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SAP Security Framework

As SAP Systems are complex and host business-critical data for most organizations in the world, it is crucial to ensure these systems are protected. SAP Security Frameworks are well-structured guidelines, processes, or tools that provide organizations with a solid foundation for implementing SAP Security.

An SAP Security Framework could encompass any security measure, including access controls, authentication, auditing, and encryption. There are various cybersecurity frameworks available. Unfortunately, most of them are not specifically for SAP environments. While SAP SE themselves rely on NIST CSF, SAP provides Security Recommendations and the Security Operation Map for their customers as a good starting point. However, both need to be fitted into any existing enterprise IT Security program. When adopting a cybersecurity framework, there are many challenges.

 

Some of the most common challenges of adopting one can be: 

  1. Costs – Implementing a cybersecurity framework can come with additional costs. Implementation might require additional hardware, staff, and software. 
  2. Complexity – As SAP systems can be complex, it is crucial to understand them to choose the best framework to secure them. Organizations might have to deal with multiple software, technologies, and databases with different security requirements. 
  3. Compliance – As regulatory requirements evolve; cybersecurity frameworks continuously change. Organizations might struggle to keep up with the changing compliance requirements and standards. 
  4. Integration – As SAP systems usually integrate with other third-party systems, organizations should keep in mind that each system might have a different security requirement. This impacts the adoption of a cybersecurity posture and can make it quite complicated.

 

Adopting a cybersecurity framework for SAP systems can be time and resource-consuming, but it is a crucial process that organizations should undertake. With a cybersecurity framework organizations improve their security posture and standardize their complex security operations to protect their critical assets from cyber threats.

When it comes to selecting the best cybersecurity framework for SAP systems, it is important to pay close attention to the size and complexity of your organization, your industry, and the current resources you have. Here are some best practices for choosing a cybersecurity framework:

  1. Identify your specific needs and requirements.
    Each framework has a specific focus that might not be the best fit for what you’re looking for. You should consider all factors like the type of data you’re storing, what systems need to be protected, the number of users with access, etc., when looking for a cybersecurity framework.
  2. Evaluate your budget and resources.
    Review the requirements of the framework you are selecting and ensure you have the resources and staff to meet them. It is also important that you investigate your budget as implementing a new framework can be expensive and not all provide the most value for your specific needs.
  3. Select the right framework.
    Once you have selected all the potential frameworks, evaluate all of them against your organization’s specific needs and requirements. Look for a widely used framework in your industry. Some of the most popular frameworks are the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, ISO 27001, and the SAP Security Recommendation Template created by SAP. If you would like to learn more about how to choose the right framework, check out our white paper about it here. (Add whitepaper link here).
  4. Involve all relevant stakeholders during the process.
    Involving business leaders, security professionals, and IT staff is one of the ways to ensure the framework will meet the needs of the whole organization.

Following these steps, you will select the right cybersecurity framework for you, and you’ll be ready to protect your critical information against cyber threats.

What does a cybersecurity framework for SAP include?

SAP Security Frameworks include tools, processes, technologies, and policies that help your organization harden its security posture and protect you from cyber threats. 

Some of the most popular frameworks are the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, ISO 27001, and the SAP Security Recommendation created by SAP. 

How often should I update my cybersecurity framework for my SAP systems?

You should run regular assessments to identify whether the established controls remain effective. In the spirit of continuous improvement, it is vital to ensure your controls reflect all the changes your landscapes undergo and your ever-changing requirements. 

What are common risks for SAP systems?

As SAP systems contain critical data, they are extremely vulnerable to cyber-attacks and other risks. Some of the most common risks for SAP systems are data breaches, malware, hacking, phishing, insider attacks, and more. You can learn more about cyber risks for SAP systems here.

Download the White Paper “Which cybersecurity framework is the best fit for SAP application security?” to learn more about the available frameworks, the challenges when adopting a framework, and more.

 

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