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Managing Data Security In Sap Environments

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By Author: appsian
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In the context of internal data governance standards and business or government legislation, SAP-processed data also contains sensitive information. Such data can fall under the reach of the United States Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA). European regulatory frameworks such as the United Kingdom Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and EU Data Protection Directive protecting the information of individuals can extend to personally identifiable employee information (PII). Such legislation generally provides "safe harbor" exclusions where businesses can demonstrate that confidential data has been encrypted. As human resources modules will now include health information for workers who may possibly be impacted by national legislation, the value of SAP data security has increased.

SAP information can be categorized into two different categories: structured and unstructured. Structured data generally resides inside the database in the form of tables, columns, and rows. Unstructured SAP data, on the other hand, comes in the form of records, log files, extracts from ...
... databases such as extract, convert, load (ETL) files, and data archives.

Businesses need to ensure their data is safeguarded from both fraud and misuse. Since SAP does not provide such a data security platform, companies depend on the ecosystem of SAP partners that provides data protection during rest or in use. Specific tools like the Database Activity Monitoring (DAM) can protect against the misuse of data in use, but do not resolve encryption-addressed regulatory data privacy and security requirements. Encrypting sensitive data at rest would reduce the risk of data loss and satisfy the criteria of the audit. The DAM operates typically to secure the data in conjunction with encryption and helps to ensure compliance.

Security Implications

The implementation of any data security framework must ensure that SAP and IT activities have the least impact. Minimizing any SAP system change makes it possible to implement a data protection solution easily and avoids burdening IT with significant ongoing maintenance costs. Burdens can come in the form of modifying the hardware topology underlying this SAP integration, testing, or modification. Monitoring such upgrades results in a greater likelihood of success.

SAP HANA, developed by SAP, is a column-oriented, in-memory, relational database management system. On-site or in the cloud, SAP HANA can be deployed, enabling companies to optimize business processes, drive more business intelligence, and simplify their IT environment. Through providing the basis for all data needs, SAP HANA helps do away with maintaining separate legacy structures and siloed data. Under the modern digital economy, companies will, therefore, make better business choices. Given such powerful functionalities, it goes without saying that there need to be adequate data security measures in place to protect the organization's valuable data.


The need to ensure SAP data protection is felt more than ever with increased instances of data breaches being documented worldwide by companies. Besides, the laws enacted for data privacy are comprehensive. Therefore, organizations will do well to invest in data security and analytics solutions that offer data privacy, help satisfy compulsory legal obligations, and, at the same time, ensure peace of mind.

More About the Author

Appsian One of the leading ERP data security,compliance,implementation solutions provider that gives organizations to complete control and visibility over their ERP data.

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