Business management is now becoming almost impossible without the use of advanced information technology. The ERP SAP system is one of the most popular tools of this type. It greatly facilitates running a company and making decisions by management, and thus - gives managers the opportunity to work effectively.
Despite the complexity of the SAP system, it can be described in a relatively simple way as an integrated modular software package for analyzing and planning enterprise resources. It consists of a series of applications that collect, process and analyze data from across the company.
It was created in the 1970s by the German company "Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung" as the first software of its kind for company management.
For the system itself, the name ERP or ERP SAP is commonly used interchangeably with SAP. For many years, SAP's main product was sap R3 software. Since 1995, SAP systems are also available in Polish.
ERP systems touch on key issues related to the company's operation: finance, human resources, logistics and controlling; in addition, dedicated SAP systems have been created for several industries: logistics, production, etc.
To facilitate the implementation of sap, a demo version has been created for beginners. It gives an excellent insight into the operation of the tool, which is SAP-demo was based on the data of a fictitious company. Thanks to this, you can safely learn how to move in the SAP system because the training does not affect the functioning of the organization in any way.
Full modularity and the ability to integrate SAP ERP solutions based on a single database gives the opportunity to implement using individual system components and adapt them to the needs of a particular company.
Thanks to the use of one database, it is possible to view the data of each department of the company and perform such activities as performing analysis, payroll management, accounting, sales or deliveries, from anywhere, which significantly improves the workflow in a medium or large enterprise.
Thanks to the SAP system, the processes occurring in the company are integrated-it becomes possible to create and edit data for each sector at the same time.
This integration is possible thanks to the creation of a common database that can be used by all its cells at the same time. Each can make its own changes to the database, which makes the exchange of information much faster, and the cooperation of individual departments and employees-streamlined and improved.
The ERP management system can be adapted to the needs of a particular company depending on its business profile. The following modules are currently available:
Thanks to its modular structure, sap's ERP system is a solution where a company can purchase only those features and components that it will really use. Elements of the ERP system, which are also flexible and thus easier to work with, are also views, formats, business processes, and wide-ranging functionalities for creating dedicated solutions.
Thanks to the accounting module in sap, it is possible to effectively manage the budget and assets of a medium or large company, and, consequently, control over its financial liquidity. Thanks to the automation of accounting processes, the preparation of reports is fast and reliable.
SAP TM (Transportation Management) was created for logistics support; it provides the ability to support sales and procurement processes and accurate planning of all logistics processes.
It ensures the flexibility and efficiency of production through its planning, control, and implementation. SAP technology offers methods and workflows that match most manufacturing plants.
The SAP HR program is a module designed to support the human resources and payroll sector. It can function as one of the modules in the SAP system used in the company, or as an independent HR and payroll system.
Knowledge of sap is not possible without mastering the basic terms such as: transaction (SAP function that performs an action on the system), role (set of permissions created by the administrator) or permission (actions that the user can perform within the assigned role).
We encourage you to read these and other definitions: SAP dictionary
For SAP software to be completely secure, it is crucial that it is properly configured by the customer and that all parameters are adapted to individual needs. This also involves taking care of the appropriate scope of permissions of SAP ERP users. The System must also be properly monitored, which entails also with the principle of maintaining two pairs of eyes in the implementation of critical processes.
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The first step should be to clear the unnecessary SAP_ALL permissions – for starters, it is best to take them away from all users. Then you need to make sure that you give them only to those users who really need such permissions in their work. The third step will be to assign an auditor, whose task will be to accept permissions and verify actions within the SAP system and assess whether the changes applied were necessary.
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SAP notes refer to software updates that contain code corrections with descriptions of the problem. They may also, as a support item, not include corrections or updates, documenting the problem that occurs in the system. This is also called knowledge base articles.
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The SAP IT system provides the ability to automate repetitive processes. This is done with the help of SAP GUI scripts written in VBA (Visual Basics for Applications), which allow you to create sessions with the sap GUI and perform operations on it.
Significantly, to write scripts, you do not need to know the VBA language. Thanks to the opensource Automagica library, the same actions on scripts can be performed using Python.
More: Automate system analysis with SAP GUI scripts
Audits of the customer-owned SAP system are carried out every year. What does this mean for the company in practice? Often additional license fees are imposed for excessive active users-and the activity here entails a temporary limitation of the validity of the user account.
For this reason, reducing the number of active users on an ongoing basis translates into the cost of using the SAP system.
More: Lower costs in SAP: how to remove inactive users-optimize SA licenses
For SAP software to function securely, it is important to properly manage the permission conflict matrix, which allows you to identify existing conflicts and assess risks through user access verification. An effective policy on these accesses is critical to protecting the SAP environment from the risks directly related to user activity.
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This depends on the company; however, you can distinguish four main cores of the concept of permissions:
Monitoring user activity allows you to sort out the potential for abuse. SAP applications thus support risk management, increasing the level of security. The most important elements here are monitoring the display of personal data, saving files, and the use of transactions.
More: Monitoring of SAP Users
Yes-this creates the risk of accidental interference with data to which the user has unnecessary access, which in turn leads to the work of other people associated with their correction. Of course, this also creates a risk of deliberate abuse.
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According to the KuppingerCole leadership compass report, the leader among security management solutions is the mast GRC suite. This is mainly due to its sophistication and complexity. This software includes modules that can be easily integrated into SAP, providing all the functionality necessary to secure the system.
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SAP must be updated according to the supplied patches from the SAP security notes group. For several years, a security vulnerability has been known, the negligence of which has already led to a cyberattack on dozens of companies. To avoid such situations, it is necessary to use SAP security note 1445998 and disable invoke Servlet.
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The key in this case is to regularly check SAP ERP users and remove inactive ones. This can be done, for example, by executing the rsusr200 report and thus obtaining a list of users with the date of their last login, or using tools designed for automatic license optimization that support administration.
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IT infrastructure and rising threat levels are a factor directly affecting the security of organizations. For this reason, SAP security should be a priority for any company that uses the SAP program.
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A security audit is a multistep process, starting with the creation of a plan and analysis of critical security aspects. The system is then prepared from a technical point of view by importing SAST transports. When the tools are configured, audit reports are created and analyzed to document the results and recommendations of the changes. This makes it possible to develop and implement a recovery plan.
Morej: Safety audit of SAP systems
The basic rule is: a longer password is always safer. In addition, pay attention to the strength of the password-it helps to determine how many letters must be in it, and how many digits. It is also worth emphasizing the quality of the password (uppercase and lowercase) and specifying how many characters must be changed when setting a new password by the user.
Morej: How to create a password to keep SAP safe?
Defining an authorization concept requires gathering a range of information, such as descriptions of the distribution of functions between it and business departments, identifying user types, and describing roles for their specific groups, along with recommendations and requirements.
The concept must also include data on the use of the repository and HDI roles, the use of authorization and settings for SAP HANA database verification, and a description of access methods. It must also take into account possible legal requirements, e.g. GDPR.
More: How to define authorization concepts in SAP?