Enhance Data Safety with Row-Level Security in Power BI
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Power BI
Jan 12, 2024 9:00 PM

Enhance Data Safety with Row-Level Security in Power BI

by HubSite 365 about Lindsay T. Shelton [MVP]

Application Programmer at Stowers Institute for Medical Research | Microsoft MVP in Business Applications | Microsoft Certified Trainer | Master of Science - MS at Emporia State University

Data AnalyticsPower BILearning Selection

Maximize data privacy with Power BIs Row-Level Security & Power Automate integration! Learn the efficient way to manage and share reports.

Key insights


Power BI and Power Automate can integrate Row-Level Security (RLS) to manage data viewing permissions—a single report with RLS simplifies maintenance compared to managing multiple individual reports.

  • Implementing static RLS in Power BI Desktop involves setting up filters using DAX expressions tied to specific user roles and values within data sources.
  • Testing roles within Power BI Desktop using the "View as" feature is crucial before deployment to ensure data visibility is correctly restricted.
  • Publishing and updating RLS settings in the Power BI Service requires adding individuals or groups to each role and avoiding workspace membership conflicts.
  • Sharing security-trimmed reports is more effective with RLS, ensuring users only view data permitted by their assigned role.
  • RLS impacts the distribution of reports via Power Automate flows; Part Two of the text promises insights on restructuring automated report sharing with RLS.

The main topic revolves around the integration of Row-Level Security (RLS) in Power BI and its deployment in Power Automate. The author was tasked with updating a Power BI report that used to exist as 19 separate reports, one for each lab with private data. This was not only cumbersome but also encountered publishing and modeling problems. To streamline processes and maintain lab confidentiality, RLS becomes a practical solution, where a single report can dynamically show lab-specific data based on user roles.

To implement RLS, the author uses static RLS due to infrequent user rights updates and leverages security groups in Azure. The Power BI Desktop's role management involves creating roles and assigning appropriate filters using the "Manage roles" feature and DAX expressions. It’s essential to test these roles through the "View as" feature to confirm data visibility.

After publishing the report to Power BI Service, the roles are then assigned to individuals or groups, ensuring that each lab views only their relevant data. However, the author found that workspace permissions could override RLS, hence they used a private workspace to test the RLS effectively. The author alludes to a Part Two, which will discuss restructuring Power Automate flows for distributing RLS-filtered reports, indicating a follow-up on efficiently sharing these reports.

Understanding Row-Level Security in Power BI and Power Automate

Row-Level Security is a feature that enables database administrators and report creators to control access to rows in a database table based on the characteristics of the user executing a query (like their role, department, or region). Implemented in Power BI, this permits creating a tailored viewing experience where, for instance, sales managers only see data pertaining to their sales region.

In Power Automate, this means ensuring any automated processes that involve data distribution respect RLS policies established in Power BI. This harmonization ensures that sensitive data remains secured and only accessible by authorized personnel when automated reports are dispersed. By leveraging RLS, businesses can maintain better control over their data, enhance security, and ensure compliance with data privacy regulations.

Expanding on Power BI Row-Level Security

In summary, row-level security in Power BI is a game-changer for managing access to data. It streamlines the process of keeping sensitive information secure within reports, simplifying what could otherwise be a complex process of updating multiple reports. With the integration of Power Automate, customized and secure delivery of these reports can be automated, ensuring that users only see the data they are meant to see. This approach not only protects information but also enhances the user experience by presenting the most relevant data in an efficient manner. Understanding RLS and how to apply it correctly is a vital skill in the realm of data management and automation.

Understanding Row-Level Security in Power BI

Using row-level security (RLS) in business intelligence is crucial for managing data access. This post delves into a practical example of implementing static RLS within Power BI, a powerful data analytics tool. The case explored here revolves around updating 19 separate reports for different labs into a single, secure report.

The implementation started within Power BI Desktop. The author describes "static row-level security" as the chosen method and walks through the process. This includes deciding on filterable values and using the 'Manage roles' feature in the Power BI Modeling tab, where one can create roles with specific data access.

The author emphasizes the importance of testing these roles using the 'View as' option to ensure correct data restrictions. Further, the post details the steps to set up static RLS when publishing to Power BI Service (web). It's important to note the intricacies of workspace permissions and how they can override RLS in certain scenarios.

Finally, the need to share the data securely is touched upon with the notion of sending security-trimmed PDFs through Power Automate. A follow-up post is teased, which will delve into the specifics of sharing data post-RLS implementation. This provides a brief yet comprehensive overview of RLS in Power BI and its integration with Power Automate.

  • Understanding the use case for row-level security
  • Steps for implementing static RLS in Power BI Desktop
  • The importance of testing new roles within Power BI
  • Setting up static RLS in Power BI Service (on the Web)
  • Sharing reports with RLS through Power Automate

Analyzing Data Security in Business Intelligence

Managing data access is critical in business intelligence to maintain data confidentiality and ensure proper insights. The post demonstrates the process of implementing row-level security within Power BI to replace multiple reports with a single, dynamically filtered report. It highlights the intricacies of managing roles, the necessity of rigorous testing, and the possible complications arising from workspace permissions. The integration of Power BI and Power Automate presents a robust method of sharing secure, relevant data with end-users, promising more efficient and controlled data distribution. This practical example underscores the potential and challenges of using row-level security within business intelligence tools.

Read the full article Using Row-Level Security in Power BI and Power Automate


Power BI - Enhance Data Safety with Row-Level Security in Power BI

People also ask

How to implement dynamic row level security in Power BI?

Dynamic Row Level Security in Power BI can be implemented by creating roles within Power BI Desktop and using DAX expressions to filter data based on user login information. Here's a step-by-step process:

  1. In the modeling view, create roles under the 'Manage roles' option.
  2. Define DAX expressions for each role to filter data accordingly.
  3. Publish the report to Power BI service.
  4. Assign the roles to appropriate users or groups in the Power BI service.
The security will then dynamically adjust data depending on the user's credentials.


How to implement Page Level security in Power BI?

Page Level Security in Power BI is not directly supported, as Power BI handles security at the dataset level. However, you can simulate page-level security by using different reports for different security requirements or by manipulating what a user can see through slicers and DAX filters that are controlled by the user's role or identity.

How data security can be implemented in Power BI?

Data Security in Power BI is primarily implemented through Row Level Security (RLS). Users can also leverage encryption features, both in transit and at rest, and Power BI Service uses Azure Active Directory for authentication. Additional practices for securing Power BI data include:

  • Managing access and permissions carefully.
  • Using Azure Private Link for secure connectivity.
  • Applying sensitivity labels on Power BI data.


How to implement row level security in Power BI paginated reports?

To implement Row Level Security in Power BI Paginated Reports, you may use the following steps:

  1. Create user roles and associate them with the appropriate queries in Power BI Report Builder.
  2. Use parameters and filters within your query to restrict data access based on user identity or role.
  3. Deploy the report to the Power BI service and configure the row-level security settings on your dataset.
Remember that users must have the correct permissions in Power BI service to access the RLS-protected paginated reports.




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