Update on the Highly Restricted Data Service project

by | Sep 28, 2021 | Projects, Restricted data | 0 comments

The Data Safe Haven Service is building a new restricted data platform called Data Safe Haven Plus (DSH+), which will be supported by a dedicated team. This project will provide a paid for platform solution and consultation service that enables researchers to safely use restricted or highly restricted data, for example, medical and defence data, or data subject to contractual and regulatory requirements (eg a funder or data provider who require data to be managed with high levels of security and governance).

The service is underpinned by robust technology designed to adhere to stringent security standards set by the University and NHS Digital. The Data Safe Haven Service team works with Research Governance, Ethics and Integrity, to offer streamlined one-to-one support to ensure project and funder data management requirements are met. Researchers will need to consider their data requirements at the pre-award stage of the research lifecycle and factor the cost of the service into grant applications.


Project update

  • Phase one of solution development, which focused on creating secure workspaces and a data egress-review mechanism, was completed on the Thursday, 31 August.
  • Phase two of solution development began in early September. This work aims to fix minor bugs in the current design, provide a more user-friendly interface and build additional functionality (eg task tracking, tagging and automated budget spending limits).
  • While the project has primarily focused on the development and implementation of the platform solution over the past months, the team is also working hard to refine the associate data management and security policy, by continuously improving the workflows and procedures that will provide assurance to both researchers and the third party data providers.


Upcoming development

  • Ongoing work to develop and implement the second phase of the platform solution.
  • Validation of the service charging model for the DSH+ platform and service.
  • User testing sessions of standard research applications in the new platform. This includes most widely used tools such as R Studio, Jupyter Notebook, and STATA.
  • Ongoing development of business change and communication activities, such as service website, user manual and training guides are being drafted.

Ongoing security hardening implementation to ensure the maximum security of the platform, upcoming milestones include security scanning assessment, penetration testing and independent auditing, which are scheduled to take place by the end of the year.


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