The Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) plans to spend up to A$2.2 million on prototyping new cyber security technologies to help ‘future proof’ Australia’s defence capabilities. The allocation, part of Defence’s Corporate Enabling Research Program (CERP), will fund an industry partnership to develop advanced technologies for countering emerging cyber security threats. Prototypes created under the CERP are expected to include specialist digital hardware design, software engineering, and radio frequency engineering involving wireless communications. The cyber security research program will include assured operation of ICT systems where those systems are manufactured from untrusted commercial components, and ensuring the integrity of information and information flows within enterprise and government systems. Machine ‘reasoning systems’ capable of analysing and verifying system policies, procedures, and security architectures particularly in support of evolving network boundaries and security threat posture will also be researched. Some $2.2 million will be spent on the program, including $220,000 in the first year and $660,000 each year for a further three years. The initiative follows the announcement last week that Defence’s major intelligence agencies will shortly move to a new direct-source relationship for their Oracle-based hardware, software and services. Through moving to a new sourcing arrangement, affiliated agencies of the Australian Defence Intelligence Group (DIG) will be able to “market test their current support, maintenance and acquisition arrangements for their inventory of Oracle hardware and associated system software products”. The same week, Defence said it will shortly commence its Centralised Processing (CP) initiative to establish a single, integrated capability for the management and provision of centralised processing facilities, infrastructure and services at the unclassified, classified and secret levels. The initiative seeks to achieve a major reduction in capital expenditure and operating costs through the introduction of less expensive ICT infrastructure, the rationalisation and standardisation of ICT infrastructure, the consolidation of data centres, and the simplification of Defence’s ICT management environment.
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