Storing your data
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……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……………………………. STORING YOUR DATA. ……………………………………………………………......…... RESEARCH DATA MANAGEMENT TEAM UK DATA ARCHIVE UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX ……………………………………………….…………………….

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Storing your data

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……………………………..

STORING YOUR DATA

……………………………………………………………......…...

RESEARCH DATA MANAGEMENT TEAM

UK DATA ARCHIVE

UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX

……………………………………………….…………………….

LOOKING AFTER YOUR RESEARCH DATA: AN ESRC ADVANCED TRAINING NETWORK COURSE UK DATA ARCHIVE, COLCHESTER, 26-27 APRIL 2012


Overview

OVERVIEW

LOOKING AFTER RESEARCH DATA FOR THE LONGER-TERM AND PROTECTING THEM FROM UNWANTED LOSS REQUIRES HAVING GOOD STRATEGIES IN PLACE FOR SECURELY STORING, BACKING-UP, TRANSMITTING, AND DISPOSING OF DATA. COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH BRINGS CHALLENGES FOR THE SHARED STORAGE OF, AND ACCESS TO, DATA.

AREAS OF COVERAGE

  • Making back-ups

  • Data storage

  • Data security

  • Data transmission and encryption

  • File sharing and collaborative environments

  • Data disposal


Fieldwork from hell

FIELDWORK FROM HELL

“I’m sorry but we had to blow up your laptop.”

“What….all my client case notes and testimony, writing, pictures, music and applications. Years of work. NO!!!! What?? Are you insane?? What were you thinking? THAT’S ALL MY WORK!?”

Source: Lilysussman’s Blog


Data inferno

DATA INFERNO

  • What if this was your university, your office?

Source: University of Southampton, School of Electronics and Computer Science


Backing up data

BACKING-UP DATA

  • why do back-ups? Risk of loss and change - would your data survive a disaster?

  • protect against: software failure, hardware failure, malicious attack, natural disasters

  • back-ups are additional copies that can be used to restore originals

  • it’s not backed-up unless backed-up with a strategy


Back up strategy

BACK-UP STRATEGY

consider:

what’s backed-up? - all, some, just the bits you change?

where? - original copy, external local and remote copies

what media? - CD, DVD, external hard drive, tape, etc.

how often? – assess frequency and automate the process

for how long is it kept?

verify and recover - never assume, regularly test a restore

backing-up need not be expensive

1Tb external drives are around £50, with back-up software


Data storage

DATA STORAGE

all digital media are fallible

at any moment – but there can be warning signs

file formats and physical storage media ultimately become obsolete

optical (CD, DVD) and magnetic media (hard drive, tapes) degrade

never assume the format will be around for ever

best practice:

use data formats with long-term availability

storage strategy - at least two different forms of storage and locations

maintain original copy, external local copy and external remote copy

copy data files to new media two to five years after first created

check data integrity of stored data files regularly (checksum)

know your personal/institutional back-up strategy

know data retention policies that apply: funder, publisher, home institution

what to protect? not only data, and not only digital


Data security

DATA SECURITY

protect data from unauthorised access, use, change, disclosure and destruction

personal data need more protection – always keep separate

control access to computers

passwords

anti-virus and firewall protection, power surge protection

networked vs non-networked PCs

all devices: desktops, laptops, memory sticks, mobile devices

all locations: work, home, travel

restrict access to sensitive materials e.g. consent forms, patient records

proper disposal of equipment (and data)

even reformatting the hard drive is not sufficient

control physical access to buildings, rooms, cabinets

but beware of ‘requirements’ to destroy data

8


Encryption

ENCRYPTION

always encrypt personal or sensitive data

encrypt anything you would not send on a postcard

for moving files e.g. transcripts

for storing files e.g. shared areas, mobile devices

basic principles

use an algorithm to transform information (A=1)

need a ‘key’ to decrypt

many free softwares that are easy to use

Safehouse

Truecrypt

Axcrypt

these products:

encrypt hard drives, partitions, files and folders

encrypt portable storage devices such as USB flash drives

9


Data destruction

DATA DESTRUCTION

When you delete data and documentation from a hard drive: it is probably not gone

  • files need to be overwritten to ensure they are irretrievably deleted:

    • BCWipe - uses ‘military-grade procedures to surgically remove all traces of any file’

    • Axcrypt

  • if in doubt, physically destroy the drive using an approved secure destruction facility

  • physically destroy portable media, as you would

    shred paper


File sharing collaborative environments

FILE SHARING & COLLABORATIVE ENVIRONMENTS

Sharing data between researchers and teams

too often email attachments

Yousendit, Dropbox – consider if appropriate as services can be hosted outside the EU

open source repository software for data, e.g. Fedora and DSpace - early days

Virtual Research Environments

MS SharePoint

Sakai

file transfer protocol (ftp)

physical media

11


Our data management services

OUR DATA MANAGEMENT SERVICES

UK Data Archive Research Data Management Support Services

[email protected]

Economic and Social Data Services

www.esds.ac.uk/aandp/create

RELU-Data Support service

relu.data-archive.ac.uk

ESRC Research Development Initiative Training Programme

www.data-archive.ac.uk/create-manage/projects/rdi-dm

JISC Data Management Planning project

www.data-archive.ac.uk/create-manage/projects/jisc-dmp


Contact

CONTACT

UK DATA ARCHIVE

UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX

WIVENHOE PARK

COLCHESTER

ESSEX CO4 3SQ

……………………….…………………….….

T:+44 (0)1206 872001

E: [email protected]

W:www.data-archive.ac.uk

……………………………….………………..


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