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IBM lands $740M deal to supply data security to Australia

(Bloomberg) -- International Business Machines Corp. has secured a $1 billion ($740 million) agreement to become a central technology partner of the Australian government over the next five years.

The contract will see services such as automation and blockchain provided to federal departments including defense and home affairs, IBM’s Asia Pacific head, Harriet Green, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Thursday. The “youth of the technology” and the employment of Australians to support and help the implementation would be hallmarks of the new partnership, she said.

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Electronic circuit boards from an International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) Z14 server rack sit on display at the CeBIT 2018 tech fair in Hanover, Germany, on Monday, June 11, 2018. CeBIT, Europe's business festival for innovation and digitization, runs June 11 - 15. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

IBM, which is combating falling revenues, will also create renewed platforms to protect citizens’ data while providing A$100 million in savings to taxpayers, according to government estimates. Cyber attacks have hit international firms such as Facebook and Ticketmaster in the past year, as well as Australia’s national science agency.

The contract comes two years after IBM agreed to pay more than A$30 million in compensation to the Australian government for its role in the bungled national census. The survey was hit by four distributed denial of service attacks that temporarily shut down the twice-a-decade project, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said at the time that “overwhelmingly the failure was IBM’s.”