12月 012016
 

Data virtualization is an agile way to provide virtual views of data from multiple sources without moving the data. Think of data virtualization as an another arrow in your quiver in terms of how you approach combining data from different sources to augment your existing Extract, Transform and Load ETL batch processes. SAS® Federation Server is a unique data virtualization offering that provides not only blending of data, but also on-demand data masking, encryption and cleansing of the data. It provides a central, virtual environment for administering and securing access to your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and other data.

Data privacy is a major concern for organizations and one of the features of SAS Federation Server is it allows you to effectively and efficiently control access to your data, so you can limit who is able to view sensitive data such as credit card numbers, personal identification numbers, names, etc. In this three part blog series, I will explore the topic of controlling data access using SAS Federation Server. The series will cover the following topics:

Part 1: Securing sensitive data using SAS Federation Server at the data source level
Part 2: Securing sensitive data using SAS Federation Server at the row and column level
Part 3: Securing sensitive data using SAS Federation Server data masking

SAS Metadata Server is used to perform authentication for users and groups in SAS Federation Server and SAS Federation Server Manager is used to help control access to the data. In this blog, I want to explore controlling data access to specific sources of data using SAS Federation Server.  Obviously, you can secure data at its source by using secured metadata-bound libraries in SAS Metadata Server or by using a database’s or file’s own security mechanisms. However, SAS Federation Server can be used to control access to these data sources by authenticating with the users and groups in SAS Management Console and setting authorizations within SAS Federation Server Manager.

In order to show how SAS Federation Server can be used to control access data, I will explore an example where Finance Users in our fictitious company SHOULD have access to the Salary data in a SAS dataset, but our Business Users should NOT.Instead, ourBusiness Users should have access to all other BASE tables with the exception of SALARY. In my scenario, Kate is a Finance User and David and Sally are Business Users. These users have already been setup as such in SAS Metadata Server.

The SAS Federation Server Administrator has setup the BASE catalog and schema information in Federation Server Manager. The SALARY table is located in the Employee_Info schema within the Global catalog.

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The SAS Federation Server Administrator has also explicitly granted the CONNECT and SELECT permissions to both the Business Users and Finance Users group for the BASE Data Service.

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This gives both groups permission to connect to and select information from the items within this Data Service. The information is inherited by all children items of the Data Service – Data Source Names, Catalogs, Schemas, Tables and Views.  For example, note that the Business Users group has inherited the Grant setting for the CONNECT permission on the BASE Data Source Name (DSN) and the SELECT permission on the EMPLOYEES table.  Permission inheritance is denoted by the diamond symbol (u).

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For the SALARY table, the SAS Federation Server Administrator has explicitly denied the SELECT permission for the Business Users group whereas the Finance Users groups has inherited the Grant setting for the SELECT permission on the SALARY table.

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Kate, who is a member of the Finance Users group, has permission to select records from the SALARY table.

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Note: The user does not need to know the physical location of where the SAS data resides. They simply refer to the Federation Server Data Source Name which in this case is BASE.

By denying the Business Users group the SELECT permission on the SALARY table, David, who is a member of the Business Users group, does NOT have access to select records from this table. He is denied access.

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However, David still has access to the EMPLOYEES table since the Business Users group inherited the SELECT permission for that table.

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If I want to prevent David from accessing any of the tables or views in the Employee_Info schema, but still allow other Business Users to access them, then as the SAS Federation Server Administrator I can explicitly deny the user, David, the SELECT permission for the Employee_Info schema as shown below.

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Now, David inherits the Deny setting for the SELECT permission for all tables and views within that schema and he will no longer be able to access the EMPLOYEES table.

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However, Sally, another member of the Business Users group, is still able to access the EMPLOYEES table.

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In this blog entry, I covered the first part of this series on controlling data access to SAS Federation Server 4.2:

Part 1: Securing sensitive data using SAS Federation Server at the data source level
Part 2: Securing sensitive data using SAS Federation Server at the row and column level
Part 3: Securing sensitive data using SAS Federation Server data masking

I’ll be posting Part 2 of this series soon. Keep an eye out for it.

For more information on SAS Federation Server:

tags: SAS Federation Server, SAS Professional Services, Securing data

Securing sensitive data using SAS Federation Server at the data source level was published on SAS Users.

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