Vault works on secure cloud-delivered AI for government agencies

Australian cloud service provider Vault is working with researchers from the University of Technology Sydney and the CSIRO to better support artificial intelligence (AI), and high performance computing (HPC) in its secure cloud environment.

The company today revealed details of a $500,000, three-year research collaboration focused on OpenStack, the open source project that provides the key components for Vault’s government-focused cloud service.

Vault was one of the first Australian providers to join the Certified Cloud Services List (CCSL), which is currently overseen by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC). Services on the list have been certified to meet the security standards required to store and process government data.

In 2017 along with fellow Australian company Sliced Tech, Vault’s cloud was certified for use with classified data. The two cloud providers were the first to receive Protected-level certification. Since then the club has become slightly less exclusive, with Amazon, Dimension Data, Macquarie Government and Microsoft having their Protected certification accepted by the ACSC (or its parent organisation, the Australian Signals Directorate).

Vault only provides cloud services to Australian government entities.

Its services are used by a range of Commonwealth departments, including the Digital Transformation Agency, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Employment, the Department of Health, the Department of Social Services and the Department of Defence.

The research on better supporting AI, machine learning, deep learning and HPC workloads on the company’s OpenStack infrastructure will be led by UTS’s Dr Maruf Ahmed and Dr Farookh Khadeer Hussain.

“As the government invests in cloud migration, there will be significant value in being able to analyse data stored in the cloud,” Vault CEO and founder Rupert Taylor-Price said in a statement.

“Many Australians don’t realise that most advanced AI capability of large cloud providers is hosted overseas and can be subject to foreign law,” the CEO said. “This announcement is a major step towards enhancing Australia’s sovereign capability and protecting Australians.”

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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