How Appsian Enhances SAP GRC with Cross-Application SoD & Risk Management

By Shiv Sujir • December 31, 2021

What is SAP GRC?

SAP Governance, Risk, and Compliance (SAP GRC) is a set of SAP solutions that enable organizations to meet data security and compliance standards. These solutions also provide control mechanisms to manage and mitigate risk. SAP GRC consists of four major components and multiple modules that manage risks, controls, identities, cyberthreats, and international trade across the SAP ecosystem.

What are the Components of SAP GRC?

SAP GRC features four major components that unify enterprise risk and control activities on a single technology platform. Each component has a set of modules that serve a specific function. As a whole, SAP GRC solutions give decision-makers the insights needed to adjust strategies and objectives while enabling them to predict, detect, and respond to business threats and opportunities. The four core components include:

Enterprise Risk and Compliance
Modules: SAP Risk Management, SAP Process Control, SAP Financial Compliance Management, SAP Business Integrity Screening

Cybersecurity, Data Protection, and Privacy
Modules: SAP Enterprise Threat Detection, SAP Privacy Governance, SAP Data Custodian

Identity and Access Governance
Modules: SAP Access Control, SAP Cloud Identity Access Governance, SAP Identity Management, SAP Single Sign-On

International Trade Management
Modules: SAP Watch List Screening, SAP Global Trade Services

Enhancing Your SAP GRC Capabilities with Appsian

While SAP GRC is a good tool to implement GRC across your SAP systems, it has certain noteworthy limitations. Appsian’s GRC solution goes beyond the SAP ecosystem to provide unprecedented visibility of real-time authorization usage and implement fine-grained, adaptive controls across applications. This significantly improves security while reducing fraud, risk, and exposure to sensitive data at an enterprise level. In addition, Appsian can be deployed as a stand-alone solution or combined with your existing SAP GRC solution to enhance security and risk management.

Here are some of the ways Appsian can enhance your GRC capabilities.

Cross Application Connectivity

Most companies utilize multiple ERP platforms for their business operations. Though SAP GRC offers a range of modules and controls, it can be deployed only within other SAP applications. Appsian integrates with several business applications like Salesforce, Workday, Oracle, Microsoft, Infor, or industry-related applications without any third-party connectors. Appsian GRC seamlessly connects all your applications to a centralized system for unified GRC management.

Attribute-Based Access Controls

Many ERP applications, including SAP, offer only role-based access controls. While role-based access works well when the user connects through a secure network like the office, today’s workplace demands a more adaptive approach to access controls. Appsian utilizes contextual attributes like location, device, time, IP address, and more to determine access risk and allows security teams to implement policies based on these attributes. Additionally, unlike role-based authorizations that are granted at access, Appsian’s fine-grained controls go beyond the point of access down to the data field and transaction level to deliver layered security, enhanced compliance, and improved user governance across multiple applications using a single control platform.

Authorization Management

As new users are added, and existing users are granted more roles, it becomes increasingly difficult to track and manage user authorizations, especially when dealing with multiple ERP applications. The result is user overprovisioning that creates greater data exposure, SoD conflicts, and overall risk. Appsian tracks authorization usage to recommend the elimination of unused and underused authorizations and access rights, making the monitored applications safer and simpler.

User Monitoring

While SAP GRC allows you to monitor and manage identities and control who has access to information, it provides little insight into what authorized users are doing within the applications. Appsian enables you to know what your users are doing, what tables they are accessing, what changes are being made, and by whom. It provides a detailed report of user activity data and allows you to set up alerts when sensitive information or tables are accessed.

Identification of Irregularities

The ability to continuously monitor user activity across applications also allows Appsian to track each user to identify and compare authorizations within each department or business unit for any discrepancies. The solution sends a notification to the management team of any suspicious activity that needs further investigation. However, the lack of user monitoring in SAP GRC means that such irregularities go unnoticed.

Impact on Licensing Costs

It is well-known that SAP licenses do not come cheap. Additionally, SAP does not provide a clear view of user roles and licenses. This makes it difficult to understand the cost impact of granting new roles/licenses to users. Appsian’s GRC solution considers licensing costs when recommending the best role to grant users by attaching costs to authorized roles and suggesting a less costly role when available. This allows you to manage your SAP license costs better and avoid overprovisioning.

Appsian’s enhanced approach overcomes the limitations of traditional SAP GRC, enabling you to manage identities, access, authorizations, and risk across multiple ERP platforms. Schedule a demo with our ERP GRC specialists to learn more about our GRC capabilities.

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