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ABAC & RBAC for SAP Dynamic Authorization

Enhance SAP Security & Compliance using Attribute-Based Access Controls

When considering ABAC vs RBAC, it’s not about which is better. It’s about how they work together to create a dynamic authorization strategy.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) and Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC) are two ways of controlling the authentication process and authorizing users in SAP. Over the years, SAP’s standard RBAC approach is reaching its limits thanks to the growing complexity of access rules and the exponential number of workers accessing valuable ERP data remotely.

Organizations can simplify enforcing governance policies aligned with global trade regulations, segregation of duties, or the segregation of access between different business units by leveraging an attribute-based layer of access controls beyond standard role-based controls. When considering ABAC vs RBAC, Appsian extends and modernizes SAP’s existing security model by adding a fine-grain approach to user access using contextual attributes.

Limitations of SAP Roles-Based Access Controls

Complex User
Provisioning

Relying on static, role-based access controls in dynamic environments forces a compromise between security and business goals. To eliminate friction while maintaining security requires extensive customizations for authorization logic based on contextual attributes such as IP address, location, nationality, business unit & project affiliation.

Access Rules Are
Growing More Complex

The growing number of role derivations required for data-level security is adding complexity and overhead to role management. RBAC alone fails to provide the optimum security level for high-risk data, especially as more users are working remotely and accessing your ERP system from a variety of devices.

Limited Segregation of
Duties (SoD) Visibility

Segregation of Duties policies relying on role-based rules can create unwanted business risk because they lack visibility into attributes that define actual conflicts i of interest. This gap also carries over into SoD audit logs, resulting in excessive false-positives when SoD exceptions have been made.

Appsian Enhances Existing RBAC with Attribute-Based Access Controls


Appsian combines SAP’s role-based access controls with an attribute-based access control solution that delivers an ABAC + RBAC hybrid approach. This approach enables granular control and visibility that delivers a wide range of business benefits and lets you deploy data-centric security policies that leverage the context of access in order to reduce risk. Appsian overcomes traditional controls’ limitations – allowing you to fully align SAP security policies with the objectives of your business and streamline audits and compliance.

Key Benefits

Reduce Your
Attack Surface

Leveraging ABAC, organizations can reduce their amount of accepted risk by applying granular business policies and access controls to strengthen data-level and transaction-level security.

Deploy Dynamic
Data Masking

You can dynamically enforce data masking or outright restriction policies to any field in SAP when using real-time contextual policies that balance security and usability.

Reinforce SoD
Policy Violations

ABAC allows you to apply preventive controls in SoD exception scenarios. By doing so, you can prevent SoD violations while still allowing the flexibility of conflicting roles to be assigned (when necessary) and reinforces role-based policy to mitigate over-provisioning

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