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The Laboratory has several levels of security, allowing for the storage and protection of sensitive data. Flexible computing resources support most types of analysis.

SEAL Security Features:

  • The SEAL server is separated from the internet by a firewall and can only be accessed locally using thin client technology. The thin clients do not permit data transmission through any device connected to the thin client e.g. memory stick, laptop computer, cell phone etc.
  • Access card holders must meet SEAL identification requirements.
  • All researchers sign a confidentiality agreement with SEAL.
  • Entry and exit to SEAL is controlled. The SEAL lab is monitored with CCTV.
  • Research teams can only access data that they are authorized to use.
  • SEAL lab users must provide SEAL with a copy of their Data Sharing Agreement (DSA). Vetting and release of research results is done in accordance with the DSA.  Upon completion of the project, data is permanently erase in accordance with the DSA.  Required project closure documentation or certifications will be provided by SEAL.
  • Researchers should have ethics approval from their own institution.
  • The SEAL lab operates on a 24/7 basis.

 

Remote Access Security: 

SEAL uses the MobiKey system from Route1 for secure remote access connection.  Main features of the MobiKey system are:

  • MobiKeys are not VPN based and do not have the security weaknesses associated with VPNs.
  • No data movement between remote users and SEAL takes place. Therefore the MobiKey system is not susceptible to ‘man-in-the-middle’ or virus attacks.
  • MobiKeys use multi-factor authentication.
  • Sharing MobiKeys is not allowed and MobiKeys can only be issued to users who meet SEAL identification requirements.
  • Route1 has full authority to operate (ATO) secure remote access systems from the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of the Navy, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Marine Corps.

 

Computing Performance:

 SEAL uses configurable Win10 virtual machines to provide computing services to users.  All users have a Win10 environment in which to work with the following characteristics:

  • Standard 20GB memory with a 4 core processor.
  • SEAL has higher performance machines with 32GB or 64GB memory which are available upon request.
  • In-lab users have two configurable monitors.
  • Standard software includes Stata MP4, RStudio with add-on packages, SAS, Python, GIS software and the Microsoft Office suite of programs. Additional software needs can be accommodated.

For questions regarding SEAL security measures or computing resources contact us at SEAL@mcmaster.ca.