Security overhaul on the cards at Centrelink

DLP and end point security to protect up to 42,000 machines

A major upgrade of ICT security is on the cards at Centrelink, with the welfare agency planning to implement data loss prevention (DLP) and endpoint protection (EP) for a whopping 28,000 users and 42,000 workstations.

According to the agency, the upgrade will better secure customer data against accidental or malicious loss, and provide protection to the Centrelink network and mobile environments against harmful code.

It will also help ICT management control and monitor the use of portable storage devices within Centrelink, and to enforce their encryption where they are used to store Centrelink data.

A network access control (NAC) capability will be added to the Centrelink network to restrict unauthorised computers from gaining access. Reporting on the use of portable storage devices within Centrelink will also feature.

Centrelinks’ ICT environment, spread across a distributed network of approximately 460 remote sites throughout Australia, includes Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7-based PCs and Windows server 2003, 2008, 2008R2- based servers.

According to Centrelink, each site is provided with two virtual servers; one contains a Netware 6.5sp7 server that provides file and print sharing, authentication services via eDirectory, and http proxy services.

The other virtual machine provides Domino messaging services hosted on a Windows 2003 Server instance.

Centrelink’s data centres, located in Canberra, use IBM Mainframes, Solaris 10 Sparc based midrange and virtual Windows 2003 Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server instances.

The upgrade of its ICT security follows hot on the heals of an announcement that Centrelink would embark on a four year redevelopment of its customer communications systems in an effort to improve its case management, inter-agency cooperation and lift two-way communications with customers.

The agency is also planning a switch to Microsoft products for its email, and potentially, unified communications software.