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The MSD IT High Compliance system is a service for Clinical Trials Units (CTUs) and Medical Sciences Division Departments or Units which need to access applications securely, and manipulate and store very sensitive data.

As such, the HC system is not intended as a repository or archive of sensitive data.  The primary purpose is to allow people to manipulate sensitive data in a secure environment, as required by regulatory bodies.

The main differences, compared with our standard storage system, are:

  • enhanced access controls (tighter policies for registration of users, password change and strength, restriction to computers on the MSD IT network).
  • more comprehensive system monitoring for login attempts, intrusion, rights assignment changes.
  • tighter restrictions at the firewall – no access to the Internet.
  • no access to external removable media - USB memory sticks, CDs, DVDs.
  • the data owner (or group leader) will take the responsibility of authorising who can access their data. The data owner will need to make sure their sponsor or the people providing them with the data agrees for the data to be stored and used on our system.

How does this system work?

Using a Remote Desktop Connection, users gain access to a "virtual desktop" which runs on an MSD IT High Compliance server. Only the video display, keyboard strokes and mouse movements are transmitted across the network. The data stays on the server, and the applications and programs run on the server. Users can connect to our HC servers from their workstation, whether they use a Windows or a Macintosh computer. The environment of the virtual desktop is equivalent to the Windows 10 operating system. This system uses a different set of credentials from those currently used to access the MSD IT OES network (formerly Novell). The Remote Desktop Connection offers a restricted range of Windows-based applications such as Microsoft Excel, Access, SPSS, etc. Specialist applications can be installed for Units who have purchased licensed software. Users will not be able to install any applications on these virtual desktops themselves: only MSD IT Services are able to do this.


Project leaders are invited to contact us to discuss their needs. Please note that only users with valid University cards will be permitted to use the system.

User information and registration forms