Perinatal HIV Research Unit – The PHRU Trusts Cibecs with their Sensitive Data


As a health institution with the most sensitive of data, along with hugely valuable and important research data and notes, it was an absolute imperative that the Perinatal HIV Research Unit implemented a data backup and protection solution that is incredibly secure and reliable across all their end user laptops and PC’s.

“Just think about the kind of information that is in our care, both from a patient and research perspective, and you
immediately appreciate just how important it is that we have an effective data backup and recovery solution in place.” Says Gregory Alexander, the IT Manager for the unit.

Before implementing Cibecs, the unit relied on users to perform their own backups which left data vulnerable and created a massive compliance problem. If a laptop was lost, or a PC crashed, that research could be lost, or sensitive data could be accessed by unauthorised parties.

To a large degree the PHRU relies on funding to carry out its research, with the United States as its main contributor. “Regular audits are carried out by Division of Aids (DAIDS), Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD) and International AIDS Vaccine Incentive (IAVI) to satisfy funder requirements,” says Alexander.

In order to qualify for this funding, they must have:
• proof of full (and reliable) data backups of all study-related material, including a register
• the ability to monitor and control the data environment and access to information
• the existence of physical servers (to which data is backed up to).
• data encryption

According to Alexander the Cibecs centralized solution substantially enhanced ITs performance across three key areas:

Compliance: Cibecs’ management reporting allows the research unit to prove legal compliance both to its funders and in terms of local governance guidelines.
Confidence: Cibecs has proven (and keeps proving) its value through several highprofile data recoveries,” says Alexander. “Usually it takes only minutes to recover a user’s files, even if we have to recover all his/her data due to laptop theft, for example – which has a profoundly positive effect on the individual user and our operation in general.”
Control: Cibecs places full control over user data in the hands of IT, which is aninvaluable asset for all organisations.

According to Alexander the reliability of Cibecs has saved the research unit (and his IT department) a lot of time, money and unnecessary complications. “Having Cibecs means that we never even have to consider the security of end user data backup and recovery from an operational efficiency perspective, too, Cibecs has also offered
surprising advantages to our IT infrastructure.”

“It is incredible how much of a difference the Cibecs solution has made to our use of company bandwidth and storage”

Without Cibecs it would be difficult for the research unit to satisfy compliance requirements, thereby negatively impacting its ability to generate funding. “Couple that with its usability, reporting, excellent functionality and overall reliability and you have a solution that drastically simplifies central control over critical organizational data, without delivering any unwanted surprises.”