Tag Archives for " SAS Environments "

How to protect your audit trail in a SAS environment

When auditing a SAS environment, a critical requirement for administrators is to create internal policies to reduce data risks, here's why.

Every industry uses a version of an audit trail when providing in-depth historical records.

Audit trails are records that chronologically catalogue events or procedures. These trails provide proof-of-compliance and operational integrity. The audit trail essentially provides a “baseline” for analysis or an audit when initiating an investigation. The purpose or importance of an audit trail may vary depending on the organisation. For example, a company may use the audit trail for reconciliation, historical reports, future budget planning, tax or other audit compliance, crime investigation and risk management.

Trails are most effective if they are automated. While many systems emphasise protection from outside breaches, real-time audit trail reports can flag suspicious in-house activity or misuse. Combing through your records may be tricky, but most data analytics platforms and solution providers offer a specialist who can help you through these tediously complex tasks.

In the crevices of complexity, lies a few tricks and tips of the trade we wanted to share. Read on to find out how to protect your audit trail in a SAS environment.

Tricks to protect your audit trails in a SAS environment

When deploying services in a SAS environment, one of the critical requirements is for administrators to close any gaps that would allow actions to fail. Below are a few tips that would ensure its protection.

Using a fail-safe configuration

Logs contain legally protected sensitive data. Although they track your security stance, you need to ensure malicious perpetrators cannot gain access to them. We recommend that organisations create and maintain a secure log management infrastructure.

When setting configurations for your audit logging system, you want to use a “fail-safe” not a “fail open.” Organisations use this configuration when access matters more than authentication. However, audit logging focuses on access control logging. Therefore, you want to use a fail-safe, which protects other system components by including an external bypass switch device.

Ensure integrity with a SAS environment

Prioritising log management across the organisation enables data integrity from within. Once you establish goals aligned with applicable laws and regulations, you can create internal policies that focus on retention and monitoring to reduce risk in your SAS environment.

The trail needs to maintain integrity, avoid tampering and other malpractices. All external threats need to be tackled via firewalls, and internal actors cannot change the logs. Another way to protect data integrity is by using read-only files or complete replicas.

Find a dual-purpose audit logging program

Creating specific policies and procedures for logging standards and guidelines help you to efficiently incorporate log monitoring across the enterprise. However, audit logs provide you with two types of information.

First, they allow you to track system access. Second, they enable continuous monitoring for continuous compliance. To streamline your overall compliance process, a dual purposes audit logging program can reduce time spent on monitoring while increasing security and compliance.

Safeguard your trail information

Ensure your audit trail information is stored in a secure location and backed up regularly to avoid any loss of data or compromise to the system. Only collect useful and necessary information in the audit trail so as to not clutter storage space. When curating and collating data, coordinate with system stakeholders to ensure the security and availability of audit trails

Moving forward

These audit records are critically important when defending against security breaches, supporting compliance reporting and audits. Every industry, whether tracking records or transactions, will benefit from maintaining accurate audit logs. In a SAS environment, when safeguarding your audit trail from malicious activity and breaches, you must ensure that you have a well-maintained infrastructure in place. A good infrastructure would still need to be coupled with frequent checkups in consultation with specialists to ensure the integrity and smooth running of the system.

For more information on how to protect your audit trail in a SAS environment, please visit our page.

SAS installation services for custom SAS environments

SAS installation services are extremely tricky and troublesome, and to create your ideal environment you should seek help from specialists.

As a SAS Silver partner and a company that has worked with countless customers from around the world, our SAS installation services have been one of our most sought out services. From helping small organisations kick their analytics off at their infancy to supporting large organisations within the insurance and higher education segments, our team of SAS experts has seen it all.

One especially common question many of our clients ask us at the SAS installation stage is how to determine the specific type of environment their organisation needs. Do you need a remote SAS configuration? How about an on-site one? However, there are some instances during which the one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work, which is where custom SAS environments become a requirement.

That’s why choosing a reputed SAS partner that has a team well-versed in offering customised solutions that meet the unique needs of your organisation is an added bonus.

All this begs the following question: What factors decide whether your SAS installation services need to comprise a focus on setting up a custom SAS environment? In the following sections, we deep dive into four key factors that either individually or in combination with one another may determine whether or not you need a custom environment.


Your environment will need to accommodate a large number of users

This first factor is quite straightforward. Organisations that have a large number of users, would most likely require a custom SAS environment capable of handling this magnitude. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all large, heavily staffed organisations would require a custom environment. Only organisations/businesses that have a large number of staff members leveraging their SAS environment would require a custom configuration.


You need SAS installation services that offer flexibility

To begin with, one of the first decisions organisations need to make is whether they need a remote configuration or an on-site configuration. This will determine how we allocate resources in a manner that gets your environment up and running as soon as possible. Remote configurations are typically meant for organisations that operate in other parts of the world – we can have them set up remotely as opposed to going to a specific location and setting things up on-site.

However, there are instances during which both remote and on-site configurations are required. This is typically common in organisations that operate in multiple parts of the world, yet still, require the analytics prowess of SAS software. In such instances, opting for either the onsite or remote options individually becomes illogical, which is where a custom SAS environment is required because, if configured correctly, it can include both on-site and remote configurations.

There may also be instances in which an organisation has a multi-machine/server setup that demands the integration of data from multiple SAS servers into one single storage area. Instead of focusing on setting up a brand-new SAS environment from scratch, the focus now is on integrating data from a multi-machine deployment. Here’s a great example courtesy of Dave Nader – a SAS Technical Training Consultant.

This requirement would need a custom SAS environment that is capable of pulling data from multiple sources into one. With all the expertise and specialisation that is required to set up such an environment, it’s important that organisations consult the right SAS experts and use the best SAS installation services.


You require complete separation of tiers

In the space of collaborative computing of functions where organisations are at risk of external parties gaining access to internal private communications, specific security measures may need to be built in. This would warrant a full separation of tiers, which would need to be facilitated at the installation phase and, therefore, mandate a custom SAS environment.

For example, if an organisation requires a mechanism that allows it to detect and address breaches in advance, it may require a demilitarised zone (DMZ) or perimeter network. A DMZ acts an isolated network positioned directly between the organisation’s private network and the publicly accessible internet – it serves as a buffer/additional layer that gives administrators extra time to identify and respond to breaches. External parties can only access the DMZ, allowing the rest of the organisation’s private network to be protected.  


You have more complex and custom SAS usage requirements

Nothing spells custom SAS environment better than having your own customised features and functionality added in. While our base SAS installation services comprise a comprehensive array of inclusions, there may be certain instances during which you simply would need more custom additions.

From setting up Single Sign-On (SSO) to setting up additional levels to strengthening web application security by configuring HTTPS to having us come on board to complete previously incomplete or unsuccessful installations, we understand the importance of flexibility. That’s why a big part of our SAS installation services is centred on leaving room for the provision of additional services and functionality for your custom SAS environment.

With a decade’s worth of experiencing operating as a SAS partner, in addition to countless years of shared SAS experience among our team members, our position as a SAS installation services provider both here in Australia and beyond is constantly being leveraged by many organisations. Through our services and our role as a Silver partner, we have enabled several of our clients to benefit from significant savings – sometimes in the range of millions of dollars.


If you would like to know more about our SAS installation services, our company and our work with SAS, in addition to how you can leverage our other SAS administration and hosting services, feel free to reach out to us, or stay tuned to this feed.