Future developments

SD Desktop (compute) and SD Connect (store and share) are publicly available from March 30 2022., while SD Submit (publish) and SD Apply (re-use) are in the pilot phase. 

All the planned maintenance breaks will be communicated to our users directly via SD Desktop mailing list and will be available on this website (see: service breaks).

Below we summarise future developments and planning for improving and expanding SD services. The image gives an overview of the roadmap, with general estimates about the timelines. the tables will be periodically updated to indicate progress.


1. Authentication and Authorization

  • Multi-factor Authentication (MFA): The CSC Sensitive Data Services will be accessible only using MFA. In addition to providing a username and password, users will be granted access to the computing environment in SD Desktop only after presenting a second authentication method: a one-time password (OTP) received e.g. via a mobile app. MFA was developed by CSC based on customer’s requirements and feedback during the Open Beta phase and became one of our development  priorities. This feature will be enabled on SD Connect latest in Q3 2022 and it is available on SD Desktop since April 20, 2022 (user guide).
  • Life Science Login: CSC Sensitive Data Desktop can be accessed with LSLogin, a European  federated identity system. Users affiliated with a federated network of academic organisation and bioinformatics infrastructures can  access services using the same digital identity, facilitating international collaborations. Access to SD Desktop with LSLogin is already enabled, while access to SD Connect with the same technology will be available from 2022 Q3.

2. Certifications and auditing

Findata regulation: SD Desktop (compute) is now successfully audited against the Findata regulation, and it can process secondary use social and health data. Further information: SD Desktop; user guide.

3. Integration between Sensitive Data Services and MyCSC Portal

MyCSC portal allows users to manage their CSC account and CSC project(s). Our aim is to integrate encryption key management and direct access to Sensitive Data services using MyCSC.  Expected Q3 2022.

4. Integration between SD Desktop and HPC

CSC supercomputers (Puhti and Mahti) are classical general purpose computing platforms that are used by hundreds of simultaneous CSC users. In normal usage their security level doesn't match the requirements for processing sensitive data. We are working on identifying and testing the methods that would allow sensitive data processing in these services. Our first goal is to set up a preliminary service that would enable users to submit well encapsulated computing tasks from SD Desktop to Puhti. Development phase: Q1-Q3 2022

5. Integration between services components

Automated data transfer between SD Services components is possible through the use of a specific application which avoids the generation of multiple copies of the same dataset during different phases of research.

  • Integration between data storage (SD Connect) and data computing (SD Desktop): Encrypted  sensitive data stored in SD Connect are directly accessible for computing in SD Desktop via data streaming. Available since Q4 2021 (user guide).
  • Integration between data storage (SD Connect) and publishing under controlled access (SD Submit): Encrypted  sensitive data stored in SD Connect will be available to SD Submit for publishing via a graphical user interface.  Expected Q3 2022.
  • Integration between (SD Apply) and data re-use (SD Desktop):  After data approval (via SD Apply) encrypted sensitive data will be automatically available in SD Desktop for data re-use. Available since Q2 2022.

6. New features for SD Connect

  • Automated encryption:  Automated encryption during data upload will be integrated into SD Connect. Encryption of files smaller than 100 GB will be possible using either the Sensitive Data Services public encryption key or the user's own encryption key. Available since 30.03.2022 (user guide).
  • User interface: new easier to use web user interface. Expected Q3 2022.

7. New features for SD Desktop

  • Authorised data export: Application within SD Desktop to export data (e.g. results). This functionality will be limited to the project manager. Available since Q2 2022 (further information: user guide).
  • Additional Operating Systems: In addition to the current CentOS Linux operating system, the user will be able to launch SD Desktops with Ubuntu Linux and Microsoft Windows. Ubuntu Linux: development Q1-Q2 2022; Microsoft Windows: development Q3-Q4 2022.
  • Software customization: Users will be able to add large software packages to SD Desktop using Singularity containers. Development Q3-Q4 2022.

 For more information write to: servicedesk@csc.fi (subject: Sensitive Data Service).