The Secure Research Environment (SRE)

The Secure Research Environment (SRE) is a Population Data BC service which provides Researchers with a central location for access to and processing of research data, secure storage and back up of their data extract and free software for data analysis.

The SRE is a secure private cloud accessible only via an encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN) through a firewall and use of a YubiKey® token for authentication. With PopData providing Researchers with a safe and secure alternative to storing the data extract themselves, data providers may rest assured that their own requirements for security standards are being met and that the risk of unauthorized access to data is minimized.

The benefits of the Secure Research Environment include:

  • Centralised privacy and security capacity: Researchers do not need to develop the physical, technological, and procedural measures that are required if they hold the data themselves, and Data Providers can gain the information they require for audits centrally
  • Efficient management of the terms and conditions of the Research Agreement, including expiry of authority to access Research Extracts – whether from the Ethics Review process or from the Data Provider, including suspension or termination of access to the data as appropriate
  • Prohibiting inappropriate copying and sharing of data
  • Ability to ensure that only named Researchers, who have signed a Pledge of Confidentiality, successfully completed privacy training and attained all necessary authorizations , obtain access to specific Research Extracts
  • Only Research Outputs may leave the Secure Research Environment (specific restrictions can vary by Research Agreement)
  • Faster processing on the central server that handles large data sets with complex transformations better than most PCs


Secure data handling & storage

Secure data handling

Data Access Request (DAR) Management

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Data linkage (Trusted Third Party)

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Online tracking & reporting

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