SD Desktop

Sensitive Data Desktop

Sensitive Data (SD) Desktop is a service for analysing sensitive research data. Built on top of ePouta it provides an isolated, secure private cloud computing environment accessible via a web user interface. All data processing takes place in Finland.

SD Desktop may be added to user's CSC project at MyCSC portal. All the members of that CSC project share the same computing environment, allowing collaboration for the project members. Should a user be a member of two or more CSC projects, they can work in all their projects but are not able to share any data, tools, or anything else between the projects.

SD Desktop provides several flavours of virtual machines to choose from with Linux operating system. A User may disconnect the session from the virtual machine at any time, and reconnect at their wish; the virtual machine keeps running and doing whatever it was left to do. Various basic tools are provided, such as LibreOffice, Python, or R, and user may bring in whatever tools they need packaged in Singularity containers.

All data to be processed must be stored in SD Connect. Only properly stored and encrypted data in SD Connect is available in SD Desktop; SD Desktop's Data Gateway tool performs access control validation and data decryption on the fly and streams in data in read-only mode as needed. Similarly, data export from SD Desktop is possible with Airlock, and it writes data out to SD Connect in encrypted format. Data export is limited to the project manager only.

SD Desktop for secondary use of healthcare data

SD Desktop, as is, is neither suited nor accredited for secondary use of health and social data. A restricted version of SD Desktop is provided for this with the following limitations to the standard SD Desktop:

  • A CSC project for processing secondary use of health and social data must be asked separately by sending a request to
  • No other CSC services, including the other SD Services, are available for this CSC project.
  • No customisation of the SD Desktop is possible (i.e. no custom or additional software are possible).
  • No user files and/or data can be transferred into SD Desktop (i.e. only data permit authority (Findata) authorised data is allowed).
  • Data export must be requested separately from and it will be scrutinised by data permit authority (Findata) before release.

These limitations are based on the regulation given by the data permit authority (Findata).

Video introducing CSC's Sensitive Data Services (Finnish version).