Key Challenges In Managing SAP Segregation of Duties (SoD)

    When it comes to introducing the Segregation of Duties (SoD) in SAP, organizations face a time-consuming challenge. Many businesses manually detect potential SAP SoD violations and enforce rules in hindsight. This leads to cumbersome processes that require a lot of time to complete and long working hours. Besides, auditors must review all users who have the potential to commit a violation in search of violations and sift through a multitude of false-positives. Current approaches are becoming unscalable and costly due to the increasing volume and sophistication of job tasks.

    The key challenges are as follows in handling SoD in SAP:

    Inadequate Visibility

    In SAP GRC audit logs, the data and transaction-level granularity required to weed out false positives are missing. They lack insight into the context of the transaction and need extra effort to assess and address SoD breaches.

    Static Policy Limitations

    Based on user roles, access rights and permissions are awarded natively. Role-based access controls (RBACs) are rigid and unyielding; they present a situation of ‘all or nothing’ related to user access. Users can freely access and execute risky transactions in the applications without contextual rules and risk-based constraints.


    Role-based access controls (RBAC) allow organizations to create multiple roles to assign permissions for different job functions and duties. Over time, without regular manual supervision of roles and prompt de-provision of privileges, organizations risk a consumer acquiring unwanted, undue privileges, potentially contributing to SoD violations.

    Manual SoD Controls

    For prevention, organizations rely on manual controls. If risk cannot be controlled with current technical controls, any potential breaches must be reviewed, checked, and treated by others. This technique is slow, diverts time from routine duties, and can lead to violations that are overlooked.

    Complicated Audits

    Audit reporting must be conducted manually using existing capabilities, which can be time-consuming as all user activity in search of any actual breaches is checked by auditors. In addition, current logs lack insight into the context of data needed for risk assessment and fraudulent conduct. It can be vulnerable to errors, unscalable, and increasingly costly to fail to provide sufficient data and manual analysis.

    Managing Compliance

    Segregation of Duties is one of the critical controls over financial transactions and main activities within SAP applications. On the part of organizations, anSoD breach may imply non-compliance with internal governance guidelines and external regulatory policies. Many regulations often impose strict reporting deadlines, and traditional periodic audits may potentially hinder compliance management efforts.

    How To Meet The Challenges?

    SAP customers need to track and drive their Segregation of Duties using a combination of defensive, attribute-based access controls and fine-grained analytics in order to take on the above-described challenges head-on. Instead of retrospectively assessing and remedying compliance violations, they should prevent inappropriate user activity in real-time, preventing a possible infringement. In addition, having fine-grained insight into actual SoD violations streamlines the data collection and reporting process and greatly avoids false positives.

    Data protection solutions are available on the market that add an additional authorization layer to SAP GRC Access Control that correlates user, data, and transaction attributes, along with specified SoD conflicts, to block conflicting transactions at runtime. In SAP transaction activities, such security solutions often provide visibility down to the field level. With this fine-grained visibility, they correlate user, data, and transaction attributes, along with defined SoD conflicts, to detect and report actual SOD violations.


    One of the main facets of SAP ERP applications is SoD. To maintain a competitive advantage for them, investing in ERP data protection solutions that arm organizations with greater visibility and control, along with improved ease, goes a long way.

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