The Secure Research Environment

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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 and secure storage and back up of their data extract.

The SRE is a central server accessible only via an encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN) through a firewall and use of a YubiKey® token for authentication. With Population Data BC providing Researchers with a safe and secure alternative to storing the data extract themselves, Data Providers can 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
  • Only Research Outputs may leave the Secure Research Environment (specific restrictions can vary by Research Agreement)
  • 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
  • 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
  • Faster processing on the central server that handles large data sets with complex transformations better than most PCs

Page last revised: September 16, 2014