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What SAP’s Security Suite Can Do for You

Feature Article | September 14, 2015 by Andreas Schmitz

Today’s corporate IT has to be equipped to deal with a multitude of challenges – including former employees who use their old passwords, colleagues who have a critical combination of authorizations, and hackers who try to infiltrate company information systems with malware.

An overview of the SAP Security Suite: how SAP protects your systems

An overview of the SAP Security Suite: how SAP protects your systems

To avoid and uncover hacker attacks from outside organizations and fraudulent activity from within, SAP has developed a security concept that, on the one hand, provides the best preventive measures possible and, on the other hand, enables fast intervention in critical situations.

SAP’s security concept takes a multi-layered approach, with the core processes at the heart. These include the business processes (SAP ERP), procurement (SAP SRM), solutions from third-party providers, and the database. An increasing number of customers now use the SAP HANA platform – for example, in conjunction with SAP Business Warehouse or SAP Customer Relationship Management – or develop their own applications on SAP Cloud Platform. Security layers surround this core of systems and applications to protect it from intruders.

Preventive measures

SAP Identity Management: In the systems of every company there are different users with individual passwords and authorizations. Users in the systems can be managed with SAP Identity Management. The software ensures, for example, that new employees initially only have restricted access to the systems, that it is possible to trace who does what, and that departing employees have their access to systems revoked centrally right away.

SAP Single Sign-On: To make life easier for users who would otherwise have to remember many highly complicated passwords, SAP developed SAP Single Sign-On. Users log on once with their password. They are then issued with a token that transfers their session information to the subsequent systems. SAP Single Sign-On also maximizes IT security: Employees no longer feel the need to list their access codes on Excel spreadsheets, which they might leave open on their screen or even deposit in a Dropbox; and passwords written on Post-it notes and stuck on computers become a thing of the past.

SAP Access Control: SAP Access Control prevents scenarios like a bank employee having a combination of authorizations that are critical for company operations. This happened a few years ago at the French bank Société Générale, when a rogue employee transferred almost five billion euros to a fictitious supplier’s account.

SAP NetWeaver Application Server, add-on for code vulnerability analysis: To ensure that a company’s ABAP-based customized software contains no vulnerabilities, there’s the code vulnerability analyzer add-on. The tool scans the customer code for flaws that hackers might otherwise be able to exploit to enter a company’s IT systems. It can be used for all homegrown code in SAP ERP and SAP SRM.

Detecting and analyzing attacks

SAP Enterprise Threat Detection: Finding and isolating cyber criminals and analyzing their attacks is the ultimate challenge for security teams and represents the final and smartest layer of protection. While security information event management (SIEM) generally concentrates on the technical components such as networks, routers, and infrastructure, SAP Enterprise Threat Detection focuses on the central log files of the applications being used – and identifies breaches as they occur. In the SAP Security Monitoring Center, a dedicated team within SAP’s own IT Security department, employees log a million records every hour, and each record must be investigated for any attacks or anomalies.

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