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The ISER’s business goals are centered on securing sensitive research data. Understanding Society studies the socio-economic circumstances and atti- tudes of 100,000 individuals in 40,000 British households. The study also cap- tures biomedical data on 20,000 participants and places it alongside rich social histories, helping weigh the extent to which peoples’ environment influences their health. Because of the sensitive nature of the data handled, security must be a part of the ISER business model. A breach or leakage of sensitive data would be disastrous to their reputation.

The ISER works closely with government departments who require com- pliance with FIPS 140-2. In addition, the ISER must comply with the Data Protection Act in Europe and the UK; however it didn’t want to compromise the productivity of its researchers and employees in the process of securing data to meet compliance.

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