Although there is a very strong sense of security and compliance management in a SAP setting, it often eludes decision-makers. Executives view security and compliance management with a mixture of confusion and apprehension.
The irony is that compliance laws are intended to protect your assets, clients, and reputation. But to benefit from them, you need to understand how it’s structured and how it fits into your SAP landscape and your business as a whole.
SAP GRC And Compliance Management
Compliance management refers to the controls to restrict and monitor how users reach, view, and modify information within the SAP landscape. These activities are conducted by a Governance, Risk, and Compliance program. These compliance management tasks include:
· Establishing an internal control structure
· Certifying the correctness of financial statements
· Preventing tampering
· Validating the effectiveness of internal controls
· Reporting detailed financial information
· Disclosing conflicts of interests
The GRC software monitors user access to identify potential segregation of duty and excessive access risks. For example, a single user should not be able to complete multiple sections of a business transaction, alter a transaction record, or modify a financial report to remove or separate details from the database. Tracking unnecessary access is also a top priority, as important business transactions can only be provided to appropriate people to prevent fraud and errors.
GRC systems will need to track financial controls and check all the access and adjustments to records in order to establish an audit trail. This facilitates authentication of sensitive information, allows administrators and auditors to identify suspicious system activity and bugs, and provides a strong disincentive against fraud, leaks, and tampering.
Finally, the GRC program requires, according to compliance guidelines, to be able to coordinate and report on the efficacy of controls while maintaining adequate access control.
Customers, auditors, and investors will all need access to different amounts of information. Many of the data auditors require could breach confidentiality or disclose trade secrets if shared with other parties. The compliance management program also has to account for conflicts of interest and other non-financial details.
Compliance management is essential to nearly all that the company does. It’s how you audit records of payroll, sales, or HR and preserve the integrity and confidentiality of information. If it’s a trade secret, a 21 CFR 11 medical report, or HIPAA PHI, compliance management keeps it safe.
Compliance and Cybersecurity
GRC prevents individuals from misusing the system, while cybersecurity stops them from breaking in.
The different things that each compliance regime says about cybersecurity leave individuals confused. PCI, for example, provides basic technical safeguards such as open network encryption, firewalls, and deletion of default passwords, while HIPAA highlights wider concepts, instruction, and legal mechanisms such as BAAs. But under a security best practices approach, the differences are still pretty minor.
Quality Management And Process Documentation
It may sound simple, but cybersecurity and compliance management programs will not go far unless the organization implements and uses them consistently, and that requires consistent process documentation. From network configuration to access control to routine system health checks and maintenance, it is important to spell out all clearly and succinctly; the goal is to provide simple documents that spell out all the necessary tasks.
Integrating this documentation into a quality management program is critical. While quality management is not exclusively based on security and compliance, there are essential functions in many aspects of this field, including technology policies, SOPs, audit procedures, training, record tracking, and audit trails. Nearly always, it needs outside help to get it all together.
Managed Services: Bundling Security and Compliance
Businesses that once had separate hosting firms, IT project management, admin, and so on are transitioning to an integrated approach in the field of SAP hosting and managed services, citing benefits such as lower costs, increased flexibility, higher knowledge base, and less overhead for administration. Activities such as IT security auditing, physical security auditing, GRC, monitoring, and incident response, however, are also farmed out to a network of different security and compliance management vendors.
However, the benefits of a single managed services solution that incorporates protection and compliance are now starting to be seen by companies. This approach helps you leverage the supplier’s internal controls and knowledge base, along with their auditing framework. The people who audit, monitor, and harden your system will work closely with the people who run it, which means better teamwork, quicker performance, and lower administrative overhead.
It also provides legal defense in the case of a hack, assault, or outage. Successful hacks also exploit hardware configuration bugs, patching software, GRC, training, tracking, and other domains at the same time.
The most secure businesses see SAP compliance management and security requirements not as roadblocks but as a way to protect their properties. Governance, risk, and compliance provides a powerful framework to ensure SAP security and protect the organization from errors, misuse, and costly failures, and sector-specific compliance frameworks provide similar fortification against external threats.