Secure operating environment for sensitive data

Aalto University operates a secure IT environment SECDATA for sensitive research data, such as health data and special categories of personal data. Researchers may use the environment for any research data that needs a highly secure, controlled and restricted environment. The environment has been audited compliant with the act on the secondary use of health and social data and Findata requirements.

Use cases for the secure operating environment

Registry-based research on Finnish health and social data with Findata permit

The research based on the health and social data from Finnish registries has to be done in a secure environment that has been audited compliant both with the legislation and the requirements set by the data permit authority Findata (Social and Health Data Permit Authority) and approved and registered by Valvira (National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health).

Aalto University's secure operating environment for sensitive data is compliant with these requirements and can be used in research projects that process data with a permit from Findata. Use of this environment is subject to Findata's approval and the research permit application must include the justification why it is necessary to use this environment instead of the primary environment which is Findata's Kapseli.

Research projects with secret or sensitive data and high security requirements

The environment may be used by research projects that handle secret or sensitive data, such as health data or special categories of personal data. It is most suitable for cases where high restrictions and control on data transfer are desirable or even required. Case by case consideration is needed as there are other options available that give a great balance between usability and security.

Service available on request for Aalto researchers and their research partners

Contact [email protected] to request an environment for your project. We will verify that this service is the best solution for you and support with the use and setup of the environment.


The operating environment provides high security through operative processes, active monitoring and technical controls.

  • Dedicated environment for each project with virtual desktops running Ubuntu Linux.
  • Data handling only inside the environment, data transfer in / out possible only for system admins.
  • GPUs available on request.
  • Accessible from Finland with Aalto account or Aalto Visitor account, multi-factor authentication required.


For any questions, service requests or reporting problems, please send e-mail to [email protected].

Aalto Scientific Computing team can provide expert help for working with sensitive research data and finding a best solution for your case. Contact options are at their help website.

For support in security related questions and recommendations on available services, please contact [email protected].

Restrictions and limitations

The environment is available by application only, to Aalto researchers and their collaboration partners. For security and compliance, system has some limitations that affect the user experience:

  • Data transfer to and from the environment is done through system admins only.
  • Users may not install their own software but request the install from system admins.
  • Aalto account is required to use the service. For research partners from other organizations than Aalto, Aalto Visitor status can be granted.
  • Only Ubuntu Linux OS is available.
  • By default, access is restricted to Finland.
  • By default, no backups on secondary media are taken.


Artificial intelligence assists in dental care and jaw surgery

A model locates nerve canals in the lower jaw quickly and precisely, helping radiologists and dentists save time and effort.

Useita rinnakkaisia röntgenkuvia leuasta ja hampaista. Kuviin on merkitty keltaisella alaleuan hermokanavan sijainti.
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