The Melbourne Institute Data Lab (MIDL) is a secure, purpose-built data enclave that enables data custodians and data providers to host their curated data sources to enable high-quality academic or industry engagement research on major economic and policy issues affecting Australians.
The MIDL is a remote-access secure research environment that provides access to authorised users to micro-level and aggregated data from a range of data sources such as Federal and State Governments, data from primary sources, and other proprietary data from industry and business sources. The MIDL builds on decades of data production and information management practices at the Melbourne Institute, including the production of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics (HILDA) Survey for the Department of Social Services and other data products throughout the longstanding history of the Melbourne Institute.
Alignment with the Five Safes Framework
The MIDL team is continuing to work extensively with a range of data custodians within the Australian Government to ensure governance, operations and processes are in line with the Five Safes Framework. The Five Safes Framework is a framework used by several Government agencies and Data Custodians in Australia to minimise the risk of data disclosure when managing and providing access to sensitive micro-level data containing information on individuals, households and businesses. The MIDL has a range of governance processes including a data management framework that has been designed around the Five Safes Framework to minimise disclosure risks associated with the respective domains: Projects, People, Data, Settings and Outputs.
Alignment with Australian Government information security policies
The MIDL has a high security posture as evidenced through its IRAP compliance (at security classification of PROTECTED as defined by the Australian Government’s Protective Security Policy Framework and Information Security Manual) and governance processes. As a result, the MIDL has a range of security controls in place, such as:
- Strong authentication and identity management controls including the enforcement of multi-factor authentication protocols
- 24x7 ongoing security monitoring of facilities and environment (SIEM/SOC)
- Citrix remote desktop environment with additional security controls to ensure data confidentiality is maintained
- Data storage and archiving with retention up to 7 years (extendable to 20 years)
- Citrix-based solution for file ingress/egress vetting and approvals before files/outputs can be transferred in to or out of the MIDL environment
The MIDL team understands that a close and trusted relationship with data custodians is vital to the success of MIDL. The MIDL team and its stakeholders are committed to:
- Ensure that protocols and governance frameworks are established to meet the needs of each custodian and to follow the Five Safes Framework.
- Extend and expand technical data infrastructure that permits extensive evidence-based policy research while preserving the privacy of individuals and the security of sensitive data.
- Permit, where approved, the combination of measures across different data sets and/or the linking of data sets through a range of techniques.
- Enable the use of data from a range of commonwealth, state, and local governments as well as data from service providers and industry.
- Enable the exploration and testing of ideas to address critical economic and social policy issues in Australia.
For detailed information on how to store your data, please contact us to request the MIDL Information Pack 3.
MIDL is a collaboration between the Melbourne Institute at the University of Melbourne with a mission to inform Australian economic and social policy, and Cyconsol, an Australian-based professional services provider specialising in the design and operation of cybersecurity and ICT capabilities working with Australian Government and industry.