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SAP Cybersecurity and its Best Practices

Cybersecurity is about having a secure system with the least possible vulnerabilities to protect against malicious attacks or misuse. Hence, we can say that SAP Cybersecurity is about following best practices for SAP systems/applications/products.  Cyber practices might be evident and easy to implement with other java based or cloud systems with SAP ABAP systems, but it comes with its challenges due to the proprietorship of SAP products / their codes. Organizations widely use SAP systems as ERP solutions for multiple business processes, including travel and expenses, finance, procurement, etc., due to which these systems contain a lot of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or even Sensitive personal information (SPI). Therefore, it is one of the necessities to have best cyber practices for SAP systems. There are various domains in which security checks need to be placed.

Below are some key aspects of those security checks, specifically in terms of SAP systems:



For any system which is available for end users, authentication is the first and foremost important control. Authentication is the method via which a particular user identifies and confirms whether they should be allowed to get into the system. SAP ABAP system provides both password-based and as well as single sign-on authentication, which uses an internal protocol called Secure Network Connection (SNC). For password-based, complexity can be defined as per requirement. Additionally, blacklisted passwords can also be maintained.



As discussed previously, SAP systems contain PII and SPI (in some cases); it is very important to encrypt the data at rest with at least SHA-2 or above encryption protocol. As for data in transit, SAP has SNC, which makes it secure, but in the case of FIORI, TLS v1.2 or above should be implemented for better safety.


Access Control

Once a user is authenticated, it becomes more essential to control what access is provided to the users. Tcodes and authorization objects, when added to roles, provide a precise level of access to the users. SAP has an entire module (SAP GRC) to govern, control, and make the system compliant with laws to segregate duties properly. GRC is also being used for audits, access reviews, and firefighter (emergency access management), which are key controls in authorization and access management.


Audits and logs

Implementing intrusion detection and monitoring mechanisms allows us to promptly detect and respond to security incidents. Monitoring user activities, system logs, and network traffic can help identify potential threats or unauthorized activities.


Backup and Business Continuity

For any system, storing a copy of data is essential in case of any natural calamity or disaster. Further, there should be a business continuity plan in case of disaster or calamity. The backed-up data should be encrypted and stored in a separate physical location to avoid any sort of harm.


Vulnerability and patch management

Conducting regular vulnerability assessments and penetration testing of SAP systems helps identify security weaknesses. It allows for their remediation prior to exploitation by attackers. Onapsis is a widely-used solution which detects vulnerabilities in SAP systems.


Secure Development Practices

SAP systems implementations often have custom developments hence it is important to perform conduct code review and other assessments such as Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) or Static Application Security Testing (SAST). Additionally, you should perform other assessments such as threat modeling and architecture review. This ensures checks are in place and existing risks are accepted.


Incident response

Post-implementing the system, there needs to be an incident response plan. This ensures that the security incidents are getting an effective response. This involves defining incident response procedures, establishing communication channels, and conducting regular drills and exercises,. This tests the readiness of the response team.


Security Awareness and Training

Even if we implement all the good practices, educating users and employees about SAP security best practices is crucial. Regular training and awareness programs help users understand their responsibilities. Further, it helps userw recognize potential security threats, and follow secure practices in their day-to-day activities.


In conclusion, safeguarding your organization’s valuable assets and maintaining a robust cybersecurity posture is paramount in today’s digital landscape. With the ever-evolving threats and increasing complexity of SAP systems, proactive measures and a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity are essential. By leveraging advanced technologies, implementing best practices, and fostering a culture of security awareness, organizations can stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and protect their sensitive data.


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Poonam Nikat is a Senior SAP Security Consultant with Mindset Consulting. She has around 7 years of experience in implementing and supporting SAP greenfield projects including on-premise and on-cloud systems. She is keen on learning and expanding her horizons in the field of SAP and cybersecurity. In her free time, you will find her on some adventurous travel, dancing, or feeding some doggos on the street.

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