Eventually, one would think that the Australian Labor Party would be tired of being owned over and over again by the nation’s conservative parties, but here we are in the extremely likely final week of the 45th Parliament, and once again the ALP has been outmanoeuvred by the Coalition.
At every step in the process to the rush the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act into being, Labor has been played like a harp from hell.
The coup de grâce is the admission by shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus that the amendments that Labor has pinned its hopes on when it capitulated in December, were going to stall in the Parliament.
“Labor tried to begin that work during this term of Parliament by introducing amendments in the Senate on the 14th of February 2019,” Dreyfus said. “A majority of the Senate voted for those amendments but the government, which still maintains that this rushed legislation is perfect, has shut down debate on those amendments, and so, regrettably, we will not be able to pass them before the election.”
A mere three recommendations that included calling for more reviews and the proper resourcing of the oversight bodies for Australia’s encryption laws — Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Commonwealth Ombudsman, and Independent National Security Legislation Monitor — were issued by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) in a report delivered on Wednesday evening.
To add to the review by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, as well as the statutory review PJCIS is due to complete into the encryption and data retention laws, which Labor also helped vote into existence, Dreyfus said a Shorten Labor government would create an inquiry into the economical impact of the laws.
“Following that assessment, a Labor government would work to move any amendments that are required to reduce unnecessary impacts on Australian businesses,” Dreyfus said.
Dreyfus also said Labor would pursue its now stranded amendments in government, as well as require authorisation from a judicial officer in order to issue Technical Assistance Notices or a Technical Capability Notices.
In February, Dreyfus said the government’s amendments that were agreed to and passed by Labor in December were inadequate.
“It is not tenable to argue, as the government continues to argue, that its amendments largely implemented the committee’s 17 recommendations. No reasonable person accepts that,” Dreyfus said.
“This fiasco of lawmaking is what a job well done looks like to this chaotic government.”
That fiasco will continue to be the law of the land in Australia, and depending on the result of the upcoming election, could remain so for some time.
The dosage could be repeated before Parliament rises, as Labor is reportedly set to wave through the latest round of rushed legislation from the government that could potentially see social media executives jailed of their platforms are used to stream violent criminal acts.
In lieu of finding its spine, as it momentarily threatened to for a few brief hours last year, Labor at least didn’t get wedged on national security, as it attempts to plot a wedgeless path to the Lodge and power.
The local tech industry would do well to remember this process and how it was sold down the river, much like the data retention process before it, should a Labor government come a-knocking promising to make everything better in the coming months.
AFP concerned about approving state police usage of Australia’s encryption laws
Concerns over a federal body overseeing the operations of state and territory authorities.
Australia’s encryption laws will fall foul of differing definitions
A cryptographer’s rebuttal to a GCHQ interception concept highlights how participants in the encryption-busting debate are talking past each other. What even is a “systemic weakness”, anyway?
Australia’s encryption laws are a cyber cane toad: Husic
Shadow Minister for the Digital Economy Ed Husic continues to state problems with the Bill his party rolled over on and passed.
Here we go again: PJCIS opens review of Australia’s encryption laws
The Joint Committee will follow its rushed inspection of Australia’s encryption laws with a rushed review of the amendments made on Parliament’s last day of 2018.
Australian encryption laws sent off to Nat Sec Legislation Monitor for review
Independent National Security Legislation Monitor due to report back by March 1, 2020.
Australia’s encryption laws are ‘highly unlikely’ to dragoon employees in secret
Relax, developers, the Assistance and Access Act is ‘highly unlikely’ to force employees to deceive their bosses by creating secret backdoors. Nor does it breach Europe’s GDPR digital privacy laws.
What’s actually in Australia’s encryption laws? Everything you need to know
The controversial Assistance and Access Bill was 176 pages long, then 67 pages of amendments were rushed through in the final hours of debate. This is what we’ve ended up with.
Work from Home Security
Spin Master is a leading global children’s entertainment company that invents toys and games, produces dozens of television and studio series that are distributed in 160 countries, and creates a variety of digital games played by more than 30 million children. What was once a small private company founded by childhood friends is now a public global supply chain with over 1,500 employees and 28 offices around the world.
Like most organizations in 2020, Spin Master had to adapt quickly to the new normal of remote work, shifting most of its production from cubicles in regional and head offices to hundreds of employees working from home and other remote locations.
This dramatic shift created potential security risks, as most employees were no longer behind the firewall on the corporate network. Without the implementation of hardened endpoint security, the door would be open for bad actors to infiltrate the organization, acquire intellectual property, and ransom customer information. Additionally, the potential downtime caused by a security breach could harm the global supply chain. With that in mind, Spin Master created a self-imposed 30-day deadline to extend its network protection capabilities to the edge.
- Think Long Term: The initial goal of establishing a stop-gap work-from-home (WFH) and work-from-anywhere (WFA) strategy has since morphed into a permanent strategy, requiring long-term solutions.
- Gather Skills: The real urgency posed by the global pandemic made forging partnerships with providers that could fill all the required skill sets a top priority.
- Build Momentum: The compressed timeline left no room for delay or error. The Board of Directors threw its support behind the implementation team and gave it broad budget authority to ensure rapid action, while providing active guidance to align strategy with action.
- Deliver Value: The team established two key requirements that the selected partner must deliver: implementation support and establishing an ongoing managed security operations center (SOC).
Key Criteria for Evaluating Privileged Access Management
Privileged Access Management (PAM) enables administrative access to critical IT systems while minimizing the chances of security compromises through monitoring, policy enforcement, and credential management.
A key operating principle of all PAM systems is the separation of user credentials for individual staff members from the system administration credentials they are permitted to use. PAM solutions store and manage all of the privileged credentials, providing system access without requiring users to remember, or even know, the privileged password. Of course, all staff have their own unique user ID and password that they use to complete everyday tasks such as accessing email and writing documents. Users who are permitted to handle system administration tasks that require privileged credentials log into the PAM solution, which provides and controls such access according to predefined security policies. These policies control who is allowed to use which privileged credentials when, where, and for what tasks. An organization’s policy may also require logging and recording of the actions undertaken with the privileged credentials.
Once implemented, PAM will improve your security posture in several ways. The first is by segregating day-to-day duties from duties that require elevated access, reducing the risk of accidental privileged actions. Secondly, automated password management reduces the possibility that credentials will be shared while also lowering the risk if credentials are accidentally exposed. Finally, extensive logging and activity recording in PAM solutions aids audits of critical system access for both preventative and forensic security.
How to Read this Report
This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Vendor Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.
Adventist Risk Management Data Protection Infrastructure
Companies always want to enhance their ability to quickly address pressing business needs. Toward that end, they look for new ways to make their IT infrastructures more efficient—and more cost effective. Today, those pressing needs often center around data protection and regulatory compliance, which was certainly the case for Adventist Risk Management. What they wanted was an end-to-end, best-in-class solution to meet their needs. After trying several others, they found the perfect combination with HYCU and Nutanix, which provided:
- Ease of deployment
- Outstanding ROI
- Overall TCO improvement
Nutanix Cloud Platform provides a software-defined hyperconverged infrastructure, while HYCU offers purpose-built backup and recovery for Nutanix. Compared to the previous traditional infrastructure and data protection solutions in use at Adventist Risk Management, Nutanix and HYCU simplified processes, speeding day-to-day operations up to 75%. Now, migration and update activities typically scheduled for weekends can be performed during working hours and help to increase IT staff and management quality of life. HYCU further increased savings by providing faster and more frequent points of recovery as well as better DR Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) by increasing the ability to do daily backups from one to four per day.
Furthermore, the recent adoption of Nutanix Objects, which provides secure and performant S3 storage capabilities, enhanced the infrastructure by:
- Improving overall performance for backups
- Adding security against potential ransomware attacks
- Replacing components difficult to manage and support
In the end, Nutanix and HYCU enabled their customer to save money, improve the existing environment, and, above all, meet regulatory compliance requirements without any struggle.
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