Power Platform Insights: July/August 2023

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Power Platform Insights: July/August 2023

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Understanding What Generative AI Means to Low Code and Security

In March, Microsoft introduced Dynamics 365 Copilot, which includes Power Platform, and in just a few short months Microsoft reports more than 63,000 organizations are experiencing the AI-powered solution. We wrote about Copilot in last month’s INSIGHTS and demonstrated the capabilities in this on-demand webinar.

In six months, we’ve travelled a million technical miles on the road to and availability of OpenAI, ChatGPT and now Copilot. Helping our customers understand and unpack the potential of generative AI and how it can facilitate business processes is what we do every day through our rapid solution delivery practice at Hitachi Solutions.

But we all realize that with great opportunity comes great responsibility and a demand for clear communications on how to approach generative AI responsibly.

For organizations and administrators using Microsoft Power Platform, controlling access to sensitive data in Dataverse while enabling productivity is a constant balance. It’s great news that Microsoft has introduced two new capabilities in Dataverse that are especially useful when storing proprietary data in Dataverse or scaling to meet compliance requirements for controlling data access.

New security options for enterprise Power Platform customers

  1. IP filtering for Dataverse: The IP Firewall capability, currently in public preview, allows Power Platform environment administrators to restrict Dataverse API access to only designated IP address rangeswithin their corporate network, while blocking access from unknown or untrusted IP addresses. It can also help mitigate data exfiltration risks and prevent token replay attacks from restricted IP ranges.
  • This can help mitigate data exfiltration risks and prevent token replay attacks from restricted IP ranges.
  • The feature is enabled in the Power Platform admin center on a per environment basis.
  • Admins can specify allowed IP ranges in CIDR format and set various options like service tags, Microsoft service access, user access etc.
  • IP Firewall can be run in audit-only mode initially before enforcing restrictions.
  • Reverse proxy IP addresses can also be configured for organizations using them.
  • The feature is now rolled out globally for all customers after initial availability at BUILD 2023.
  • IP Firewall provides more granular access controls in Power Platform environments to enhance security while enabling access where required.

For Power Platform admins using tools like tenant restrictions or service principals to limit exposure of APIs (application programming interfaces), IP Firewall is a welcome capability for access control,providing the right balance between security and productivity.

  1. Power Apps Sentinel integration:

Microsoft Sentinel is a scalable, cloud-native security information and event management (SIEM) and security orchestration automated response (SOAR) solution that can analyze millions of terabytes of data. It enables organizations to streamline operations, detect threats, and respond to cyber incidents effectively, as well as enable no-code/low-code users to detect threats more effectively.

Who is this feature for?

The Microsoft Sentinel feature is likely to garner interest from companies that prioritize data security, compliance, and efficient threat management. Some examples of such companies include:

  1. Large enterprises: Corporations that handle substantial amounts of sensitive data, making them prime targets for cyber-attacks. Microsoft Sentinel helps identify potential threats and respond to security incidents more efficiently.
  2. Financial institutions: Banks, insurance companies, and other financial organizations that equire robust security measures to protect their customers’ information and financial assets. Sentinel can help monitor transactions and user activities to detect irregular patterns.
  3. Healthcare providers: Healthcare organizations that need to ensure compliance with regulations like HIPAA while safeguarding patient data. Microsoft Sentinel can help by providing advanced security analytics and automation for faster threat detection and response.
  4. Government agencies: Organizations in the public sector that require secure solutions to protect sensitive information and maintain system integrity. Sentinel can offer improved monitoring and threat intelligence capabilities, allowing for a more secure infrastructure.
  5. Retail and e-commerce businesses: Companies operating in the digital marketplace that need to defend their platforms against fraud, attacks, and data breaches. Microsoft Sentinel’s integrated approach to security management can help protect user data and system integrity.

Any company that uses the Power Platform or other Microsoft applications for their no-code/low-code app development and relies on comprehensive, accessible, and scalable security solutions may find Microsoft Sentinel’s features highly appealing.

Relevant details

  • Microsoft Sentinel now integrates with Power Apps, Power Automate, and Dataverse.
  • The integration allows for efficient monitoring and identification of threats to Power Platform resources.
  • Power Platform administrators can leverage Microsoft Sentinel’s advanced analytics capabilities for threat detection, incident management, and response.
  • Microsoft Sentinel provides custom-built dashboards to gain insights into threat-related activities.
  • It simplifies security management for no-code/low-code users while providing powerful monitoring capabilities.

Hitachi Solutions introduces Powerhouse quick start applications and automation templates

Do you want to get started with the Power Platform, but don’t know how?  Our ready-made Power Platform application templates provide an expedited pathway to digitizing key business processes and providing companies with expert control of their business processes and  rapid deployment of production-ready applications or automations.

Choose from our selection of app or automation templates:

Safety reporting: Report on health, safety, and environmental risks, hazards, and injuries. The template provides a structured process for reporting, assessing, resolving issues, and creating corrective actions.

Inspection checklists: Digitize your equipment, facility, vehicle or compliance inspection checklists. The template replaces paper checklists, and gives visibility into inspection results and trends. Supervisors can easily create and modify checklist forms. Data is stored in a format that makes reporting and analysis easy. This template can replace any paper-based inspection process like GEMBA[JD2]  walks, plant walks, audits, and paper checklists.

Equipment and asset tracking: Manage details like serial numbers, locations, maintenance records, depreciation, and performance of your assets. The template provides a single source of truth for your company’s assets.

Inventory tracking: Maintain item details like quantities, expiry dates, suppliers, and stock levels within your inventory. The template gives insights into usage patterns and helps optimize your inventory.

Onboarding and offboarding: Automate the onboarding and offboarding process for new employees. The template manages tasks like offer letters, background checks, equipment allocation, and induction programs. It ensures the appropriate offboarding actions are taken when employees leave the company.

Matrix approvals: Set up multi-level approvals for purchase orders, expenses, time-off requests or other items based on parameters like amount, location and request type. The template enforces your approval matrices and accelerates decision making.

Invoice automation: Digitize your accounts payable process including receipt of invoices, review, coding, approvals and payment. The template reduces costs and errors associated with paper-based invoicing.

Conversational AI chatbot: Build an intelligent chatbot to handle common customer service FAQs and queries. Get ready for Microsoft co-pilot and leverage the power of generative AI  to answer questions from your knowledge base or website. Envision how generative AI can be used to drive your employee productivity.

Powerhouse Solutions Rapid Approach

Hitachi Solutions takes a rapid approach to standing up Power Platform solutions. We leverage our template library along with the Microsoft template gallery to quickly launch applications in a low-risk, low-cost manner.

Our approach includes:

Gap analysis and customization: We analyze your existing processes and customize the selected template to address your specific needs for  an app that is tailor-made for your business.

Roadmap and up-skilling: We help you outline a roadmap to scale low-code across your organization and provide training to build Power Platform skills within your team. Your people and processes will be ready to adopt the new technologies as you scale.

Go-live support: Our team provides dedicated support as you launch your new app to ensure a smooth go-live and help overcome any challenges.

Our team works side by side with yours through the entire quick start process. We leverage our proven methodology and experience with the Power Platform to deliver rapid results. With Hitachi Solutions Powerhouse low-code quick start, we get you live within 45 days. You get the benefits of low-code automation and a platform tailored to your needs – all within a predictable cost and timeline.