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DFAT seeks provider to strengthen global ICT security

by Helen Flint •
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The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will be upgrading its global ICT security provisions and has issued a Request for Tender (RFT) on 4 March 2011 for an 'enterprise Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)’ to protect communications through its Secure Australian Telecommunications and Information Network (SATIN).

According to tender documentation DFAT provides ICT services to users in over 120 locations in 85 countries through SATIN, which is comprised of two networks: SATIN Low for “In Confidence” data; and SATIN High for data up to and including the “Secret” classification. Services provided across this network include secure email, formal messaging, database applications, voice and video conferencing.

DFAT is seeking an enterprise Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) to be deployed on the SATIN High Network. The scope of requirement includes the implementation and deployment, as well as the ongoing maintenance of the system.

The solution will be required to operate on Microsoft Windows XP SP3, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 (SP2 R2)/2008(R2), Citrix, and ESX VMWare Virtualisation and will be required to have the following Intrusion Prevention/Detection Capabilities:

  • Capability to analyse network traffic packets;
  • Capability to identify deviations from normal patterns of behaviour, using patterns of known attacks
  • Ability to reject pings, trace routes, and all other high level mechanics such as ARP requests
  • Protection against network detection; and
  • Resistance against:

o    IP Packet Fragmentation,

o    TCP Stream Segmentation,

o    RPC Fragmentation,

o    URL Obfuscation,

o    HTML Evasion,

o    FTP Evasion.

Services are due to commence in July 2011 and the contract is expected to run for four years with the potential for two 12 month extensions.

DFAT has recently been quite active in the ICT procurement arena, with this latest RFT bringing the Department to a total of three ICT tenders issued so far this financial year.

In November 2010 the department issued a RFT for the provision of an enterprise wide antivirus software & services solutions, for a three year period, with the possibility of two one year extensions. It again approached the market in January 2011 to establish a panel for Biometric Goods and Services to provide technology and training to meet the needs of the Australian Passport Office. The outcomes of these two processes have yet to be finalised. 

DFAT also looks set to undertake further ICT procurement before the end of the financial year. According to data from Intermedium’s scout IT DFAT published 15 planned ICT procurements for the 2010-11 financial year including:

  • Replacement/Refurbishment for satellite communications installations at overseas posts;
  • Server Infrastructure for Exchange;
  • Back up and recovery software support services;
  • ICT Technical & Related Services – Panel; among others.

Some of these planned procurements may be deferred beyond the end of the financial year, or withdrawn altogether. However with just three of the 15 planned procurements for 2010-11 out to tender so far, the Department could be very active in the market in the final quarter of 2010-11.

Tender submissions for the 'enterprise Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)’are due by 2pm, Thursday 31 March 2011.

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