Anton Grening
Author: Anton Grening

Monitor SAP authorizations smarter with dab:AuthorizationAssurance

With an adaptive algorithm, dab:AuthorizationAssurance adds an important dimension to the SAP authorization auditing.

Rule-compliant SAP authorization management with a focus on effective Segregation of Duties has always been the key to avoid damages caused by misuse, user errors and legal violations. Currently, many companies are using the conversion to SAP S/4HANA as an opportunity to critically review the effectiveness of their SAP authorization concept. But what characterizes a modern solution for analyzing the compliance of SAP authorization management? In addition to automation and intuitive user guidance, the three test strategies detective, preventive and adaptive are of essential importance.

Preventive & Detective - Potential Risks vs. Actual Rule Violations

Many SAP authorization auditing solutions only cover the preventive aspect of monitoring (preventive). They use a conflict matrix with can-do queries to identify potentially critical authorization combinations. In everyday practice, this method is not sufficient for concretely assessing risks: After all, how can SoD (Segregation of Duties) violations that have already occurred be identified?

To answer this question, retrospective analytics (detective) are needed. These not only examine the authorization objects, profiles and roles of users, but also check the respective transactions for specific violations. Any anomalies can be reported to the auditors or the responsible specialist department for follow-up.

Preventive checks with weak points

The combination of preventive and retrospective analytics appears at first glance to offer comprehensive protection. However, companies must clearly define which authorization combinations result in risks as part of the parameterization process. This is a problem - because not all risk factors are obvious.

Often, the checking algorithm is only optimized accordingly after a loss event has occurred. The highly dynamic nature of corporate reality, personnel changes, system changes, and data migrations ensure that the sets of rules used for auditing quickly become obsolete.


The future belongs to AI-based auditing

With dab:AuthorizationAssurance, we offer a solution that includes adaptive checks in addition to preventive and detective checks. State-of-the-art machine learning algorithms monitor the authorization objects, roles and profiles assigned to the user and identify unusual authorization combinations. This is done via AI-based pattern recognition, which enables the identification of outliers.


SAP authorization checks with AI

This adaptive approach does not replace the preventive methodology. Rather, it eliminates its weakness, as users become aware of potential risk factors before damage occurs - without having to define a corresponding rule in advance. Companies not only gain security with the triangulation of methods, but also measurable efficiency. Users can manage the entire analysis cycle from a single platform with this solution: From data extraction to analytics to visualization, all processes can be executed automatically. If unusual authorizations or transactions are identified, users can directly access the process in SAP with one click. Since continuous analyses are easily possible through dab:AuthorizationAssurance, companies can be sure that their SAP authorizations are audited according to the current rules at any time, before or after a migration to SAP S/4HANA.

Would you like to learn more about these three different approaches to fully check authorizations in the SAP system? Then please feel free to contact us. We look forward to answering your questions and presenting the solution in detail. 

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