Paving the Way for Easier, Secure Data Transfer by UC Researchers

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By Sherly Mosessian. Reliable data transfer, especially of big data, is essential for workflows across research domains, but it often presents a significant challenge. Transferring patient health research is even more complicated because it requires compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other regulations.

At UCLA, to help address these challenges, DGIT (the UCLA Health Sciences Schools’ Information Technology Office) and OIT (the Office of Information Technology) have procured a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement subscription for Globus.

Why Globus

Globus is a commonly used and trusted data transfer tool within the research community that allows accelerated data transfer across any system to any collaborator. Our researchers have petabytes of data moving between various endpoints, both on-premise and in the cloud, that often need to be shared with external collaborators.

Globus enables efficient, reliable, accelerated data transfer in any environment including HPC clusters, cloud, local computers, and scientific instruments. It is capable of data transfer between on-premise and cloud, with simple interfaces for sharing with external collaborators. Globus also has APIs in place for automated data transfer in a workflow that allows researchers to continue focusing on their research instead of manually moving data.

Globus in a Secure Environment

Globus recently announced support for management of protected data, including data regulated by HIPAA and by Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). This helped make it possible to use this tool within UCLA Health Sciences’ protected environments. Our teams had to ensure the service and associated terms complied with UC and UCLA Health policies. To gain approval, we collaborated with UCLA legal, compliance, and security teams, the campus chief information security officer, as well as the legal team at the UC Office of the President. After a thorough security and risk assessment, we have been able to move forward with procuring a Globus HIPAA BAA subscription.

Leveraging our Experiences

The lengthy process of negotiations, risk assessment, and testing was spearheaded by Clifford Kravit of DGIT’s Research Enablement team. This team is committed to providing UCLA Health’s research community with solutions that support their work and make technology easier for them to use.

The Research Enablement team is happy to share their success with acquiring Globus to interested UC campuses. We hope that other campuses can use our experience as a resource to leverage their own purchase of Globus to continue supporting all UC researchers. Email the DGIT Research Enablement team to learn more about our experience with Globus.

Sherly Mosessian is chief administrative officer and director of research enablement, DGIT, UCLA Health Information.Sherly Mosessian is chief administrative officer and director of research enablement, DGIT, UCLA Health Information.

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