We have implemented something similar to what you require, and we use folders. The good thing about the folder structure is that you only have to give the Qlik Sense service account access to the folders and then you secure the individual folders by creating data connections and then securing those with security rules based on the users rights.
I hope this helps.
I was able to set security rules to read only for all users (ultimately I would limit by user or group).
The only issue I'm running into with this is I'm getting an access denied error message when I try to connect to the data source as one of the users.
If I simply click close the message goes away and I can access the data. This will end up confusing my end users.
That is odd. I normally only see that message on apps with section access.
It is weird that it then allows access after closing the dialog box.
Is the QVD data on the Qlik server or a file share somewhere?
There should also be additional details in the Qlik logs for the Access Denied message.
What version of sense are you running?