Metadata Technology Gets Access to Amazon GovCloud, Collaborating with NORC on SCOPE Project

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Metadata Technology North America was recently approved for access to the Amazon GovCloud infrastructure and is collaborating with NORC at the University of Chicago on virtual remote access infrastructure to sensitive US government statistical data

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Access to GovCloud is a significant step forward enabling our company to offer US government agencies and partners secure cloud services for providing access to sensitive data

Metadata Technology North America, Inc. (the Company) is pleased to report that it has recently completed the application process for Amazon GovCloud, a region of the Amazon Web Services infrastructure designed to allow US government agencies and contractors to move more sensitive workloads into the cloud by addressing specific regulatory and compliance requirements. Combined, GovCloud and AWS comply with a wide range of security regulations including ITAR, FIPS 140-2, FISMA, SSAE 16/SOC1 (formerly SAS-70 Type 2), ISO/IEC 27001, PCI DSS Level 1, and HIPAA regulations. These conditions are commonly required for the storage and processing of non-public use statistical data. GovCloud is physically and logically accessible by US persons only.

“Access to GovCloud is a significant step forward enabling our company to offer US government agencies and partners secure cloud services for providing access to sensitive data.“, said M. Pascal Heus, Vice-President and Head of Research of Metadata Technology North America, Inc., adding “Given the growing demand for statistical data, the ability to deliver secure and scalable infrastructures is essential to complement our data and metadata management products and services.”.

As an initial project around GovCloud, the Company is collaborating with NORC at the University of Chicago (NORC) towards the deployment of a pilot platform for members of the Statistical Community of Practice and Engagement (SCOPE) task force. SCOPE aims to provide a collaborative community for US statistical agencies to produce relevant, accurate, timely, cost-effective data and insightful research disseminated through shared state-of-the-art best practices to support data-driven decisions.

Aiming at replicating the existing NORC Data Enclave services in a cloud environment, the facility will provide secure remote access to statistical data and offer a wide range of analytical and knowledge sharing services. Through this effort, SCOPE hopes to improve the quality and consistency of statistical data products offered to the general public by government agencies.

Metadata Technology’s roles in this project are to help deploy and host the infrastructure in the cloud, and to provide technical expertise and services around data and metadata management. Note that although the platform will provide a secure work environment, sensitive data will not be used for this initial pilot.

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides agencies and businesses with an infrastructure web services platform in the cloud. With AWS you can requisition compute, storage, and other services on demand, gaining access to a suite of secure, scalable, and flexible IT infrastructure services as your agency or business needs them.

The Statistical Community of Practice and Engagement (SCOPE) is a task force established by, and operates under, the auspices of the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) statutory Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP). The focus of SCOPE is to provide a collaborative community for statistical agencies to produce relevant, accurate, timely, cost-effective data and insightful research disseminated through shared state-of-the-art best practices to support data-driven decisions. Through this collaboration, the Federal statistical community will identify best practices for all aspects of statistical research and analysis.

The NORC Data Enclave provides a confidential, protected environment within which authorized researchers can access sensitive microdata remotely. It provides partner organizations a secure platform where they can both host and build a research community around their data. NORC Data Enclave currently serves more than 250 researchers and hosts confidential data for numerous Federal agencies and foundations.

NORC at the University of Chicago, established in 1941, is one of the largest social research organizations in the United States. NORC conducts numerous research projects involving opinion survey and other data collection and technology strategies. NORC’s projects are focused in a number of topical areas: society and culture; economics and population; education and child development; health studies; substance abuse; mental health; criminal justice; statistics and methodology; and technology. Within each area, NORC designs and implements surveys and other data collection strategies, conducts advanced statistical and other analysis, provides technical assistance and applies advanced technologies.

Metadata Technology North America Inc. is a privately owned eGovernment data management and information technology solution provider. The Company’s mission is to facilitate production, open access, and improve the quality and use of statistical and scientific data. It specializes in products and services leveraging XML technology, metadata standards, and related best practices. Its key personnel include globally recognized experts in the area of the Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX) standard, the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI), and the management of socio-economic data, health data, and official statistics.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the Company and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of other agencies and individuals.

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