Understanding the Basics of SAP Attribute-Based Access Control

    Attribute-based access control (ABAC) is a technique in which users are granted access rights by using policies composed of attributes that operate together. ABAC uses attributes as the building blocks in order to define access control laws and access requests.

    ABAC is a model of authorization that allows context-aware, nuanced, and risk-intelligent access control. By maintaining policy enforcement transparency, it helps achieve efficient regulatory compliance, reduced time-to-market for new technologies, stable cloud infrastructure, and a top-down governance approach.

    SAP and Attribute-Based Access Control

    Attribute-based access control (ABAC) in a standardized language uses attributes as building blocks that define rules for access control and explain access requests. Attributes are collections of marks or properties that can be used to identify all entities which need to be considered for authorization purposes.

    SAP has an authorization management system that, using the ABAC feature, allows protected access to company data in SAP applications. That means, to evaluate the rights of each user, the software uses real-time contextual information from multiple sources. When deciding whether to allow access, SAP’s authorization management draws data on the user’s account profile, history of prior authorization requests, and the individual’s device. This also relates to the status of the particular business details that the individual wants to access and the task that the person needs to conduct. Besides, the app also takes into account specific considerations, including the geographical location and nationality of a user.

    XACML: The Default Standard

    Attribute-based access control (ABAC) is typically implemented via XACML, which has become the industry’s default standard for enterprise applications. The terminology employed in the XACML policy is as descriptive as a natural language. The Policy Administration Point (PAP), Policy Enforcement Point (PEP), Policy Decision Point (PDP), and Policy Information Point (PIP) are critical elements of the XACML architecture. The key advantage of separating these fields is the ability to change authorization policies quickly and minimize continuous system maintenance rapidly.

    Access Controls Based on Policy

    The evaluation of attributes allows for effective policy-based authorization. Attributes are also collected inside the networks from the various information systems. In order to respond to the request for authorization, a regulation will then combine the data status of several structures. Authorization, therefore, allows workflows to be implemented that incorporate IT support from various IT systems, something that is nearly impossible with conventional models of access control.

    SAP ABAC: Major Advantages

    In order to promote collaboration while strengthening enforcement and enterprise data protection, SAP ABAC provides dynamic, attribute-based access control (ABAC).

    SAP ABAC also lets you secure ERP data without losing performance. It permits the introduction of protective policies before data is transmitted during transaction execution; features simple policies that business owners easily manage; supports the immediate implementation across the entire user base of new access control policies.

    Authorization management by SAP makes you forge healthy partnerships across business verticals; establish clear access management policies across enterprise-wide SAP applications; improving data security by data sharing compliance and access policies; meet regulatory obligations effectively and simplify compliance-related reporting.

    It also helps meet SAP ABAC enforcement obligations. It provides features to satisfy data confidentiality and non-disclosure requirements; enables the establishment of compliant and coherent data segregation rules; audits the use of sensitive information.

    As part of granular access control, it applies contextual real-time data from different sources; draws data from user account profiles; examines the status of the unique data object a user needs access to.


    There is still scope for a data breach, despite all the features mentioned above, as the recent rise in instances of phishing attacks across organizations has demonstrated. Therefore, it is critical for organizations to invest in additional data security and analytics systems that provide robust data protection and also help enterprises in meeting mandatory data privacy guidelines.

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