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What is SAP Security? Its Function in a Nutshell

In a workspace that depends heavily on sharing all kinds of information digitally, data security is more important than ever. Gone are the days of storing sensitive data on paper and sending physical letters with instructions to your colleagues. To store and share all your information digitally has a lot of benefits – but there are risks, too. Cybersecurity is of utmost importance to protect your network and all your business information from unwanted online attacks. To ensure that confident and sensitive data can only be seen by authorized personnel while simultaneously allowing employees to access all the information they need for their work is the main function of SAP security.

SAP Cybersecurity is a vital aspect that helps to ensure that your SAP system works well and that all stored data is protected. Protection against external threats is just as important as protection against internal threats. SAP security can handle both.

What exactly is SAP security?

SAP (short for Systems, Applications, and Products) Security is a technical module developed by the company behind the SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software. Security in the context of IT means making sure that access to information is allowed where it’s needed and prevented where it’s not – SAP Data Security does this while ensuring that your SAP system is secure. In order to achieve this, SAP security has a catalogue of different possibilities that can be used to check on multiple components and aspects of your SAP system and make sure they all work as intended.

1. SAP Knowledge Base

SAP Knowledge Base is one of the fundamental security mechanisms of every SAP system. It controls all relevant security measures by protecting the programmes, transactions, and services in your SAP system from unauthorized access.

2. SAP security Patch Day

On every second Tuesday of the month, SAP security Patch Day provides new software patches to ensure your system’s security. Depending on how important a patch is, a ranking by low, medium, and high importance is provided.

3. SAP security notes

Published on every SAP security Patch Day, these notes include important security news and updates including known weaknesses of the SAP Netweaver technology and the SAP Business Suite. Implementing those patches and being aware of weak points is important for the safety of your SAP system.



SAP security can provide…


Network Security


Workstation Security


Operating System Security

Database Security


Why is SAP security important?

Every SAP system must store a wide range of confidential and sensitive data for a small business to work flawlessly. The users in this SAP system network need to have access to certain information in order to do their jobs, but at the same time, they should not have access to important data which could cause harm when accessed without permission. If an unauthorized employee gains insight into financial records, for example, this newfound data could be used to harm the business through data leaks or fraud. Especially when it comes to health and financial data, a special kind of protection is required, which SAP Data Security can provide.

1. How does SAP security work?

When setting up an SAP system for your business, working with SAP ERP software comes with a lot of benefits. The package that SAP ERP provides, includes different software and applications dealing with

  • goods and services

  • sales

  • finance

  • accounting

  • human resources

  • manufacturing

  • logistics

Using these programs to map out a complex software network has a lot of advantages – integrating processes and centralizing their management can save a lot of money and it creates an easier workflow. SAP Cybersecurity ensures that the whole system works as intended to keep business moving without security or data access problems.

There are three central rules of action SAP security works with:

  1. Confidentiality: The guarantee that no data will be disclosed to unauthorized personnel.
  2. Integrity: The reassurance that no data can be modified in an unauthorized way.
  3. Availability: Unwanted, external distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks won’t occur.

To better explain why SAP security works so successfully, it’s best to take a look at the following SAP Secure Operations Map:


Awareness Security governance Risk management
Process Regulatory process


Data privacy and


Audit and fraud


Application User and



Authentication and

single sign-on

Roles and


Custom code


System Security hardening Secure SAP software code Security monitoring and forensics
Network security Operating system and database security

Client security


In five layers with sixteen blocks, this map shows all components of SAP Data Security.

At the top we find the Organization layer, which refers to the human aspect of operations. Most important here is the general awareness of weak points and security risks in order to be able to work against them. Besides awareness, security governance and risk management are other fundamental aspects.

Next on the map, there is the Process layer. The main goal here is to be able to act accordingly when it comes to government regulations and various data privacy protection guidelines. This is particularly important when looking at the legal side of operations.

In the middle, we find the Application layer dealing with all SAP-related programs and control elements. Client-used applications that aren’t standard are also included. The priority here is the protection against unauthorized access in all shapes and forms.

The System layer is fundamental for the functionality of all SAP applications. Tools that allow you to set different levels of authorization and grant control over all applications secure your network from easy to abuse weak points on a low level as well as SQL injection.

Lastly there’s the lowermost Environmental layer which focuses on the technical aspects and basics when it comes to non-SAP systems. Security on this level is of utmost importance in order to be able to guarantee ongoing security for the whole business.

Are there any weaknesses to SAP security?

The knowledge of possible weak points can help prevent people with bad intentions from abusing them. The following states some of the more basic ones:

1. SAP standard usernames and logins

First, installing your SAP system or executing important authorized tasks creates standard usernames with publicly known logins. To keep these accounts secure it is not recommended to keep those automatically generated logins since they can be used to cause massive security breaches.

2. SAP Web application

Web applications on the SAP Application servers are prone to unwanted external attacks like XSS, XXE Tunneling or SQL Injection. It is crucial to be aware that additional security is needed here.

3. SAP Gateway

SAP Gateway allows different devices to connect to an SAP system. These connections are subject to unwanted attacks, so awareness of this weakness is needed as well.

It is advised to always keep your SAP system up to date through the SAP patches and security notes which are provided regularly. SAP security needs a human understanding of possible dangers to ensure that all sensitive and confident data is stored correctly and not accessible to people with malicious intentions.


SAP security is an essential part of all SAP systems and adds a whole layer of protection to all your sensitive data and confidential information. It’s not perfect in itself though – to remain secure against cyberattacks frequent updates are and will remain important and necessary.

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