Unveiling SANE: Secure ANalysis Environment is now available for use

ODISSEI, in collaboration with SURF and CLARIAH, is pleased to announce the introduction of the new phase of SANE – Secure ANalysis Environment, a GDPR-compliant solution designed to provide a secure and controlled environment for researchers to analyse sensitive data. The secure environment is now available for use and awaits research projects requiring the usage of sensitive data from various fields. 

Annette Langedijk, Research Partnership Lead at SURF, discusses the evolution of SANE as it enters the new project phase:

As the demand was already overwhelming during the pilot phase we anticipate an expansion of research projects across various fields and aim to collect valuable user feedback for advancing the software.

Running on the ISO 27001-certified SURF Research Cloud platform and being thoroughly tested with an independent penetration test, SANE addresses the challenge of data providers hesitating to share sensitive datasets with researchers due to concerns about losing control over the data. With SANE, data providers remain in full control of their data, as stipulated by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The secure environment includes pre-approved analysis software, such as RStudio and Jupyter Notebooks, providing a secure gateway for researchers to access sensitive data.

On the 6th of February (14.00-15.00) the Introduction of SANE webinar will take place with a demonstration of the online environment, a showcase of the most successful pilot projects and a discussion on how SANE can help with research projects

What is SANE?

Secure ANalysis Environment (SANE) comes in two variants – Tinker SANE and Blind SANE – providing two ways of working with and analysing sensitive data. In Tinker SANE, the researcher is able to get access to the sensitive data as well as his own dataset via a Windows virtual machine and can manipulate the data. In contrast, in Blind SANE the data provider executes the analysis provided by the researcher and the researcher cannot see the data. In both variants, the data provider verifies the output before the results can be exported to the researchers’ computer. 

Following the Five Safes principles, SANE ensures that researchers are only able to output any sensitive data after verification by the data provider, completely seals the environment from the outside world, allows data providers to prevent researchers from seeing the data and uploading additional data, as well as monitors researcher’s actions.

SANE is a 4-year collaborative project between ODISSEI, CLARIAH and SURF funded by the Platform Digital Infrastructure Social Sciences & Humanities (PDI-SSH). SANE is currently accessible for use by Dutch research and educational institutions, with ad-hoc inclusion of organisations outside this scope.

For more information about SANE and the setting up process, please visit the SURF website.

About the Collaborators

  • ODISSEI: The national research infrastructure for the social sciences in the Netherlands, facilitating groundbreaking research through data, expertise, and resources.
  • SURF: A cooperative of Dutch education and research institutions dedicated to enhancing digital services and fostering knowledge sharing through innovation.
  • CLARIAH: A distributed research infrastructure for the humanities and social sciences, providing access to extensive digital data collections and user-friendly applications.