Lavanya Mandavilli

232016
 

Managing Server Access for SAS Mobile BI UsersTablets, phablets, smartphones.

These mobile devices not only travel to different corners of the earth with their owners; they participate in certain adventures that can result in an unexpected turn of events.

Thanks to their mobility, these devices can be misplaced. And they could be found later. In rare cases, they can get lost. In the event that a user is separated from his or her mobile device, there are security mechanisms in place for protecting access to your organization’s server where data and reports reside.

Whether mobile devices accompany their SAS Mobile BI 7.33 users to the Himalayas or to the Sahara Desert, they certainly need to be tracked and managed by administrators. In my last blog, I talked about how an app-specific passcode protects access to the SAS Mobile BI app by preventing anyone other than the SAS Mobile BI user from accessing the app on the mobile device. Now, let’s take a look at how your administrators manage and protect access from the SAS Mobile BI app on your devices to connect to servers in your organization.

The SAS Visual Analytics 7.3 suite of applications includes the Administrator application with the Mobile Devices tab. The Mobile Devices tab is somewhat like an air traffic control system for an airport. Just as airplanes that land and take off are monitored and managed at the air traffic control tower by personnel, mobile devices that connect to your organization’s server with the SAS Mobile BI app are monitored and managed in the Administrator application’s Mobile Devices tab.

SAS Visual Analytics Administrator runs on the same server where your SAS Visual Analytics reports are stored and accessed. It maintains a logon history that informs your administrator details regarding mobile devices that logged on or attempted to log on to the server from the SAS Mobile BI app. For example, a timestamp indicates when a device connected to the server. A management history equips administrators with data on mobile devices that were whitelisted, blacklisted, or removed from either the whitelist or the blacklist.

Managing Mobile Devices

Regardless of how many mobile devices are installed with the SAS Mobile BI app, security administration is required for every device that accesses data and reports on the server. Every mobile device has a unique identifier, and this unique identifier is used by SAS Visual Analytics Administrator to determine if the device is allowed to access the server.

To control mobile devices’ access to your organization’s server, your administrator manages server access by implementing either a whitelist or a blacklist from the server. By default, blacklisting is enforced on servers that are accessed by the SAS Mobile BI app.

Inclusion Approach to Managing Devices

The whitelist scenario follows the inclusion approach. By default, you cannot connect to the server via SAS Mobile BI until your device ID is added to the whitelist by your administrator. If the unique device ID is added to the whitelist by your administrator, you can use the device to subscribe, view, and interact with SAS Visual Analytics reports (via the SAS Mobile BI app).

Exclusion Approach to Managing Devices

In the blacklist scenario, it is the exclusion approach. By default, everyone can connect to the server from SAS Mobile BI on their mobile devices unless their device IDs are added to the blacklist by the administrator. Any device whose unique device ID is not added to the blacklist can connect to the server from the SAS Mobile BI app. For instance, if you lost your mobile device, your administrator can go to the Logon History, select the device (listed by device ID, user name etc), and add it to the blacklist. Then, you cannot use the device to log on to the server from the app.

The Easy Way to Switch from Blacklisting to Whitelisting

By default, blacklisting is enforced on the server that is accessed by the SAS Mobile BI app, and the viewerservices.enable.whitelist.support configuration property in SAS Management Console (SAS Configuration Manager for SAS Visual Analytics Transport Service) is set to false. If you are an administrator, and wish to switch from blacklisting to whitelisting, the easiest way to do it is to select whitelisting in the Administrator’s Mobile Devices tab and add the device IDs to the whitelist. Then, the viewerservices.enable.whitelist.support configuration property in SAS Management Console is automatically updated and set to true. This is an easier method for switching from blacklisting to whitelisting because it does not require a restarting of the server. If you were to go to SAS Management Console first and set the viewerservices.enable.whitelist.support configuration property to true, this action requires you to restart the server.

Request to Add Devices to a Whitelist

There are a couple of different ways that your administrator can obtain and add device IDs to a whitelist. If the unique device ID is already known to your administrator, he or she can easily add it to the whitelist in the Administrator application’s Mobile Devices tab. Alternatively, if you happen to install SAS Mobile BI app on a new mobile device that is not being managed from the server, the app can take you to your email with template text that includes your mobile device ID – just send that email to your administrator requesting server access from your mobile device.

Suspending or Allowing Server Access from the App

Now here is my most favorite part of device management. Access from SAS Mobile BI to the server, as we have just noted, is determined by either whitelist or blacklist management of devices, not by user accounts. This approach extends flexibility for SAS Mobile BI users. For example, I have an iPhone and a Galaxy Tab Pro tablet – I have SAS Mobile BI app on both devices, and I use both of them to access the server, subscribe to SAS Visual Analytics reports, view, and interact with them. If I happen to misplace my Galaxy Tab Pro tablet and can’t seem to find it, I notify my administrator so that server access from the app on this device can be removed.

My administrator, who follows the whitelist approach, removes my Galaxy Tab Pro’s unique device ID from the whitelist. Then, I can no longer use the SAS Mobile BI app on this device to log on to our server and subscribe to SAS Visual Analytics reports. However, I can continue to use my iPhone (which has remained in the whitelist) to log on to the server, subscribe, view and interact with reports on the server.

Few days later, I find my misplaced Galaxy Tab Pro tablet. I email my administrator indicating that the device is back in my possession. My administrator adds the unique device ID for my Galaxy Tab Pro back to the server’s whitelist. Voila – I am back in business, using SAS Mobile BI to connect to the server from my Android tablet.

In a Nutshell

There are several mechanisms available for securing the SAS Mobile BI app and access to your organization’s servers is one of them. In my next blog, we will take a look at how tethering works to protect data access for SAS Visual Analytics reports from the SAS Mobile BI app.

tags: SAS Mobile BI, SAS Visual Analytics Administrator, security

Managing Server Access for SAS Mobile BI Users was published on SAS Users.

082016
 

Passcode security for SAS Mobile BIMobile devices travel with humans pretty much anywhere that humans want to go. Unlike desktop computers that stay fixed and grounded within brick and mortar walls, mobile devices are used in all sorts of locales – offices, homes, cars, planes, swimming pools, soccer fields, movie theaters – the list goes on. So, it’s no surprise that your SAS administrator would want to protect SAS Visual Analytics reports that are viewed from the SAS Mobile BI 7.33 app running on mobile devices.

Several security strategies are available for SAS Mobile BI users. Let’s take a look at how passcode security, along with Touch ID for Apple devices, protects access to the app.

Required vs. Optional Passcode

There are two ways to apply passcode protection to SAS Mobile BI. Your administrator can enforce a passcode requirement for the server where the SAS Visual Analytics reports reside. On the server, this is done by enabling the Require Passcode on Mobile Devices capability and adding users as members of the group that is required to create and use a passcode for accessing SAS Mobile BI.

If a passcode is not required by your administrator, you can create an optional passcode to protect access to the app on your mobile device. In either scenario, if your mobile device is used by someone other than you, then you have the peace of mind that only you can access SAS Mobile BI by entering your passcode.

Creating an Optional Passcode

To set up an optional passcode for SAS Mobile BI, go to Settings for the app. Tap on the toggle switch for Passcode lock and create a passcode.

Passcode security for SAS Mobile BI

Optional Passcode Lock in Settings.

When presented with the Passcode dialog, create a 4-digit passcode for SAS Mobile BI.

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Creating a Passcode

By default, anytime that you access SAS Mobile BI after 5 minutes of inactivity (or for the period of inactivity that is set by your administrator), you are prompted by the Passcode dialog to enter your passcode.

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Entering Your Passcode to Access the App

If the passcode is mandated and not optional, then your administrator can customize and set a different inactivity timeout before a passcode needs to be entered.

What Happens If You Enter Incorrect Passcodes?

If you enter an incorrect passcode, you are given a total of 10 attempts to enter your correct passcode. This is the default behavior when you have an optional passcode for the app. Administrators that mandate the need for a passcode with the Require Passcode on Mobile Devices capability on the server can customize the settings for the server to determine the number of wrong passcode attempts.

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Entering an Incorrect Passcode

If you enter an incorrect passcode 10 times, you are locked out for 15. When the lock-out expires, you are prompted again to enter your passcode.

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Application Reset

When the lock-out expires, you are prompted again to enter your passcode.  On the second attempt, if you exceed the allowed number of passcode entry attempts, SAS Mobile BI removes all reports, data, and server connections from your mobile device. The app is reset to its default settings.

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Just Can’t Remember Your Passcode?

If you forget your passcode, the easy thing to do is delete the app, download and reinstall the app, create a new passcode, and set up your connections to the servers with SAS Visual Analytics reports.

Touch ID for Apple Devices

If you are an Apple device user who has simplified life further by using a Touch ID instead of a passcode, you can use the Touch ID to access the SAS Mobile BI app. To enable Touch ID on your iPhone or iPad, follow these instructions from Apple to add your fingerprint and create a Touch ID for your Apple device.

If Touch ID is enabled for your device, and there is an inactivity period with SAS Mobile BI, the app prompts you for your Touch ID fingerprint:

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Touch ID Prompt for SAS Mobile BI on Apple Devices

If your Touch ID fingerprint is incorrect, then the app prompts you to enter your passcode:

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Passcode Prompt if Touch ID is Incorrect

Now, you are familiarized with securing access to SAS Mobile BI on your devices. We will continue this journey to learn about various other security options available for the app.

 

 

tags: SAS Mobile BI, security

Passcode security for SAS Mobile BI was published on SAS Users.

122016
 

SASMobile_BI_FAQSAS Visual Analytics users view and interact with reports on their desktop computers or laptops. Many, however, have never heard of the SAS Mobile BI app or how it extends the viewing and interactive capabilities of their reports to mobile devices. SAS Mobile BI app is simple to download to a mobile device, and you can immediately view some sample SAS Visual Analytics reports from within the app.

If your organization has deployed SAS Visual Analytics, but is not taking advantage of the ability to view and interact with reports via mobile devices, I urge you to consider it.  Almost every type of interaction that you have with a SAS Visual Analytics report on your desktop – you can do the same with reports viewed in SAS Mobile BI!

It’s worth noting that having SAS Visual Analytics in your organization is not a requirement for downloading this nifty, free app on to your Android or iOS mobile devices.  Once you download the app, you can view and interact with a wide spectrum of sample SAS Visual Analytics reports for different industries.

Like what you see?

If so, talk with the SAS Visual Analytics administrator in your organization and ask them to enable support for viewing your SAS Visual Analytics reports in the SAS Mobile BI app.

To give you a little more guidance, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about SAS Mobile BI.

Do we need a special license to use SAS Mobile BI?

Absolutely not! It is a free app from SAS that is available to anyone who wants to download it on to an Apple or Android device and view reports and dashboards.

Do we need to have SAS Visual Analytics in our organization to use the app?

No, you don’t.

When the app is downloaded to your device, sample charts and reports are made available to you by SAS via a server connection to the SAS Demo Server.

How do we get this free app?

You can download the free app to your Apple or Android device from:

Apple iTunes Store
Google Play

After downloading the app, what are some things we can do with it?

Well, as soon as you download the app and open it, you have a connection established to the SAS Demo Server which hosts a variety of sample reports with data associated with different industries. These reports give you an idea of the various features that are supported by the app. Here is a snapshot of the different folders that contain sample reports for you to browse and view.

 

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Here is the Portfolio where subscribed reports are available in the form of thumbnails that can be tapped to open them.

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If we have reports in our organization that were created with SAS Visual Analytics Designer, can we view those reports in this app?

Absolutely, yes!

The same reports that you view in your web browser on a desktop can be viewed in SAS Mobile BI by using your Apple or Android devices (both tablets and smartphones).  Simply define a connection to your company server and browse for reports. Access to reports from SAS Mobile BI is granted by your SAS Administrator. Report access can be based upon various Capabilities and Permissions.

Live data access requires either a Data or a Wi-Fi connection, and your company may require VPN access or other company-specific security measures. Contact your SAS Visual Analytics Administrator. Also, be sure to mention that there is a comprehensive Help menu within the app that provides answers to queries they might have.

What type of features are available in reports that are viewed from SAS Mobile BI?

Typically, almost all of the features that are available in the desktop-based reports are supported in the app. Drilling, filtering, brushing, display rules, linking, info windows – are just some of the key features available to you when you interact with reports via this app.

I hope you’ve found this blog and the accompanying FAQ helpful. In my next blog I’ll cover some basic security features we’ve built into the app to protect user data.

tags: SAS Mobile BI, SAS R&D, SAS Visual Analytics

SAS Mobile BI FAQ was published on SAS Users.