Storage and Security

Data storage
New National Security Guidelines for NSERC Alliance Grants

Data storage options for the University of Windsor 

University of Windsor's institutional OneDrive access is now hosted locally on institutional servers and is a viable option for secure active storage. By default researchers are assigned 1TB of space.

REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a secure web application for building and managing online surveys and databases.·If you are collecting survey data, then the University of Windsor's locally-installed instance of RECap is a very good option for secure local storage and is highly secure.

Local Secure Networks
Departmental networked storage (Novell etc.) may be a secure viable option, but check with your administrator on security and access protections.

Ontario Library Research Cloud (OLRC) has been developed by the Ontario Council of University Libraries (including the University of Windsor) as an Ontario-based, highly secure cloud solution. The servers are located in Ontario University controlled data centres and the data travels over a private VLAN.
  • Currently lacks a scalable user interface. For extremely sensitive projects with infrequent data transfer and access, the OLRC may be an option.
Dataverse is an open-source data archiving platform developed at Harvard University. The Ontario Council of University Libraries has implemented Dataverse on locally-hosted servers at the University of Toronto.
  • Individuals can create their own project dataverses, or request to contribute a project to another dataverse.
  • Dataverse was originally designed for sharing archived data, however, data project owners have complete control over data access and can restrict data to only certain IPs, to an individual account(s) or to specific groups. Specific files, projects, and Dataverses can have different levels of access restriction.
  • May be a good option for storing relatively sensitive data and sharing it with a research team
  • Accounts can be requested by users at any Ontario university, so Dataverse is suitable for sharing data among members of a distributed team.
Local storage
Your local hard drive may be the most convenient option for primary storage of most extremely sensitive data at present. Make sure you have external backup copies!

New National Security Guidelines for NSERC Alliance Grants

As of July 2021, applicants (and their institutions) are required to complete the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships’ risk assessment form for all Alliance grant applications involving one or more partner organizations from the private sector. For such partnerships, applicants must submit the completed risk assessment form as an integral part of the NSERC Alliance application.

If based on the results of the Risk Assessment Questionnaire a Risk Mitigation Plan needs to be completed, please note that the reference to cyber hygiene and research data management training is not a formal requirement. Rather, it is recommended in the spirit of best practice. For research partnerships where the risks identified are linked to research data management and/or cybersecurity, following such training can be an especially valuable part of risk mitigation planning.

To assist researchers in completing these new requirements (if applicable) the following links may be especially useful.

Cyber Hygiene 
The Canadian Centre for Cybersecurity offers resources on the cyber threat environment, including cyber threat actors and their motivations, sophistication, techniques, tools, and strategies to address the potential threat. This includes a Learning Hub and various Interactive content which could be valuable. There is also specific reference to cyber hygiene, here.

The “Cyber Security For Researchers” course on the Safeguarding Your Research portal is good place to start for cyber hygiene, since it is provided by the Government of Canada and includes a certificate of completion: There is also an “Introduction to Research Security” course available on the same platform, which NSERC recommends researchers follow before the cyber security course.

Public Safety Canada - Building Security Awareness in the Academic Community

BDC cyber hygiene checklist ( 
Research Data Management Training
Portage Network Training Resources
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