill, which formally recognised key data storage, telecommunications, and processing industries as Australian critical infrastructure. We’re proud to support that vision by embedding security and sovereignty into the design and operation of our Data Centre Campuses across Sydney and Canberra.”
IC3 East is built to the latest physical and cyber security standards essential to securely store and protect data in Australia. This includes Federal Government-level SCEC Zone 3 or higher security, ISO 27001, and SOC 2. It is staffed 24x7x365 by Government-cleared engineers and incorporates ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management) to meet modern business requirements.