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IBM's Comprehensive Security for SAP

By Tushar Trivedi posted Fri September 08, 2023 07:31 AM

IBM Security

SAP systems are mission-critical applications and a primary target for threat actors. Some relevant figures of a Check Point survey published by Forbes on May, 2023 shows the concerns of organisations: The global cyber-attacks Rose by 7% already in Q1 2023. Weekly cyber-attacks have increased worldwide by 7% in Q1 2023 compared to the same period last year, with each firm facing an average of 1248 attacks per week. (Source: )

Therefore security for SAP systems is crucial to protect sensitive data, maintain business continuity, comply with regulations, mitigate cyber threats, preserve trust and reputation, and gain a competitive edge in the market. This is even more true for cloud environments.

With SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), SAP provides a multicloud platform deployed on cloud providers and there are various security controls that SAP implements. But, security and compliance for cloud environments work within a shared responsibility model where clients need to implement and ensure their portion is covered as well, especially when this is part of their enterprise landscapes. Those responsibilities include:

  • Data Protection
    SAP systems typically contain vast amounts of sensitive data, including financial records, customer information, employee data, and intellectual property. Ensuring the security of these systems is essential to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the data from unauthorised access, manipulation, or disclosure.

  • Business Continuity
    SAP systems are often the backbone of an organisation’s operations, managing crucial business processes such as financial management, supply chain management, human resources, and customer relationship management. Any security breach or compromise in these systems can disrupt business operations, leading to financial losses, reputational damage, and even legal consequences. Robust security measures help maintain the continuity of business operations and minimise the risk of disruptions.

  • Regulatory Compliance
    Many industries and jurisdictions have specific regulations and compliance requirements to enhance the security for sensitive data and protecting the privacy of individuals. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union imposes strict data protection obligations on organisations. By implementing strong security measures, organisations using SAP systems can help ensure compliance with these regulations, avoiding penalties and legal consequences.

  • Protection against Cyber Threats
    SAP systems, like any other enterprise software, are vulnerable to a wide range of cyber threats, including hacking attempts, malware infections, ransomware attacks, and insider threats. Cybercriminals are continuously evolving their techniques, making it crucial for organisations to keep their SAP systems secure and up to date to defend against these threats. A robust security framework helps in detecting and mitigating potential vulnerabilities, reducing the risk of successful cyber-attacks.

  • Trust and Reputation
    Security breaches and data leaks can severely damage an organisation’s reputation and erode customer trust. Customers, business partners, and stakeholders expect organisations to handle their data responsibly and securely. By prioritising security in SAP systems, organisations demonstrate their commitment to protecting sensitive information, fostering trust, and maintaining a positive reputation.

  • Competitive Advantage
    In today’s interconnected business environment, organisations that can demonstrate strong security practices and provide assurance to their customers and partners tend to have a competitive advantage. Customers are more likely to choose vendors and partners with robust security measures in place, as it reduces the risk of data breaches and ensures the protection of their valuable information.

Using IBM Security as an additional security layer on SAP BTP

When it comes to SAP security, there are several options available in the market that can help organisations protect their valuable data and systems from cyber threats. IBM Security offers a number of products designed to add an extra security layer for organisations’ invaluable data and systems from the ever-present menace of cyber threats.

Among these, IBM Security QRadar Suite is an advanced solution that helps ensure comprehensive threat detection and response capabilities. To add an extra layer of security for sensitive data, IBM Security Guardium assist, empowering organisations to fortify their defences and shield their valuable information. Meanwhile, IBM Security Verify can help assist organisations in verifying user identities, reinforcing the overall security posture.

To delve deeper into each tool’s functionality and its contributions to enhancing security for SAP BTP, let us examine them individually.

IBM Security QRadar Suite

IBM Security QRadar Suite is a comprehensive solution for security information and event management (SIEM). Its purpose is to assist organisations in diligently monitoring and analysing their IT infrastructure, thereby identifying potential security threats and incidents. The QRadar Suite encompasses advanced functionalities that enable enhanced threat detection, streamlined incident response, and efficient compliance management.

Integrating SAP with IBM Security QRadar Suite can help significantly enhance security operations for organisations. This integration enables real-time monitoring, detection, and response to security threats. By collecting and analysing security events from various sources, QRadar Suite provides advanced threat detection capabilities and alerts organisations to potential security incidents promptly. The SAP integration also facilitates compliance monitoring, which can help meet regulatory requirements by monitoring user activities and system events in real-time. Additionally, it offers centralised management for security incidents, streamlining the handling of security threats.

Overall, integrating SAP and QRadar Suite empowers organisations to improve their security posture, enhance visibility, and effectively manage security events and incidents.

IBM Security Guardium

IBM Security Guardium is a robust data security and compliance solution that helps organisations protect sensitive data across diverse data platforms and environments. With features like data discovery and classification, it is designed to identify and categorises sensitive data based on predefined policies, enabling organisations to understand its location and implement appropriate protection measures.

IBM Security Guardium offers real-time data activity monitoring, capturing and analysing data access to detect suspicious or unauthorised activities. It provides data protection through encryption, supports vulnerability and configuration management, and assists with compliance and audit reporting. Additionally, Guardium’s database firewall component acts as a security perimeter, preventing unauthorised access and defending against database-specific threats. Its integration capabilities help ensure seamless connectivity with various data platforms and security technologies, creating a comprehensive security ecosystem.

IBM Security Guardium can help you add an extra layer of security to certain your SAP HANA database by implementing a range of security measures, including data discovery and classification, access monitoring and auditing, database activity monitoring, privileged user monitoring, vulnerability assessment, encryption and masking, reporting, integration, and continuous monitoring.

To add an extra protection layer for SAP HANA using IBM Security Guardium, we need to leverage data discovery and classification, enable access monitoring and auditing, implement database activity monitoring, monitor privileged user activities, perform vulnerability assessments, employ encryption and masking, generate compliance reports, ensure integration with SAP HANA, and conduct ongoing monitoring and maintenance. These measures help identify sensitive data, monitor access, detect abnormal behaviour, address vulnerabilities, secure data with encryption, comply with regulations, establish integration, and stay vigilant against potential risks.

IBM Security Verify

IBM Security Verify is a platform designed to authenticate the identities of users, offering organisations a reliable identity verification solution. It employs multiple factors, such as biometrics, behavioural analytics, and device information, to help ensure accurate identity verification. IBM Verify serves various purposes, including authentication, authorisation, and fraud prevention. IBM Security Verify brings several advantages, including heightened security by using multiple verification factors, an improved user experience through a seamless verification process, and compliance with regulations such as GDPR and PCI DSS. 

SAP BTP is an application development and management platform hosted on the cloud, enabling businesses to create and manage their applications seamlessly. When SAP BTP integrates with IBM Security Verify, it enhances the security of SAP BTP applications and helps provide robust protection against fraudulent activities for users. By combining these two platforms, organizations can help ensure a more secure and trustworthy environment for their SAP BTP applications. SAP BTP with IBM Security Verify benefits include:

  • Strengthened security: By leveraging a range of verification factors, IBM Security Verify helps ensure user authentication, making it significantly more challenging for fraudsters to impersonate legitimate users. This integration fortifies SAP BTP applications, helping to mitigate unauthorised access and the risk of data breaches.

  • Enhanced user experience: IBM Security Verify streamlines the identity verification process, providing users with a seamless experience. This simplicity contributes to improved user satisfaction when interacting with SAP BTP applications, resulting in fewer instances of abandoned login attempts and smoother user journeys.

  • Regulatory compliance: IBM Security Verify helps facilitate compliance with various regulations, such as GDPR and PCI DSS. By adhering to these standards, organisations can avoid costly fines and penalties associated with non-compliance, helping ensure that their SAP BTP applications meet the necessary regulatory requirements.

Integrating SAP BTP with IBM Security Verify not only helps bolster security measures but also elevates the user experience while helping organisations stay compliant with relevant regulations. This powerful combination enhances the overall effectiveness and trustworthiness of SAP BTP applications.


The integration of IBM Security QRadar Suite, IBM Security Guardium, and IBM Security Verify with SAP BTP and SAP HANA provides organisations with a comprehensive security solution for their SAP environments. It enhances threat detection and response capabilities, add an extra protection for sensitive SAP data, and ensures user and device authentication for SAP applications. This integration helps strengthen the organisation’s security posture, which can lead to reducing the risk of data breaches and unauthorised access. Adding an additional security layer for reputation, financial well-being and compliance, helps organisations to confidently operate and secure applications in SAP BTP.

To learn more about how clients around the world are leveraging IBM Security solutions visit . Calculate the cost of a data breach for your organisation visit

Please check the following blogs for additional information on specific IBM security solutions for SAP :