RBAC-ABAC Hybrid Approach Offers Numerous Advantages

    In identity and access management (IAM), Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC) and Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) are two types of authentication process control and SAP user authorization. Over the years, due to the rising complexity of access rules and the exponential number of staff accessing useful ERP data remotely, SAP’s traditional RBAC approach has reached its limits.

    By using an attribute-based layer of access controls beyond traditional role-based controls, companies may simplify the compliance of governance policies consistent with foreign trade legislation, segregation of duties (SAP SoD), or segregation of access between different business units. When considering ABAC vs. RBAC, there is a need to expand and modernizes the current security model of SAP by using contextual attributes to incorporate a fine-grain approach to user access.

    SAP Role-Based Access Controls: The Limitations

    Complex User Provisioning 

    Depending on static, role-based access controls forces some sort of a compromise between security and business objectives in dynamic environments. Extensive customizations for authorization logic based on contextual attributes such as IP address, location, nationality, business unit & project affiliation are required to minimize friction while preserving protection.

    Growing Complexity of Access Rules

    Adding complexity and overhead to role management is the rising number of role derivations needed for data-level protection. RBAC alone does not provide the optimum level of security for high-risk data, particularly when more users operate remotely and access your ERP system from a variety of devices. 

    Limited Segregation of Duties (SoD) Visibility

    SoD policies based on role-based rules may generate unnecessary business risk due to a lack of visibility into attributes that identify real conflicts of interest. This discrepancy often spills over into SoD audit logs where SoD exceptions have been made, resulting in unnecessary false-positives.

    RBAC with Attribute-Based Access Controls (ABAC): Key Advantages

    A combination of role-based access controls of SAP (SAP RBAC) with an access control solution based on attributes can deliver an ABAC + RBAC hybrid approach. This approach allows for granular control and visibility that offers a wide range of business advantages and allows you to enforce data-centered security policies that exploit the access context to minimize risk. This model overcomes conventional controls’ weaknesses – enabling you to match SAP security policies entirely with your business goals and streamline audits and enforcement.

    Reduce Your Threat Surface

    Using ABAC, companies can reduce their agreed risk by implementing granular business policies and access controls to improve protection at the data level and transaction level.

    Apply Dynamic Data Masking

    Using real-time contextual policies that combine security and usability, you can dynamically implement data masking or outright restriction policies for any field in SAP.

    Reinforce SoD Policy Violations

    In SoD exception situations, ABAC helps you to apply preventive controls. Doing so, SoD violations can be avoided while also allowing the flexibility of assigning contradictory roles (when necessary) and improving role-based policy to prevent over-provisioning.


    In today’s digital world, data security has assumed great significance. With increasing instances of hacking and data theft, enterprises must brace themselves with the right type of data security solutions. Adding to this requirement are the regulations that have been enacted or are in the offing such as CCPA, SOX, GDPR, etc. It’s high time organizations secured their data by implementing the right solution.

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