UK-headquartered storage vendor SoftIron has opened an advanced manufacturing facility on Australian soil valued at about $5 million in total as a means of combatting “malicious state actors”.
Claiming it to be the nation’s “first-ever component-level IT infrastructure manufacturing facility”, SoftIron said the Botany-based hub will produce parts for its HyperCloud Intelligent Cloud Fabric product.
The vendor also claimed that a local facility means that it eliminates practically all “risk of malicious state actors introducing firmware implants”, otherwise known as backdoors, into critical information systems.
Out of the roughly $5 million invested into the facility, $1.5 million came from the Department of Defence via a Sovereign Industrial Capability Grant worth $1.5 million, which was awarded to SoftIron in June last year.
“Recent geopolitical events and the deteriorating strategic environment have exposed major weaknesses in global supply chains, particularly in the area of critical technology,” SoftIron chief operating officer Jason Van der Schyff said.
“Aside from exposing Australian companies to an unacceptable business risk, our reliance on foreign-manufactured componentry has increased the risk of malicious state actors introducing covert hardware or firmware during the manufacturing process.”
The facility also provides a verification service it calls Secure Provenance, where select SoftIron customers can audit products from end-to-end.
The opening of the Sydney facility comes months after SoftIron referred to Australia back in July as the “poster child country” for how the storage vendor operates, according to its vice president of business development and channel, Phil Crocker.
At the time, Crocker said the company believes so much in the Australian market, it places sales and support staff into the country “well ahead” of most of its other target markets.