One of the reasons to use an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is to do away with the outdated data model where information sits in little siloes throughout the different departments of an organization. An ERP like SAP allows companies to keep their most important assets, data, and intellectual property in one place, resulting in improved efficiency, less data duplication, and other benefits.

Of course, that also means it’s vital to protect the place where all this information lives from unauthorized access, both from outside threats like malicious agents and malware, as well as inside threats, such as employee errors or even deliberate sabotage.

That’s where SAP Security comes in. 

SAP Security provides extensive protection and security monitoring for your most sensitive data. In this article, we’ll cover what SAP Security is, what it does, and some best practices for getting started with the module. Let’s get started.

What is SAP Security? 

SAP Security is a module within SAP that grants users access where they need it (and only where they need it, restricting access when necessary). Think of it as a digital deadbolt that keeps your organization’s data secure and protected from external and internal threats. As an example, let’s imagine a warehouse employee who creates purchase orders.

While this person obviously needs access to the creation of those purchase orders, they don’t also need the ability to approve those orders, or you could end up with someone creating and approving all sorts of orders without any oversight. Through SAP Security, you can ensure that employees are able to access whatever functionalities of SAP that are part of their job responsibilities, and that’s it.

How SAP Security Works

SAP ERP consists of many applications dealing with human resources, accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), sales, finance, and more. For the solution to be effective, you need to integrate these processes and centralize management. SAP Security acts as a comprehensive umbrella over the system as a whole, ensuring that everything works smoothly without security issues or unauthorized data access. 

SAP Security relies on a few different concepts to help improve your organization’s cyber posture and prevent attacks: Network Security, Application Security, Internet Transaction Server Security (ITS), STAD Data, SAP Cryptographic Library, Single Sign-On, and Audit Information System. Let’s explore these in a bit more detail. 

Network Security

SAP uses standard network security features like firewalls and demilitarized zones (DMZ), network ports, SAPRouter, and more. A firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. In this case, SAP Web dispatcher and SAPRouter are some of the application-level gateways used for filtering SAP network traffic.

Application Security

Secure Socket Layer, also known as SSL, is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server and client. SSL allows you to authenticate the communication partners by determining the variables of encryption. With SAP, data transferred between both the client and server is protected so you can detect if there’s any manipulation during the transfer. That data is also encrypted to add an extra layer of security. 

SAP Internet Transaction Server Security

In order to access SAP applications from a web browser, you need a middleware component —in this case, SAP Internet Transaction Server (ITS). SAP has created its ITS architecture with a variety of built-in security components, including running the WGate and AGate on separate hosts.

STAD Data

STAD data provides security against unauthorized access to SAP’s functionality using transaction codes. It can track who accessed certain functionalities and when they did so, allowing you to monitor, audit, and analyze security access. 

SAP Cryptographic Library

The SAP Cryptographic Library is the default encryption product from SAP. It’s used for providing Secure Network Communication (SNC) between different SAP server components. 

Single Sign-On

The single sign-on function within SAP allows you to configure what user credentials access SAP applications. By configuring the proper access, you can reduce security risks.

Audit Information System

Audit Information System (AIS) is a tool to help thoroughly analyze the security features of SAP. You can use it for system and business audits. 

Setting up SAP Security

When getting started with SAP Security, you need to ensure access to both application and database servers are controlled. User accounts need to be defined as roles with specific permission to prevent unauthorized access. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when setting up SAP Security: 

  • Align settings with organizational policies
  • Develop emergency procedures for when a security incident arises
  • Continuously monitor who has access to data and reevaluate as roles change
  • Use advanced security tools to help further reduce your risk of attack or breach 

Partner with SAP Experts

While complex, security is absolutely critical in today’s world. A breach or attack against your organization can have a devastating impact, from severe financial loss to a major hit to your company’s reputation. By protecting your system and data with SAP Security, you can help prevent these sorts of scenarios and ensure that the data in your system continues to remain safe and sound. 

If you’re ready to get started with SAP Security, or you could use a hand with any other sort of SAP project, we’re here for you. Our senior-level, US-based SAP consulting team can help you configure those digital deadbolts to make sure your company’s information can only be accessed by the people you trust. Contact us today to learn more.