27 November 2000

The Australian Computer Emergency Response Team (AusCERT) at UQ has won a prestigious IT industry award against major competitors.

AusCERT won the Government - service delivery category at the Asia/Pacific (Queensland) IT awards held at the Brisbane Convention Centre on Saturday.

AusCERT is a subscription-based organisation with members distributed throughout Australia and New Zealand in the government, commercial and education sectors.

University of Queensland Director of Information Technology Services and AusCERT Nick Tate said the respected award was a further recognition of the value of Internet and computer security services to government and other organisations.

"Judges commented that AusCERT was very different to other finalists, and the more they thought about us, the more logical was our award," he said.

AusCERT co-founder and General Manager Rob McMillan said the group was recognised internationally as an authoritative source of expertise and information about Internet security.

"We provide a single, trusted point of contact in Australia and New Zealand for the Internet computer community to deal with computer security incidents and their prevention," he said.

AusCERT began operations in 1993, and acts as a co-ordinating centre, advisory capability, centre of expertise, and a portal to its contacts throughout the world.

The number of Internet security incidents is growing rapidly. AusCERT handled approximately 2000 security incidents in 1999, and expects to handle in the order of 8000 incidents this year.

Its members include all Australian universities, most New Zealand university, government and commercial organisations throughout Australia and New Zealand. Equivalent organisations include CERT/CC in the United States, CanCERT in Canada, and Janet-CERT in the U.K.

Mr McMillan said AusCERT was the only organisation of its kind in Australia, and one of the largest of about 70 computer emergency response teams throughout the world.

"AusCERT is one of the most senior and respected teams in the international Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST)," he said.

AusCERT is an operational arm of The University of Queensland. It is funded primarily through membership fees, with some additional income from value added services such as research, training and education. It has a strong focus in the Asia-Pacific region. Previous honours include winning the SANS 1998 Technology Leadership Award.

Media: Further information Nick Tate, telephone 07 3365 3521 or email: n.tate@auscert.org.au or Rob McMillan, telephone 07 33654417, email: auscert@auscert.org.au or visit the AusCERT website http://www.auscert.org.au.