In the intricate and ever-changing landscape of SAP systems, where data security and access control are paramount, the concept of SAP Privileges and Privileged Access Management takes center stage.
Privileges, within the SAP HANA environment, dictate the level of access and permissions granted to users, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of critical business data across applications.
And, as organizations have become increasingly reliant on SAP for their enterprise resource planning (ERP) needs, understanding and effectively managing SAP HANA Privileges become pivotal in authorizing user access, safeguarding sensitive information, and optimizing system performance.
This article discusses the fundamental aspects of Privileges and their role in user authorization, how authorized access through Privileges can help maintain a robust and secure SAP landscape, and where our team of expert SAP consultants can come in to help.
Understanding SAP Privileged Access Management (PAM)
Here’s a closer look at a few core best practices to follow when navigating the SAP PAM module:
1) Identify critical resources and areas of improvement
A critical part of the privilege assessment process involves identifying the core areas of the current system infrastructure that are essential to business success and placing priority on the activities that are required to keep the system up and running.
Users should focus their efforts on priority systems or wherever their most critical business data is stored, such as Personal Identifiable Information (PII) governed by GDPR rules. To help users prioritize the components of their infrastructure that are truly essential to business operations, users can leverage intelligent tools like Business Impact Assessments.
2) Avoid the ‘lift-and-shift’ approach to existing controls
‘Lift and shift’ functionality is not available for organizations with an existing ITGC framework, predefined role designs, and specific controls like access controls for SAP GRC and SAP EAM.
Users must understand the goal of their approach and design realistic access controls for any SAP application or service based on available resources across their existing ecosystem.
3) Assess server hardening
Server hardening typically involves the process of enhancing server security through various means to improve the security of their operating environment and enable more advanced data security measures.
As many online servers are attacked regularly in today’s evolving technical landscape, it’s critical for users to ensure server hardening is a well-established practice to protect their most critical business data and their SAP ecosystem as a whole.
4) Leverage a pragmatic approach
To ensure accurate and efficient change management across their SAP environment, users should focus on the most essential tasks first, document every activity, and assign priority to specific areas of the system.
Before users begin changing system settings or adding new privileges, they must understand the risk tolerance of their existing system and plan a pragmatic approach to navigating critical activities across their development and production environments.
Common Types of Privileges in SAP HANA Repository
Here’s a closer look at a few common privileges included in the SAP HANA database repository:
Object privileges are used to enable users to access and modify database objects, like schemas, tables, views, and procedures within the existing SAP HANA database. Different activities, including SELECT, DROP, and CREATE, can be authorized depending on each specific object type.
There are two main types of object privileges: schema and source.
On the one hand, schema privileges are used to access and modify specific schemas and the objects they contain. On the other, source privileges are used in SAP HANA to restrict access and modify remote data sources connected through smart data access.
Package privileges are used to access and work with packages in the classic SAP HANA database repository, enabling greater insight into design time versions of existing business objects, like attribute, calculation, and analytic views.
With package privileges, users in a specific database are granted access and the ability to work in packages only included in that database repository.
System privileges control general system activities, including creating and changing roles and users, designing schemas, and monitoring and tracing privileges across users. With a system privilege, users can keep better track of their core administrative functions and authorize basic repository packages.
Analytic privileges are used to allow read access to critical business data in existing SAP HANA information models depending on specific values or value combinations across the system. Users can track and evaluate their analytic privileges during query processing activities.
Developers for SAP HANA XS applications can leverage application privileges to authorize both database user and client access and ensure app privileges are only granted to roles created in the repository in design time.
Application privileges can be granted directly to users or roles in runtime within the SAP HANA Studio and can be applied in conjunction with other existing privileges across the SAP ecosystem.
Navigating Core Privileges on Users
Privileges on users are an additional type of SQL privilege in the SAP system that users can grant on their user. However, the ATTACH DEBUGGER privilege is the only privilege that can be granted on a specific user.
Let’s take a look at a quick example of using privileges on users:
If User A grants the ATTACH DEBUGGER privilege to User B to enable the debugging of an SQL script code in User A’s technical user, User A is the only user who can grant privileges like this. In this situation, User B must also have access to the DEBUG object privilege associated with the relevant SQLScript procedure.
Getting Started with Us
Interested in learning how to grant or leverage SQL privileges on your existing user or modify database objects for improved user access? Ready to get started on a project with our expert SAP consultants?
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