Federal cyber agency lists security-vetted IT products, Austrade boosts local vendors

By Stephen Easton

August 29, 2019

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The Australian Cyber Security Centre has published a list of tech products that have been officially assessed for either cryptographic effectiveness or more general security vulnerabilities.

The ACSC’s list of 25 evaluated IT products includes Apple’s mobile operating system (iOS versions 9.3.5 or higher), a range of networking hardware, and several data-protection products, including a couple of versions of Microsoft’s Bitlocker software.

The Evaluated Products List (EPL) is a list of products that have been evaluated via the Australian Signals Directorate’s Cryptographic Evaluation (ACE) program or the High Assurance evaluation program. Behind each name on the list is a set of descriptions and documents, including simple “consumer guides” produced by the ASD in the past.

The ACSC website also points to a different Certified Products List put together by the Australasian Information Security Evaluation Program.

The ACE program analyses products to determine whether their security architecture and cryptographic algorithms have been implemented correctly and are strong enough for the product’s intended use.

The High Assurance evaluation program is more general and involves analysis and testing to look for any kind of security vulnerabilities in a product.

In future, the ASD might be called on to evaluate the algorithms used in more homegrown cybersecurity products if the industry growth centre, AustCyber, is successful in growing the local industry. On the other hand, it might find the encryption-busting legislation cruels its hopes if industry fears are on the money.

Austrade has just announced it will be trying to help raise the profile of local cyber vendors overseas, under a new collaboration plan with AustCyber, deepening previous cooperation.

Austrade CEO Dr Stephanie Fahey is upbeat about their chances, and says past efforts have helped launch Australian companies into markets in Singapore, Indonesia, and the US.

“This is an exciting next step in Austrade’s collaboration with AustCyber, at a time when Australian companies are well placed to capitalise on global opportunities, with the demand for cybersecurity solutions experiencing strong growth,” Fahey said.

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