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9 Power BI Security Best Practices

Updated: Feb 19

Power BI offers interactive visualization and business intelligence capabilities to make impactful data-driven decisions. While it's essential to maximize the insights and value obtained from Power BI, it's equally crucial to ensure the security and privacy of your data. Here are 9 of the top best practices for securing your Power BI environment.





1. Implement Role-Level Security (RLS)

Role-Level Security (RLS) is a fundamental component of data security in Power BI. It allows administrators to control access to data at the row-level based on user roles. With RLS, you can ensure that different users see different views of data according to their roles and permissions, thereby protecting sensitive information.


RLS also allows you to create one report instead of a report per geography or business unit because it can control the data presented to each user based on their geography, business unit, or any number of other attributes.


2. Use App Workspaces

App Workspaces in Power BI provide an area for collaboration where colleagues can create collections of dashboards, reports, and other data content. Instead of sharing content directly with users, consider sharing through App Workspaces. This approach not only aids collaboration but also provides better control over who can access the content.


With the new audiences feature in app workspaces, you can change which users can see which reports in a workspace. This combined with RLS provides a robust way to control who can see what content in an easy-to-use interface.


3. Leverage Power BI Audit Logs

Power BI audit logs record user activities like view reports, create dashboards, and share content. These logs can be invaluable for security reviews, troubleshooting, and compliance purposes. Make sure to regularly review these audit logs to monitor user activity and identify any potential security issues.


Each report/dataset can have a usage report created, showing how Power BI is being utilized in your organization.


4. Enforce Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to authenticate using more than one method. By enforcing MFA, you can reduce the risk of unauthorized access, even if a user's credentials are compromised. We recommend this even if you are not yet using Power BI.


5. Control Data Export and Sharing Options

Power BI allows users to export data and share reports, which can lead to sensitive data leakage if not controlled. As a best practice, define and enforce policies regarding who can export data and what data can be shared, both within and outside your organization.


*Note: One tenant setting that should be turned off is the ‘publish to web’ option. Some companies may want to leverage this option, though it should be only available to a small subset of users using an Azure Security group.





6. Use Data Classification and Sensitivity Labels

Data classification and sensitivity labels (watch this video explaining sensitivity labels) in Power BI allow you to tag content based on its sensitivity level. By classifying your data, you can ensure the right level of security is applied and make users aware of the data sensitivity. This can control excel exports to only be shared with users in the same domain.


You can also use dataflows to best manage your workflows and categories of data. Read more information on dataflows best practices here to create actionable reports.


7. Implement Governance Policies

Proper governance is crucial to maintaining a secure and efficient Power BI environment. Implement policies on data quality, data access, data retention, and user training. Regularly review and update these policies to align with your organization's changing needs and industry standards.


Each company is different and will need a customized set of policies. JourneyTEAM is happy to help you create those unique policies as you begin or continue your Power BI journey.


8. Secure Data Gateways

Data gateways act as bridges between Power BI and on-premises data sources. To maintain security, keep your data gateways up to date, restrict who can install and configure them, and monitor their usage. And, remember the recovery key! Your recovery key must be kept in a safe place because data cannot be recovered if lost.


9. Encrypt Data at Rest and in Transit

Power BI automatically encrypts data at rest and in transit. However, for additional security, consider using Microsoft's customer-managed keys for Power BI data at rest, providing you with more control over your encryption keys.


Up-level and Secure Your Power BI Data

By implementing these best practices, you will gain a secure Power BI environment that allows your organization to derive maximum insights confidently and safely from your data.







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