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In my previous article, I’ve detailed about the nuances of securing SAP systems and the debate surrounding Security by default and Security by design. Those who missed it, can have a look at the blog post using this link.

Now, let's further explore the imperative of adopting a “Security by design” approach within SAP environments. As mentioned, with cyber threats becoming increasingly sophisticated and pervasive, organizations must embed security considerations into every facet of SAP solutions is more critical than ever.

The Evolution of Security by Design

Wait, I know you have in your mind! If Security by Design is important, why hasn't SAP included these features as standard?

The concept of "Security by Design" has become increasingly vital to address various requirements to arrest Cyberattacks. “Security by Design” approach emphasizes integrating additional security measures in various levels of software systems and just not in the foundation. However, despite its recognized importance, some may wonder why SAP, hasn't made Security by Design a standard feature in its products?

The answer is simple!

SAP’s focus is ERP and automating and integrating various business functions, but not a core Cybersecurity function. However, SAP is bringing various solutions now starting from SAP GRC solution suite, till implementing of various frameworks such as NIST. Here is how SAP is bringing it’s various solutions to meet the NIST Cybersecurity framework:


Source: SAP

Before we understand how these solutions can be used, here are the few steps that you should implement. I am not covering this from a 7 layer perspective and as Security as the primary focus considering the “Security by Design” approach. The broad layers to be focused are:

  1. Environment
  2. System
  3. Application
  4. Processes, and
  5. Organization


Security by design emphasizes proactive risk mitigation, empowering organizations to identify and address security vulnerabilities at the earliest stages. By conducting comprehensive risk assessments and threat modeling exercises, organizations can anticipate potential security threats and implement safeguards accordingly.

Additionally, relying solely on static security measures is insufficient in combating evolving cyber threats. Security by design advocates for the implementation of adaptive defense mechanisms that can dynamically respond to emerging threats in real-time. This includes leveraging machine learning (ML) algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) to detect anomalous behavior and pre-emptively mitigate security risks.

In conclusion, the adoption of a security by design approach is indispensable for securing SAP environments in an increasingly volatile threat landscape. By integrating security considerations into every stage of the SAP development lifecycle, organizations can mitigate risks, enhance resilience, and safeguard critical assets from cyber threats. I will provide more detailed insights into each of these levels in my next article. Stay tuned!


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