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Doamin user security rights on Excel 2010 worksheet Tabs

Posted on 2011-09-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi Experts,
I need to resolved one security issue with one of the excel file managed by our HR dept.

Scenario : Confidential excel 2010 workbook (let’s call it Workbook A) has got tabs (Let’s call it User Sheet) for each of the user on their name, the HR person updates this workbook frequently hence apart of administrator she is the only one has change and modify full access rights, all other domain users has just read and execute rights. Workbook cannot be not protected by password because of the below reason.

Now, I have created an individual excel file (let’s call it User File) for each user where each of their cells are linked to their respective User Sheet. User will access the User File from their desktop for updated information related to them from HR. Only respective user got Read access right on their own User Files, that way other user can not open it. HR will make a change to User Sheet and user will read the updated information from their User File.

But to update the information through the Linked Cell I have to give Read access to all users to Workbook A else their User File will not be able to read the content from User Sheet, now that way if user open Workbook A, he can read all the User Sheets belongs to workbook which is security breach.
How can I give User Sheet a user rights so that only respective user can have Read rights on their own User Sheet?
Please help me here.
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Question by:Gyan06
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MAdS earned 250 total points
ID: 36506020
I believe this is beyond Excel capabilities. This kind of database functionality should require you to use MS Access.
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by:reitzen
reitzen earned 250 total points
ID: 36508282
If any employee were to gain access to another employee's HR data, you've got a potential lawsuit just waiting to happen.  You should consider even an open source HR solution instead.  If you have to use Excel, here is what I would suggest, since MAdS is right:

Excel has a feature where you can make a worksheet "very hidden" using VBA code.  Which means that the user will not be able to unhide the worksheet using the ribbon or context menus.  Now, that being said, this does not protect your data in any way, shape, or form.  Because, I can read what's on that worksheet if I know the name of the worksheet simply by adding a new sheet and adding the formula "=MyHiddenSheet!A1" and copying it down and across until I can see the entire hidden worksheet.

So, I would use the workbook's close event to lock down the worksheets making them very hidden and setting the scroll area to some obscure range like $DA$1, assuming your data is not that wide.

Then I would use the workbook's open event to require a password before you unhide the worksheets and reset the scroll area to allow the HR users to manage the data.  Also, lock the user out after three failed attempts to login.

To give individual users access to their information I would copy their respective worksheets from Workbook A to a new workbook and either save it in their user folder on the network or email them a link to view the file.  If you email the file to them, then you have security issues with the email client.  You could even create another "User File" that the HR/Developer maintains that requires the user to enter a password to access their own HR data sheet.

I know this is a lot to chew on, but the data you are managing in Excel is highly sensitive and using Excel to manage it is almost asking for trouble.
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by:Gyan06
ID: 36544519
Thanks for the respose, I fell you guys are correct I should look forward for some 3rd party software or may be MS Access to manage this kind of information. But I would like award you points for taking your time and replying for my question.
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