Australian Government Certified Cloud Services List (CCSL)

Microsoft is included in the Australian Certified Cloud Services List based on an IRAP assessment and certification by the ASD.

Microsoft and CCSL

Microsoft has undergone an IRAP assessment and been certified on the CCSL by ASD for Azure, Dynamics 365, and Office 365. For each assessment, Microsoft engaged an ASD-accredited assessor who examined the security controls and processes used by Microsoft’s IT operations team, physical datacenters, intrusion detection, cryptography, cross-domain and network security, access control, and information security risk management of in-scope services. The IRAP assessments found that the Microsoft system architecture is based on sound security principles, and that the applicable Information Security Manual (ISM) controls are in place and fully effective within our assessed services.

  • In 2014, Azure was launched as the first IRAP-assessed cloud service in Australia, hosted from datacenters in Melbourne and Sydney. These two datacenters give Australian customers control over where their customer data is stored, while also providing enhanced data durability in the event of a disaster through backups at both locations.
  • In early 2015, Office 365 became the first cloud productivity service to complete this assessment.
  • In April 2015, the ASD announced the CCSL certification of both Azure and Office 365, and in November 2015, of Dynamics 365.
  • In June 2017, ASD announced the recertification of Microsoft Azure and Office 365 for a greatly expanded set of services for Unclassified DLM information.
  • In April 2018, ASD announced the certification of Azure and Office 365 at the Protected classification. Microsoft is the first and only public cloud provider to achieve this level of certification.

Their certification provides assurance to public sector customers in government and their partners that Microsoft has appropriate and effective security controls in place for the processing, storage, and transmission of sensitive and official information that holds Dissemination Limiting Markings (DLMs) or is classified at the Protected level. This includes the majority of government, healthcare, and education data in Australia.

Microsoft in-scope cloud services

Power BI cloud service and Azure Information Protection either as a standalone service or as included in an Office 365 branded plan or suite

Audits, reports and certificates

Services certified by ASD and included on the CCSL must be recertified 24 months after the effective date of certification.

The effective dates for the DLM certifications of Azure and Office 365 are 20 June 2017 and 11 November 2017 for Dynamics 365. The effective date for the protected classification certifications of Azure and Office 365 is 6 April 2018.

CCSL Overview

The Certified Cloud Services List (CCSL) identifies cloud services that have successfully completed an independent Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) assessment by an accredited IRAP Assessor and have been awarded certification by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD). The certification recognizes the successful completion, review, and acceptance of a comprehensive assessment against the Australian Information Security Manual (ISM) so all Australian Government agencies can use it as a foundation for their security accreditation and risk management decisions. The alignment between the Australian and New Zealand ISMs means that New Zealand Government agencies may also be able to use it.

The IRAP is governed and administered by the ASD. IRAP provides a comprehensive process for the independent assessment of a system’s security against Australian government policies and guidelines. The IRAP goal is to maximize the security of Australian federal, state, and local government data by focusing on the information and communications technology infrastructure that stores, processes, and communicates it.

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Frequently asked questions

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The standard applies to all Australian federal, state, and local government agencies that use cloud services. New Zealand government agencies require compliance with a standard very similar to the Australian ISM, so they may also use the IRAP assessments.

Yes. If your organization requires or is seeking an accreditation in line with the ISM, you can use the certification of Azure and Office 365 in your compliance assessment. However, you are responsible for engaging an assessor to evaluate your implementation as deployed on Azure or Office 365, and for the controls and processes within your own organization.