A glossary of government cloud terms that puts everyone on the same page.
At Macquarie Government, we’re big believers in making everyone technologically literate while remaining enthusiastically human. Here’s an A-Z glossary government cloud terms of commonly used words and phrases, with easy-to-understand definitions for each one.
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What is AARNET? Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNet) is Australia's National Research and Education Network (NREN) which established internet in Australia. It was formed in 1989. It provides Internet services to meet the needs of Australian universities, research and education institutions. The NREN connects millions of students, faculty, staff, and researchers across the country.ASIO
What is ASIO? Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) was established in 1949 as Australia's national security intelligence service. ASIO operates under the direction of the Director-General of Security who reports to the Attorney-General.ASIO T4
What is ASIO T4? ASIO-T4 is responsible for certifying the physical security of Australian Signals Directorate Certified Gateway Service Provider facilities. These security certified facilities including data centres and data halls are intended for use by multiple Australian Government agencies.ASD
What is the ASD? The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) is an intelligence agency in the Australian Government Department of Defence based in Canberra. The agency is in charge of signals intelligence and information security in relation to Australia’s telecommunications, data and communication networks. ASD provides information security advice and services to Australian federal and state Government agencies. These include: The Information Security Manual (ISM), the Essential Eight (a prioritised list of practical actions regarding security), and the Top 37 Strategies to Mitigate Cyber Security Incidents.Application Control
Application Control restricts what, where and how applications run within an organisation’s environment. Applications include any executable, as well as software libraries, scripts, HTML & Control Panel applets. Application Control is the first of the ACSC Essential 8 strategiesAssured Cloud
What is assured cloud? Assured Cloud is an extensive set of procedures, technology, and controls set to secure data, applications, and infrastructure of cloud computing for Australian Government agencies which comply with ASD guidelines.ATT&CK
What is ATT&CK? MITRE ATT&CK is a cybersecurity framework and knowledge base, built from both publicly available Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) and community contributions.Australia Cloud
What is an Australian cloud? Australia cloud is a cloud that resides in Australia in that its infrastructure is physically located in Australia, but it is also Australian owned, Australian governed and managed. All data sets (customer, operational and configuration, management and derived data) must remain in Australia and not be accessible from outside Australia including by the cloud provider’s personnel and via foreign legislation.Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC)
What is the ACSC? The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is an Australian Government initiative to bring together existing cyber security capabilities across Defence, the Attorney-General’s Department, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crime Commission. This creates a hub for greater collaboration and information sharing regarding combating cyber threats.Australian Government Digital Transformation Agenda
What is the Australian Government Digital Transformation Agenda? The Digital Transformation Agency coordinates and facilitates this agenda for the Federal Government. The agenda outlines how the Government interacts with and provides services to its users. Its goal is to make it simpler for Government departments and agencies to deliver a range of initiatives that will provide benefits to all users and citizens to improve their digital experience with the Government.
CCanberra Data Centre
Does Canberra have a data centre? Called Intellicentre 4 (IC4), Macquarie Government’s Canberra data centre was designed to support the Australian Government’s gateway consolidation program.CCSL
What is the CCSL? Certified Cloud Services List (CCSL) is a list of cloud services that have successfully completed the Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) certified by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and based on the Australian Government Information Security Manual. Macquarie Government was the first Australian cloud provider to be listed on the CCSL. The CCSL program ended on the 27th of July 2020, but is still used as a reference when choosing cloud providers.Cyber Enabled Economic Warfare (CEEW)
What is cyber enabled economic warfare? A hostile strategy involving attack(s) against a nation using cyber technology with the intent to weaken its economy and thereby reduce its political and military power.Certified Strategic
What is Certified Strategic? Certified Strategic is the highest level of three hosting provider certification tiers as stipulated under the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) Hosting Certification Framework. By guaranteeing to meet strict government specified ownership and control conditions, Certified Strategic providers offer agencies the highest level of assurance to Government customers and are therefore recommended to support sensitive data, whole-of-government and re-usable platforms.Cloud Hosting
What is cloud hosting? Cloud Hosting is a service that allows Agencies to build and host applications and websites, and to store data, on virtual servers usually hosted by Service Providers. Cloud Hosting usually is cheaper and can scale better than dedicated hosting, because the infrastructure (compute, storage, networking and security) is shared across multiple users.Cloud Security Services
What are cloud security services? Cloud hosted security is delivered as a service from the cloud and designed to protect information, data applications, and infrastructure without requiring on-premises hardware. cloud hosted security enables agencies to avoid substantial capital outlays, maintenance, support and staff costs. These security services include but not limited to, user authentication, anti-virus, anti-malware/spyware, intrusion detection, security event management, managed firewall, etc.Cloud Exchange Security
What is cloud exchange security? Cloud exchange security enables secure connectivity between a user’s in-house cloud environment and other cloud service providers on CCSL such as Macquarie Telecom, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 360 and Amazon Web Services. It is based on a secure platform designed to protect information, data applications, and infrastructure without requiring on-premises hardware.Cloud Services
What are cloud services? Cloud Services is a broadly used term for IT Services to enable ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access over the internet to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released.Colocation (co-location, collocation, colo)
What is colocation? What is colo? Co-location is a data centre facility that offers the customer a secure place to physically house their hardware and equipment as opposed to locating it in their own premises. Colo provides the building space, cooling, power including back up power, bandwidth and security for the customer’s servers and storage.Commonwealth Cloud
What is a Commonwealth cloud? Macquarie Government provides secure cloud hosting for the Australian government. We specialise in providing cloud services for new Information and Communications Technology (ICT) government projects . Our cloud services are built fit for purpose, offering the best value for money while managing asset risk for government agencies and departments. We call this ‘commonwealth cloud’, a form of government secure cloud.Containers
What are containers? What is containerisation? A container is a standardised software unit that contains software code and all its dependencies into a standalone, executable package. Everything required to execute a typical application – code, runtime, system tools, libraries and settings is included within the container.Cyber Attack
What is a cyber attack? Any type of offensive technique to exploit, damage, disrupt or illegally access any computer, system, technology-dependent enterprises (not sure what this means) and/or networks. Cyberattacks can compromise data by using malicious code to bypass securities and alter code, systems, and data.Cyber Crime
What is cyber crime? Cyber crime is a criminal activity including offences against computer data and systems. This includes theft of personal data, computer hacking, virus propagation, identity theft, copyright infringement, child pornography, cyberstalking and cyber bullying.Cyber Security
What is cyber security? Cyber security is the protection of confidentiality, integrity and availability of information within an organisation. Confidentiality is a set of rules that limits access to information. Integrity is the assurance that the information is trustworthy and accurate. Availability is a guarantee of reliable access to the information by authorised people.Cyber Hubs
What are Cyber Hubs? Cyber Hubs are a multi-year, whole-of-government initiative designed to uplift the cyber security posture of all federal government agencies. They are the delivery mechanism of the Hardening Government IT (HGIT) initiative, established under Australia’s cyber security strategy, to strengthen the defence of government networks.Cyber Threat
What is a cyber threat? Cyber threats cover a wide range of malicious activity that can occur through cyberspace. These include: web site defacement, espionage, theft of intellectual property, denial of service attacks, and destructive malware. Cyber threats can come from different sources including individuals, group of hackers, terrorists, or even large organisations.Cyber Threat Intelligence
What is Cyber Threat Intelligence? Commonly known by it's acronym CTI, Cyber Threat Intelligence is information about what your adversaries do. Accurate - and relevant - CTI is critical for developing and prioritising your cyber defences.
DData Centre (or Data Centres)
What is a data centre? A data centre is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. A data centre often requires extensive redundant or backup power supply systems, cooling systems, redundant networking connections and policy-based security systems for running the enterprise's core applications.Data Centre Migration
What is data centre migration? Data centre migration (or relocation) is the process of moving an existing data centre environment to another data centre environment. It also includes moving to a cloud or managed data centre platform from in-house facilities. Relocating data centres need to be planned carefully to ensure a proper and smooth transition.Data Hall
What is a data hall? A Data hall is housed inside a data centre. It is a room built to securely contain server racks of various sizes.Data Sovereignty
What is data sovereignty? Data sovereignty is the concept of keeping Australian data on Australian soil and ensuring it is stored, managed and protected by Australian people and companies. This requires such data be kept in data centres that are physically located in Australia (data residency), and only accessible by Australians at all times.Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
What is DDOS? A DDoS attack is a cyberattack in which multiple compromised computer systems attack a target, such as a server, website or other network resource and cause a denial of service for users of the targeted resource. The flood of incoming messages, connection requests or malformed packets to the target system forces it to slow down or crash and shut down, thereby denying service to legitimate users or systems.Dedicated Server or Dedicated Hosting
What is a dedicated server? A dedicated server refers to the rental and exclusive use of a server such as web server, related software, and connection to the Internet, housed in a data centre. Dedicated servers can handle high traffic volume and manage resource intensive applications. In most cases, the hosting company manages and maintains the dedicated server and provides services such as Internet, physical network layer, monitoring of server, firewall and cyber security.Disaster Recovery (DR)
What is DR? DR is a set of policies and procedures to allow organisations to maintain and resume critical business functions following a natural disaster, device failure or human-induced disaster such as a cyber-attack. Disaster recovery helps in designing strategies that can restore hardware, applications and data quickly for business continuity.Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)
What is a DRP? DRP is a documented and structured approach with a set of procedures for business continuity in the event of a disaster that destroys part or all of a business's resources, including IT equipment, data records and the physical space of an organisation. The DRP specifies comprehensive details of actions and a step-by-step plan to be taken before, during, and after a disaster so the organisation can operate or quickly resume critical functions in the business.Dissemination Limiting Marker (DLM)
What is DLM? DLM is a type of security classification to grade the confidentiality requirements of official information, prescribed under the Australian Government Information Security Management (ISM) guidelines. DLM marking is used for information where disclosure may be limited or prohibited by legislation, or where special handling of the information is required.DSS
What is the DSS? Data Security Standard (DSS) is a set of security standards designed to make sure that credit card information is secured. The DSS was designed and administered by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council to protect payment systems from breach and theft of data.
EEnhanced Virtual Data Centre (eVDC)
What does eVDC mean? eVDC is an enhanced version of a virtual data centre (eVDC) with an extra level of security which is provided by Macquarie Government. It is assessed as per the ASD guidelines to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Australian Government’s official information when stored in the cloud networkEssential 8
What is the Essential 8? The Essential 8 (or Essential Eight) are recommendations from the Australian Signals Directorate for Australian Government agencies to mitigate over 85% of known cyber-security threats. The Essential 8 comprises of the Top 4, which are mandatory for federal government agencies and consist of application whitelisting and patching, operating system (OS) patching, and the restriction of administration privileges based on user duties. The Essential 8 complements the Top 4 with additional recommendations – appropriately configuring Microsoft Office macro settings, user application hardening, implementing multi-factor authentication, and daily backups of key data, software and settings data.Evaluated Products List (EPL)
What is the EPL? The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) maintains the Evaluated Products List (EPL) of ICT security products which have been evaluated by the ASD for use in Australian and New Zealand Government agencies. Products on the EPL are certified for specific purposes and specific security levels.
What was Fedlink? FedLink was a connectivity solution for enabling secure communications between Australian Government agencies across public infrastructure. Fedlink was decommissioned in 2019.
GGovernment Assured Cloud
What is government assured cloud? An extensive set of procedures, technology, and controls to protect and secure data, applications, and infrastructure of cloud computing designed to meet the needs of Australian agencies.Government SaaS
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model where applications are hosted by a service provider and made available to users via the Internet. SaaS applications are available anytime and anywhere on any internet-connected device.Government VMware Cloud
What is a government VMware cloud? Government VMware cloud is an enterprise-class hybrid cloud service designed and created by Macquarie Government using VMware technology to provide Australian agencies the flexibility to seamlessly run new and existing applications in the cloud.
What is a hosting facility? A hosting facility is used to house computers and servers that manage different types of hosting, like a Data Centre. A Hosting facility can run different types of hosting through the Internet including Managed hosting, Dedicated hosting, Virtual private server, Colocation, Cloud hosting, File hosting, Web hosting, Email hosting, and Game servers.Hybrid Cloud
What does hybrid cloud mean? A hybrid cloud is an infrastructure that includes links between the cloud managed by the user (private cloud) and one managed by a third party (public cloud). Although the public and private segments of the hybrid cloud are bound together, they remain unique entities. It combines services and data from different cloud models that can allow workloads to move between the private and public cloud easily and quickly.
What is IaaS? Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a standardised, highly automated offering whereby compute resources, are complemented by storage and networking capabilities which are owned and hosted by a service provider and offered to customers on-demand. Customers can self-provision this infrastructure by using a Web-based graphical user interface that serves as an IT operations management console for the overall environment.ICON
What does ICON mean? Intra Government Communications Network (ICON) is an independent secure point-to-point fibre connection and protocol between buildings in Canberra. It began in 1991 as a private communications network between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade sites and has expanded to 150,000km of fibre across the capital.Intellicentre (IC1, IC2, IC4)
What is an Intellicentre? Macquarie Telecom runs several data centres which we call ‘Intelligent Data Centres’ and are branded as “Intellicentres”. The Intellicentre 1 data centre, the home of our Hosting Management Centre (HMC) engineers, was Macquarie Telecom’s first data centre based in Sydney. It offers Colocation, Smart-Hands and Feet, Data Networks, Cloud, Backup, and Disaster recovery. The Intellicentre 2 data centre is the most certified data centre in Australia and the first to achieve the Uptime Institute Tier III design certification. It’s located in Macquarie Park, NSW and built on a 20,000 sqm site which was opened by the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard in 2012. And the Intellicentre 4 “IC4 Bunker” data centre was built for Federal Government secure internet gateways (SIG) and Secure Cloud Services (ASD Certified cloud platforms). It was purpose built by Macquarie Telecom and it is in Canberra and on the Government’s fibre network (ICON).IRAP
What is IRAP? The Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) is an Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) initiative to provide high-quality information and communications technology (ICT) services to Government in support of Australia's security. IRAP provides the framework to endorse individuals from the private and public sectors to provide cyber security assessment services to Australian Governments.ISM
What is ISM? The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) produces the Australian Government Information Security Manual (ISM). The manual is the standard which governs the security of Government ICT systems. The ISM comprises three documents targeting different levels which are: ISM Executive Companion, ISM Principles and ISM Controls.ISO (ISO27001)
What is ISO27001? An international standard developed and published by the International Standardization Organisation (ISO). It enables companies who have s implemented information security compliant with ISO27001 to become certified. Macquarie Telecom is the first Australian telecommunications and hosting provider to be ISO27001 certified.
What is managed hosting? Managed hosting is an IT model in which a service provider leases dedicated servers and associated hardware to a single client. The equipment is located at the hosting provider's facility and managed by the service provider including management of infrastructure, people and/or processes. The service provider is the responsible for setting up the hardware, installing and configuring software, tech support, system maintenance, IP addressing, managing critical updates and monitoring. Services usually include backups, disaster recovery, and security processes to secure data.Microservices
What is a microservice? Microservices represent a modular and decentralised approach to application development where each service supports a specific and unique task or function and uses a defined interface (an API) to communicate with other services.
What is the NBN? National Broadband Network (NBN) is an Australian broadband network built on fibre optic, fixed wireless and satellite infrastructure – providing a high-speed and consistent internet service. This is being rolled out and administered by NBN Co Limited. It aims to replace existing copper cable telephony network and meet the growing demand for internet access.Net Promoter Score (NPS)
What is NPS? Net Promoter Score is a customer loyalty metric developed by Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company, and Satmetrix Systems. Introduced in 2003 (Who introduced it in 2003?), NPS is a management tool used to gauge the loyalty of a firm's customer relationships. It measures customer response on a scale of 0 to 10 on the likelihood of a customer to recommend a company's services or products to others. Those who provide a score of 9 to 10 are called Promoters as they are likely to refer the company's services or products, and will remain loyal to the company and keep buying services or products. Scores of 7 and 8 are called Passives, satisfied customers but are likely to move into other competitive products or services. Respondents of 0 to 6 are called Detractors. These are unhappy customers who will not purchase again from the company. They could damage the company's brand through negative word of mouth. The overall Net Promoter Score for a company is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers that are detractors from the percentage of customers that are promoters. The score falls between -100 and +100. Any score over +50 is considered exceptional.
What is PCI? Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council is a global body founded by American Express, Discover, JCB International, MasterCard and Visa Inc. It was formed to develop, improve, and help with security standards for payment and account security. The PCI created a body of security standards known as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) helping merchants, companies and financial institutions implement security policies to protect their payment systems from theft of card data.Private Cloud
What is a private cloud? Private cloud is an agency’s exclusive use of cloud infrastructure and services usually located at data centres managed by the cloud service provider. A private cloud is usually employed in preference over the public cloud for increased security and performance, or bespoke design considerations.Protected Cloud
What is protected cloud? Protected cloud is a physically separate cloud infrastructure built by Macquarie Government to meet the ASD guidelines and suitable for Australian agencies to store information with “Protected” security classification.Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF)
What is PSPF? PSPF is a security framework to help the Australian Government protect their people, information and assets, at home and overseas. The PSPF provides policy, guidance and better practice advice for governance, personnel, physical and information security. Non-corporate Commonwealth entities are required to apply the PSPF as it relates to their risk environment.Public Cloud
What is a public cloud? Public cloud is a model of cloud computing based on architecture where scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are provided as a service to external customers using Internet technologies. Some of the public cloud services are free and others are offered on a pay-per-usage model. In comparison to private cloud, it provides services to multiple clients using the same shared infrastructure. Examples of public clouds include Macquarie Government, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
What does SaaS mean? Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and made available over the Internet. It removes the need to install and run applications on one’s own computer or server thus eliminating additional expense on hardware, maintenance, software license, and support. The SaaS model offers flexible payments using a pay-per-usage model. It also offers high scalability which gives users the option to choose more options or use basic features only.Secure Cloud
What is secure cloud? Secure cloud is a model of cloud computing implemented by Macquarie Government to meet the ASD guidelines for the use of Australian Government agencies. Certified by ASD and on the CCSL list for Unclassified DLM, these services are available exclusively to Australian agencies.Secure Cloud Exchange
What is an SCE? Australia's first purpose-built cloud exchange enabling Government agencies to securely connect to multiple cloud providers or services such as Macquarie Government, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services. It has been designed with high security, low latency, and high availability.Secure Internet Gateway (SIG)
What is a SIG? SIG provides users with secure access to the Internet, designed as per the ASD Information Security Manual and certified by the ASD to “Protected” level. SIG is available exclusively to Australian agencies and other approved Government entities. SIG was an cyber-security initiative from the Internet Gateway Reduction Program, to increase the security standards and compliance of Federal Government agencies.Security Classifications
What are security classifications? Australian Government security classification system gives guidance in identifying and grading the confidentiality requirements of official information. Information requiring security classifications: • PROTECTED • CONFIDENTIAL • SECRET • TOP SECRET Information requiring dissemination limiting markers (DLMs): • For Official Use Only • the four Sensitive DLMs (Sensitive: Cabinet, Sensitive: Personal, Sensitive: Legal and Sensitive)Security Domain
What is a security domain? According to the ISM, a Security Domain is “a system or collection of systems operating under a consistent security policy that defines the classification, releasability and special handling caveats for data processed within the domain.”. A government agencies PROTECTED and OFFICIAL networks are examples of separate security domains.Security Operations Centre (SOC)
What is a SOC? A SOC is a dedicated centralised unit to work on security which monitors a wide range of cyber and cloud activities. Staffed with highly skilled engineers to continuously monitor and improve the security position while preventing, detecting, analysing and responding to cyber security incidents with the aid of technology, data-analytics and well-defined processes and procedures.SIGBOX Secure Dropbox
What is a SIGBOX? SIGBOX is a service offered by Macquarie Government to the Australian agencies that enables them to share, store and collaborate data between agencies, and approved third parties. Built exclusively for Government agencies, SIGBOX Secure Dropbox can share files instantly and is secured up to “Protected” classification. Files are stored in dedicated environments and conform to the Government Information Security Manual (ISM).Sovereign Cloud
What does sovereign cloud mean? A cloud that not only resides locally in Australia, but is also owned, governed and managed locally, with controls in place to ensure customer, operational and management data is not accessible from outside Australia. It’s not even accessible by the cloud providers operational staff (contractors and foreign nationals), or accessible under foreign laws by non-Australian interests.
What is a tactic? In cybersecurity, a tactic is the objective of an adversary, for example gaining initial access or escalating privileges.Technique
What is a technique? Cyber threat actors use techniques to achieve a tactic. Phishing is a common technique.Threat Monitoring
What is threat monitoring? A continuous process dedicated to monitoring signs of security threats across networks and endpoints such as attempts at intrusions or cyber attacks. Threat monitoring gives security professionals visibility into the network and the actions of the users who access it, enabling stronger data protection as well as preventing or lessening damage caused by a breach of the network.Tier 3 (Tier3, Tier III, Tier three)
What does Tier 3 mean? A Tier 3 is a high availability data centre designed to be concurrently maintainable, allowing for any planned maintenance activity of power and cooling systems to take place without disrupting the operation of computer hardware located in the data centre. With N+1 architecture, Tier 3 data centre refers to 99.98% service availabilityTTP
What is a TTP? In cybersecurity, TTP stands for the Tactics, Techniques and Procedures used by adversaries.
VVirtual Data Centre
What is a VDC? A virtual data centre is a pool or collection of cloud infrastructure resources specifically designed for enterprise business needs. The basic resources are the processor (CPU), memory (RAM), storage (disk space) and networking (bandwidth). It’s a virtual representation of a physical data centre housed with servers, storage devices, and networking components, all of which reside in virtual space being hosted by one or more physical data centresVMware Cloud
What is a VMware cloud? VMware Cloud is cloud built fully on a VMware platform, allowing users or organisations to migrate to the hybrid cloud with ease using existing management tools, policies, networking and security.
What is zero downtime? A Zero Downtime Service designed to be without interruption. Downtime is used to refer to periods when a system is not available and fails to provide or perform its primary function. Macquarie Government has implemented unique Zero Downtime solutions designed from the ground up to simplify high availability on their systems. Applications can seamlessly move across different sites with no re-architecture required.Zero Latency
What is zero latency? Zero Latency involves a situation or state where no time is lost in exchange of information from one interface to another. It’s the immediate exchange of information across the system in real time.