Some data sets contain sensitive data and come with restrictions on where the data can be stored and how they can be used. The data librarians of the Data & Information Services Center (DISC) can assist you in applying to use restricted data and help you comply with the agreements you make to receive it. See DISC's web page Restricted Data at DISC for details. Note that only departments and agencies in the College of Letters and Science are eligible for DISC restricted data services.
If the agreement allows you to put the data on a network as long as the network meets certain security standards, the SSCC network will probably meet those standards (everything is password protected, all protocols are encrypted, the server room is secure, etc.). However you should discuss the details with the experts at DISC.
For data which simply cannot be put on a network, DISC has a Secure Computing Enclave (also known as "cold rooms") in the Sewell Social Sciences building which allows you to analyze very sensitive data on stand-alone computers with no network connections at all. Installed software includes SAS, SPSS, Stata, and Matlab.
The Data and Information Services Center manages these facilities. Please contact Jack Solock (firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-262-9827) for more information.
A new branch site in the U.S. Census Bureau's secure Research Data Center (RDC) program will open on the UW-Madison campus in mid-2015, which will provide many new opportunities for research using sensitive data. For more details (or to sign up for email announcements) visit the UW-Madison RDC web site.