SAP HANA Security: Complete Tutorial

October 26, 2022

Center of Excellence

Are you using SAP HANA? If so, it's imperative that you understand the security features and options available to you. This complete tutorial will show you everything you need to know about SAP HANA security. We'll cover user management, authorization checks, and more. By the end of this tutorial, you'll be able to secure your SAP HANA environment with confidence!

What is SAP HANA Security?

SAP HANA security is the process of securing the SAP HANA platform and its data. It includes authentication, authorization, and auditing measures to ensure that only authorized users can access SAP HANA data and resources. SAP HANA is a complex system with many different components and configurations. As a result, securing SAP HANA can be a challenge.

The most important part of SAP HANA security is ensuring that only authorized users can access the system. This can be accomplished through various methods, including user roles and privileges, network security, and data encryption.

SAP HANA User and Role Management

SAP HANA offers a complete user management system that allows you to control access to your data and applications. User and role management are critical to SAP HANA administration, as it helps ensure that only authorized users can access sensitive data.

User and role management in SAP HANA are based on two distinct architecture models, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. These are 3-Tier Architecture and 2-Tier Architecture.

  • 3-Tier Architecture is the most common and involves a client computer accessing an application server, which then accesses the database server.
  • 2-Tier Architecture removes the middleman and allows the client computer to access the database server directly.

SAP HANA Network Security

It's vital to protect your company's SAP HANA system with a well-organized network security system. By doing so, you're deterring any possible attacks and unauthorized access.

There are a few key components to consider when configuring network security for your SAP HANA system:

  • Firewalls: Firewalls are an essential part of any network security system, and they should be configured to allow only authorized traffic to pass through to your SAP HANA system.
  • Authentication and authorization: SAP HANA supports multiple authentication methods, including LDAP, Kerberos, and X.509 certificates.
  • Auditing and logging: Auditing and logging are important tools for monitoring your SAP HANA system activity.
  • Patch management: Be sure to keep your SAP HANA system up to date with the latest security patches.

SAP HANA Data Encryption

SAP HANA data encryption capabilities help firms safeguard their information from prying eyes. Data encryption changes readable data into an unreadable format by using an encryption algorithm. Encrypted data can only be decoded by authorized individuals with the corresponding decryption key.

SAP HANA offers two types of data encryption: column-level and table-level. Column-level encryption encrypts specific columns of data within a table, while table-level encryption encrypts all data within a table. SAP HANA also supports transparent data encryption, which encrypts the entire database, including backups.

Organizations must carefully consider their security needs when deciding which type of data encryption to use.

  • Column-level encryption is more targeted and can encrypt sensitive data, such as customer credit card information, without encrypting the entire database.
  • Table-level encryption is a more comprehensive approach but can impact performance since all data within the table must be encrypted and decrypted. Transparent data encryption provides the highest level of security but can also have the biggest impact on performance.

SAP HANA provides several features to effectively manage data encryption needs, including key management, auditing, and reporting.

  1. Key management allows administrators to generate, rotate, and revoke encryption keys.
  2. Auditing provides a way to track who accesses encrypted data and when.
  3. Reporting provides visibility into which tables and columns are encrypted and the status of encryption keys.

SAP HANA Authentication

The most common forms of authentication for SAP HANA are SAP Logon and Assertion Tickets, user name and password, X.509 Client Certificates, and Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML).

  • SAP Logon Tickets are digital signatures that allow users to log into SAP systems securely.
  • User name and password is the most basic form of authentication and is typically used in conjunction with other methods such as SAML or SAP Logon Tickets.
  • X.509 Client Certificates are digital certificates that can authenticate users in various scenarios, including SAP HANA.
  • SAML is an XML-based standard for single sign-on that allows users to authenticate with multiple systems using a single set of credentials.

Digital signatures are an essential part of authentication in SAP HANA. They allow the system to verify that a user is who they say they are and that the data they are trying to access has not been tampered with. SAP HANA supports a variety of digital signature algorithms, including RSA, DSA, and ECDSA.

SAP HANA can also be secured with Kerberos, which is a network authentication mechanism that employs secret-key cryptography to verify the identity of clients and servers. When used in conjunction with SAML or SAP Logon Tickets, Kerberos can offer a high level of security for SAP HANA.

Digital certificates are another critical part of authentication in SAP HANA. They are used to verify the identity of users and to encrypt data. SAP HANA supports various digital certificate formats, including X.509, PEM, and DER.

SAP HANA Authorization

The SAP HANA authorization process ensures that only users with the appropriate permissions can access sensitive data and perform restricted actions. This allows organizations to keep their system secure while still allowing users the functionality they need.

The SAP HANA system has a predefined set of authorizations required for various system tasks. Administrators can modify these stored authorizations in the SAP HANA database as needed.

In addition to the predefined authorizations, administrators can create custom authorizations to control access to specific data or functionality. Custom authorizations can be made at the object level or the SQL level.

Approyo’s Experts Can Help

In this tutorial, we explored the different security aspects relevant to SAP HANA. We started with a high-level overview of SAP HANA security and why it's essential. Then, we drilled it down into specific topics like user management, data encryption, authentication, and authorization.

Approyo can help you secure your data. With SAP HANA, security is more important than ever to protect your business intelligence. As an expert in all things SAP, we have the answers to your questions on how to best secure your system. Contact Approyo today, and let us show you what we can do.

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