SD Desktop

Sensitive Data Desktop

Sensitive Data (SD) Desktop is a service for analyzing 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 on all their projects but are not able to share any data, tools, or anything else between the projects.

SD Desktop provides several flavors 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, such as LibreOffice, Python, or R, are provided. A user may bring in any other tools they need packaged in Singularity containers.

All data to be processed must be stored in SD Connect. Only data that has been properly stored and encrypted on SD Connect is available on SD Desktop. SD Desktop's Data Gateway tool validates access control and decrypts data on the fly, streaming it in read-only mode as needed. Similarly, you can export data from SD Desktop with Airlock, which writes data out to SD Connect in encrypted format. Only a project manager can export data.

SD Desktop for the secondary use of healthcare data

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

  • You have to request a separate CSC project for processing the health and social data from our support at
  • No other CSC services, including other SD Services, are available for this CSC project.
  • No customization of the SD Desktop is possible (i.e. no custom or additional software is 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 The data permit authority (Findata) will scrutinize this request before data release.

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

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