IBM Security Verify

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Strengthen the Security of Your SAP BTP Applications with IBM Security Verify

By Tushar Trivedi posted Wed September 13, 2023 06:37 AM

  

Introduction

According to a survey conducted by Google, a minimum of 65% of individuals resort to the practice of utilising the same passwords for multiple, if not all, online platforms. In a separate recent study, it was revealed that despite 91% of participants asserting their awareness of the hazards linked to password reuse across various accounts, a considerable 59% conceded to engaging in this risky behavior nonetheless. (Reference : https://www.enzoic.com/blog/8-stats-on-password-reuse/ )

In the contemporary landscape of digitisation, ensuring a robust and impregnable method for accessing your applications has become an imperative. In this regard, the combined prowess of SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) and IBM Security Verify emerges as an instrumental solution. SAP BTP stands as a cutting-edge cloud-centric platform, affording you the capabilities to meticulously construct, execute, and oversee your applications. Meanwhile, IBM Security Verify is an identity and access management solution protecting users and applications such as single sign-on, password-less authentication, MFA/2FA etc., imparting an additional stratum of protection to fortify your applications. Through the strategic fusion of SAP BTP and IBM Security Verify, a fortified ecosystem is forged, wherein users can confidently traverse and engage with their applications. This synergy not only elevates the security quotient but also empowers users to navigate the digital realm with heightened assurance and peace of mind.

IBM Security Verify bolsters the security of SAP BTP applications e.g. by introducing multi-factor authentication (MFA), requiring users to provide two forms of identification. This fortification thwarts unauthorised access effectively. The user experience is streamlined as MFA eliminates the need for multiple passwords; a single mobile-received code suffices. Implementation of IBM Security Verify also yields cost benefits, as it obviates the need for pricier security measures like VPNs while delivering equivalent protection. Moreover, compliance with regulations like GDPR and PCI DSS is facilitated, thanks to IBM Security Verify's utilisation of advanced security standards, ensuring data protection. Now, we'll delve into the architecture of the integration between IBM Security Verify and SAP BTP.

Platform users, Business users, Sub-account administrators, Directory administrators, Service administrators, Consumer identity authentication administrator, and Consumer sub-account administrator are all forms of users in SAP BTP. Platform users and Business users, on the other hand, are the most common. Platform users are members of global accounts and sub-accounts who install, operate, and troubleshoot applications and services. They are often developers, administrators, or operators. Business users utilise the SaaS solution in the consumer tenant on a daily basis. Business analysts, process owners, and other users who require access to the SAP BTP applications and services may be among them. IBM Security Verify can efficiently identify between SAP BTP Platform users and SAP BTP Business users, ensuring that proper access and permissions are allowed to each user type inside the BTP and to accomplish this, IBM Security Verify employs the characteristics listed below.

Features offered by SAP BTP + IBM Security Verify

Centralised user management: To manage people, their attributes, connections, and applications, IBM Security Verify provides a cloud-based identity and access management (IAM) solution that interacts easily with SAP BTP. User administration is streamlined and location-independent with a centralised user management interface available through admin UI and REST APIs. IBM Security Verify supports SCIM 2.0, which enables automatic user provisioning to apps and endpoints, eliminating mistakes. The platform also allows for the connecting of different identities, which is useful for user migration and scenarios requiring accounts from several systems such as social network providers. Benefits of integrating IBM Security Verify with SAP BTP include improved user management efficiency, error reduction via SCIM 2.0, better management flexibility via identity linking, and higher application security. 

Multi-factor authentication (MFA): IBM Security Verify integrates seamlessly with SAP BTP to enable a variety of multi-factor authentication techniques, such as knowledge questions, SMS/email/voice OTPs, time-based OTPs, push notification approval through the IBM Security Verify app, and biometric approval through fingerprint or face recognition. Granular access controls based on contextual variables, such as network, geographic location, device fingerprinting, and user/group traits, are enabled by the platform. MFA features may be exploited even without registration via a "push-button" method, allowing authentication using current identity providers such as Google or Microsoft. Integrating IBM Security Verify with SAP BTP adds an extra layer of protection to applications and data, effectively protecting against unauthorised access and data breaches.

User lifecycle management: The combination of IBM Security Verify and SAP BTP creates a dynamic solution for application access management. Organisations may match user access with corporate governance workflows by effortlessly integrating the two, guaranteeing rigorous reasoning and approvals without the burden of flow editors. Additionally, this connection automates user onboarding and off-boarding, saving time and reducing mistakes. IBM Security Verify improves productivity by automating user provisioning and de-provisioning with ready-made adapters for popular apps such as Google, Microsoft 365, Box, and ZenDesk. Furthermore, the platform supports bespoke connections to SCIM 2.0-compliant apps, increasing adaptability. In essence, the combination of IBM Security Verify and SAP BTP significantly improves the security and operational efficiency of application access management, and this comprehensive integration serves as a strong deterrent against unauthorised access and data breaches, ultimately contributing to organisational resilience.

Single sign-on: IBM Security Verify and SAP BTP integration provides a strong single sign-on (SSO) solution, facilitating user access to apps. Users authenticate once using IBM Security Verify credentials to obtain access to all applications. With a plethora of pre-built application connections, setup becomes a breeze, supported by side-by-side configuration and user-friendly implementation instructions. This open-standards-based interface supports a wide range of application formats, providing flexibility. IBM Security Verify serves as an authentication broker, connecting users to apps regardless of location or chosen SSO technique. The advantages are substantial: increased security through unified authentication, increased operational efficiency through automated user provisioning, easier management via a centralised portal, and improved compliance with multiple regulatory frameworks. For organisations looking to strengthen security, streamline processes, and improve SAP BTP application administration.

Password-less authentication: The combination of IBM Security Verify and SAP BTP adds a new layer to user authentication: passwordless access. This revolutionary solution eliminates the need for users to remember or enter passwords for application access. For authentication, a variety of passwordless solutions, including the powerful FIDO2 WebAuthn standard, can be used. To authenticate users, FIDO2 WebAuthn uses biometrics such as fingerprints or face recognition. This enhanced security solution outperforms traditional passwords, which may be guessed or stolen. The combination of IBM Security Verify and SAP BTP not only improves user authentication security but also increases agility. This combined benefit significantly reduces the danger of unauthorised application access while increasing user convenience and efficiency.

Architecture and Integration

In this scenario, when a user initiates access to a SAP BTP application, their initial authentication occurs through SAP BTP's IAM service. Once authenticated, the user is subsequently directed to IBM Security Verify to fulfil the multi-factor authentication (MFA) procedure. A unique one-time code is dispatched by IBM Security Verify to the user, requiring input for authentication finalisation. Upon successful verification from IBM Security Verify, the user gains entry to SAP BTP services.

Business use case:

Flying Carpet Enterprises (fictional name) is a leading global organisation that relies on its SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) to run its business. SAP BTP helps Flying Carpet streamline operations, manage inventory, and communicate with suppliers and customers. As Flying Carpet expands its operations worldwide, it is critical that the company ensure the security of its sensitive data and processes within the SAP BTP environment.

Flying Carpet Enterprises is aware that the danger of cyberattacks and data breaches is increasing. They must strengthen the security of their SAP BTP environment in order to protect critical business information and maintain the trust of their stakeholders. Traditional username and password authentication methods have been shown to be vulnerable, necessitating the implementation of a more robust and effective security solution.

Flying Carpet Enterprises has adopted IBM Security Verify MFA for SAP BTP to create a strong and multi-layered authentication system. This integration with IBM Security Verify's cloud-based MFA solution ensures that only authorised personnel can access the SAP BTP environment, mitigating the risk of unauthorised data breaches and cyberattacks. The implementation of IBM Security Verify MFA for SAP BTP involves the following steps:

  1. User enrolment: Employees, suppliers, and partners are enrolled in the IBM Security Verify MFA system. During enrolment, users are prompted to choose their preferred authentication method, such as SMS, push notifications, or TOTP.

  2. Access control: Upon attempting to log in to the SAP BTP environment, users are required to provide their standard username and password, followed by a second authentication factor provided by IBM Security Verify MFA.

  3. Multi-factor authentication: IBM Security Verify MFA generates and sends a one-time passcode (OTP) to the user's registered device using the chosen authentication method. The user then enters this OTP to complete the login process.

By following these steps, Flying Carpet Enterprises has implemented a secure and effective MFA solution that can help to protect their SAP BTP environment from unauthorised access.

Flying Carpet Enterprises has adopted IBM Security Verify MFA for its SAP BTP environment to address its security concerns. This comprehensive MFA solution safeguards critical data and operations, while providing a secure and user-friendly experience for its global workforce. By implementing IBM Security Verify MFA, Flying Carpet Enterprises has ensured that the company remains resilient against evolving cybersecurity threats while maintaining the efficiency and productivity of its supply chain management processes.

Conclusion

IBM Security Verify is a secure and convenient way to offer extra layer to defence SAP BTP environment which makes it more difficult for unauthorised users to access your system. The integration of IBM Security Verify with SAP BTP transforms security from a hindrance into an enabler. It allows businesses to innovate, explore, and excel in the digital landscape with confidence. This integration ushers in a new era of secure, streamlined, and empowered operations.

As we embrace the future, we must remember that the strength of our defences will be measured by the resilience of our innovations. The fusion of IBM Security Verify and SAP BTP embodies this resilience, forging a path toward a more secure and prosperous digital journey.

For information about IBM Security solutions for SAP, please visit the following blog: 

IBM's Comprehensive Security for SAP

To learn more about IBM Security Verify and SAP BTP, please visit the following resources:

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