There are steps you can take to ensure you use cloud applications safely.

Cloud applications, or Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, are software and services that are hosted via remote external servers and accessed through your web browser, instead of locally on your computer.

Using a cloud application means you:

  • don’t have to worry about storage limits on your computer
  • can share information between devices and people
  • don’t have to manage software installations and updates.

When using a cloud application, you’re entrusting the application provider to hold and secure any information processed using that application. Cloud applications can carry legal, data privacy and cyber security risks which must be assessed and managed.

Follow our guidelines to help you use cloud applications safely.

Use UQ-approved applications

UQ has licences for many cloud applications and desktop software.

See our advice on protecting your files for a list of UQ-approved cloud storage applications. These applications have been carefully selected and integrated with other UQ systems to ensure they are secure and generally support UQ’s work processes and security standards.

Before using a UQ-approved cloud application to process or store information classified as ‘Protected’, submit an IT request for advice.

If you’re not sure whether UQ has an application that fulfils your requirements, submit an IT request for advice.

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Procure secure cloud applications

If you're a UQ staff member or HDR student and there isn't a UQ-approved application that suits your needs, you may be able to procure a new cloud application.

You can procure a new cloud application in compliance with UQ’s Procurement Policy and the ICT Procurement Framework (PDF, 620.6 KB) if:

  • there isn't a suitable UQ-approved application, and
  • there's a genuine and documented requirement to seek additional products.

Before procuring a cloud application, you should consider the following:

  • Procuring or subscribing to a cloud application involves agreeing to terms and conditions on behalf of UQ. Certain terms and conditions may put UQ at risk, and can only be accepted by staff with the appropriate ICT contract delegations. View the Schedule of Contract Delegations (staff login required) for more information.
  • Applications that process or store personal information (information that can be used to identify a person) must comply with UQ’s Privacy Management Policy. Many cloud applications are hosted outside Australia and may not comply with our federal and state requirements.
  • Each cloud application provides a different level of cyber security protection. Certain applications may not meet UQ’s cyber security requirements.

ITS can assist you throughout the procurement process. Before commencing procurement, you should submit an IT request for approval and support. For more information, see our advice on projects with IT requirements.

The procurement process will require you to:

ITS will use this information to review the licensing terms, carry out security assessments and determine whether the cloud solution meets UQ’s cyber security standards.

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Consider information security

Consider the information to be stored or processed by the application. The information within systems and software are assets of the University and must be managed accordingly.

As a minimum, you should read the Information Management Policy and consider the information to be stored or processed by the application, including:

  • the information security classification (as defined in the Information Security Classification Procedure)
  • whether the information could be used to identify individuals
  • the potential impact if the information was lost or exposed.
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Follow cyber security best practice

Even the most secure cloud applications can be compromised if care isn’t taken to secure devices and accounts.

Do your part to protect the security of UQ’s information and applications. Remember to:

  • set a strong, unique password or passphrase for all important accounts
  • lock your devices when leaving them unattended
  • use antivirus software and keep it up to date
  • only access cloud applications when using a secure internet connection
  • only download files from trusted sites
  • avoid clicking unknown or suspicious links.

Read more about password securityprotecting your UQ computer and safe wifi use.

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