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DSAG Technology Days 2023

SAP Cybersecurity in the Sovereign Cloud

DSAG Technology Days 2023

In recent years, the concept of the sovereign cloud has emerged as a crucial development in the realm of cybersecurity. Governments and organizations worldwide are increasingly adopting sovereign cloud solutions to protect sensitive data and ensure national security. However, while sovereign clouds offer unique advantages, they also pose new challenges, particularly in the domain of SAP cybersecurity. In this blog post, we will delve into the implications of sovereign clouds on SAP cybersecurity and discuss the emerging challenges that organizations must address.

A sovereign cloud refers to a cloud infrastructure or platform that is owned, managed, and operated by a government or a trusted entity within a country. It offers organizations the ability to store and process data within their national borders, enabling greater control over data sovereignty and compliance with local regulations. Sovereign clouds are often regarded as a safeguard against external threats, providing a more secure environment for critical operations and sensitive information.

Some years ago, Bruce Schneier wrote about the “Unchanging Nature of attackers.” Making an analogy, one could understand that Sovereign Clouds are a kind of digitalization of the State and its functions, in SAP words, the space for the Public Sector cloud migrations.

SAP is widely used by organizations for their business operations, including finance, procurement, and supply chain management. As SAP systems handle vast amounts of sensitive data, ensuring robust cybersecurity is paramount to prevent unauthorized access, data breaches, or service disruptions. However, with the adoption of sovereign clouds, the cybersecurity landscape for SAP faces new complexities.

Condense Attack Surfaces: While sovereign clouds offer enhanced security measures, they also present a new unified attack surface. Organizations must recognize that the move to a sovereign cloud environment introduces new entry points for potential cyber threats. Ensuring holistic security measures that encompass not only the sovereign cloud infrastructure but also the SAP applications and systems is critical. In a way, sovereign cloud repositories will be high-value and irresistible targets for attacker, from professional hacking teams operating from thousands of kilometers away, as well as angry employees driven by revenge.

Challenges in SAP Cybersecurity with Sovereign Clouds

Sovereign clouds often operate on a shared responsibility model, where the cloud provider takes care of infrastructure security while customers are responsible for securing their applications and data. Understanding and adhering to this model is crucial to avoid gaps in security and ensure comprehensive protection for SAP systems.

In any cloud migration, there is a delegation of responsibilities, including a portion of infrastructure security. However, Trust is not good governance, and secondly, if the boundaries between compliance and security are sometimes ambiguous, the boundaries of responsibility between the provider and the client will be even more so.

Migrating SAP systems to sovereign clouds require careful planning and execution. Integrating on-premises systems with sovereign cloud environments necessitates establishing secure connections, configuring firewalls, and implementing appropriate access controls. Failure to address these integration challenges could lead to vulnerabilities and compromise the overall security posture.

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Addressing the Challenges: To mitigate the cybersecurity challenges posed by sovereign clouds, organizations should adopt a proactive and multi-layered approach.

Conducting comprehensive risk assessments and vulnerability scans of SAP systems before migration to a sovereign cloud. Implementing secure configuration practices and regularly patching SAP systems to address any known vulnerabilities. Solutions like Protect4S’s SAP Vulnerability Management not only help streamline the execution of these security processes but also enable many of them to be automated.

Conclusion: As sovereign clouds gain prominence in the cybersecurity landscape, organizations need to recognize the unique challenges they present, particularly in the context of SAP cybersecurity. By understanding the integration complexities, shared responsibility model, compliance requirements, and the expanded attack surface, organizations can take the necessary steps to protect their SAP systems and, in this process, Protect4S’s SAP Vulnerability Management can be a key catalyst.

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