Netskope to invest in Australia's first Indigenous sovereign cloud


Tuesday, 02 July, 2024

Netskope to invest in Australia's first Indigenous sovereign cloud

Netskope has announced that it will secure and invest in the development of Australia’s first Indigenous sovereign cloud, led by Indigenous IT company Dickerson Digital and powered by Microsoft. Netskope’s security and data protection technology will be embedded within the new infrastructure, known as Secure Indigenous Sovereign Cloud.

Secure Indigenous Sovereign Cloud has been designed to address an ongoing need for organisations that require low-latency, secure and sovereign capabilities in Australia’s regional, edge and far edge locations. Having successfully maintained IRAP PROTECTED status since 2021, Netskope’s infrastructure complies with Australia’s sovereignty and data protection standards within local jurisdictions.

Netskope’s technology will be fully integrated within the new sovereign cloud infrastructure. The platform will allow users to securely connect to hosted solutions within the sovereign cloud and provide an on-ramp to Microsoft Azure and other external services. Users will have the flexibility to create and run secure, sovereign environments with security policies underpinned by Netskope’s Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) capabilities, while being able to interact with and transfer data to Microsoft’s public cloud for less sensitive operations.

Netskope said the development will equip remote Australia with an essential and missing piece of digital infrastructure that will enable far-edge technology applications such as mobile platforms, remote sensors and IoT environments. It will facilitate fast and secure data transactions for sectors including critical infrastructure, mining, space, defence and national security.

Indigenous-owned data centre builder Gambarra Kaha will lead the development of the more than 22 data centres that make up the infrastructure in edge and far-edge locations nationwide, in close collaboration with Indigenous communities across the country. This critical infrastructure project will create essential upskilling and job opportunities for First Nations people into the digital economy. The first two regional data centres will be located in Toowoomba and Logan in Queensland and are scheduled to go live in late 2024.

“Netskope is a proud and long-time supporter of Australia’s economy. In recent years, we have helped to grow Australia’s infrastructure through the continued investments we have made in building out our NewEdge network and the Netskope One platform to help bolster the nation’s security and connectivity,” said Tony Burnside, VP and Head of APAC at Netskope. “Dickerson Digital’s ambitious vision of uplifting Indigenous populations in the process is one that deeply resonated with us, and we will be working hard to ensure we successfully deliver on the promises of this project.”

A project with Indigenous uplift at its core

At the heart of this development is the ambition to uplift aboriginal communities by equipping them with the necessary skills to manage all aspects of the sovereign infrastructure. Each data centre will create a microcosm of diverse-tech, low-tech and non-tech job opportunities in regional Australia that First Nations people will be trained for, increasing general digital and cyber acumen among communities and encouraging participation in Australia’s security uplift and digital economy.

The comprehensive training program, facilitated by the Kalinda tiaki Foundation in collaboration with Dickerson Digital and Netskope, will give participants the qualifications necessary to engage with sovereign stakeholders and systems. Upon completion, both companies are committed to creating job opportunities, welcoming qualified candidates to join their teams.

“We want this project to blend the wisdom of the world’s oldest continuous culture with cutting-edge technology, building a future that honours our past and secures our legacy,” said Michael Dickerson, CEO and Founder of Dickerson Digital. “There is a massive digital divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, and we want to uplift these populations, to the benefit of us all.”

Image credit: IS

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