Timely application of security patches for SAP: what to consider?

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SAP (Systems, Applications and Products) software has become the gold standard in today’s businesses. Centralizing and organizing data in an SAP system enables fast and easy access to relevant data. This results in the more efficient management of the different departments of your company, which simplifies and speeds up complex business processes to make them more time and cost-efficient.

What are SAP security patches?

SAP systems are often the target of cyber-attacks because they are useful and often contain highly sensitive and confidential data. Cybercriminals will regularly screen a company’s SAP security to identify security gaps and take advantage of them. It is therefore crucial for companies to protect their SAP systems with security patches. These patches update and improve SAP security and make your SAP applications less susceptible to cyber threats and data breaches.

Today, there are over 4,000 SAP Security Notes for all different types of security corrections to your SAP system. Their installation is tedious and often very time-consuming. On average, it takes up to 100 days. However, a timely application of security patches is crucial and should not be left for later. Here is what to consider when organizing and monitoring security patches for your SAP systems.

Security Patch Management

As with all business processes, the implementation of SAP security patches requires the right management. This includes keeping up to date with the reviewing, testing, and implementing of newly available SAP patches. It is recommended that security patches are implemented as soon as they are available. Long delays keep your SAP system unprotected and put them at risk for cyber-attacks. Make sure that your IT department is provided with sufficient time and resources to manage new security patches in a timely manner. If this is not the case, consider hiring SAP security experts to handle Security Notes and help you with your SAP software corrections.

Staying up to date

Once you have the right team and resources in place, you’ll be ready for the latest security patches. This requires staying up to date with new releases, knowing when to get them, and knowing where to get them. SAP security patches are usually available on the second Tuesday of every month. However, if you want to be on the safe side, be sure to regularly check SAP security patch days. For instance, Securitybridge has a list of all critical SAP security patches for March 2022. Remember, the sooner you patch up your security gaps, the better your SAP software will be protected.

Risk analysis

Not all patches may be equally relevant or urgent for your business, which is why it is important to be aware of your own security priorities and to stay informed about the purpose of different security patches. A thorough screening of your SAP software is vital to identify where the biggest security risks are in your SAP system and whether there are missing patches. These should be immediately reported to the Security & Compliance Management and prioritized over other, lower-risk security gaps that you may encounter.

Choosing the right SAP security patches

Once you’ve performed a security analysis, it is necessary to find available SAP security patches and check for their applicability to the installed base. Every SAP Security Note provides potential workarounds and risk descriptions for a deeper understanding of its purpose, importance, and relevance to your system. If everything is in place, you can start implementing new security patches in your SAP software. Note that there are professional SAP security services that can provide you with all the relevant information, analysis, and management of your SAP security.

Other things to consider

The following points may seem obvious, but they should not be overlooked when implementing SAP security patches. Always remember to have a backup of the system before making any changes. That way you minimize the risk of not being able to access the system and data properly if something goes wrong. To avoid mistakes, it is advisable to study the patch guide thoroughly before initiating the implementation process. If necessary, seek help from SAP security professionals. Finally, SAP security patches may take a while to complete, but there are several processes available to speed up these updates.

Summing up

SAP systems have become a crucial element of today’s businesses. They provide centralized data systems with easy access and management. Precisely because of their value, and the sensitive data they contain, it is important to protect these systems from cyber-attacks. The key to more SAP security lies in the regular implementation of the latest security patches. These updates help you stay one step ahead of cybercriminals who are constantly looking for weak spots in your SAP applications.

Our advice is to stay up to date with the new security patches and identify the most important ones for your business. Don’t shy away from investing sufficient time and resources into your SAP security. If you are doubtful that you can provide appropriate SAP security management in your enterprise, seek help from professionals – prevention is better than cure.

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