Always the bridesmaid and never the bride, SAP, in security terms, is the often-maligned function in the security infrastructure. Yet it’s the gateway to so much of the data that we hold so dear to us. One breach can have catastrophic consequences for a business – Financial losses, supply chain issues, and loss of reputation and validity.

And then there is Intellectual Property (IP). How does inadequate protection of your Intellectual Property put your business and brand at risk and how do you protect IP in the SAP system?

 

Why is intellectual property protection relevant for SAP systems?

Intellectual property (IP) is the lifeblood of any organization and protecting it should be a top priority of any forward-thinking businesses looking to futureproof. The need to keep IP confidential is increasing, but as a counter to this, the threat of attack increases too. So, what do we do? The need to ensure that we identify how to protect against these attacks is of paramount importance.

IP is stored digitally and processed in SAP systems alongside other business-critical data, and this can make it increasingly vulnerable as threats toward SAP systems grow. SAP systems are very complex and highly customizable, which means they need constant security updates. As the SAP function within security teams are often siloed from each other, these updates are not carried out appropriately, leaving the system open to attack. Cybercriminals continue to obtain more profound knowledge of mission-critical applications, and they are also actively targeting and exploiting unsecured SAP systems.

 

What are the consequences for your IP if the SAP system has been compromised?

Your trade secrets are in the public domain

Your intellectual property is your trade secret, and once it is exposed to the public domain, it is out of your control. Sometimes, system compromises are difficult to detect. For instance, if a malicious insider accesses the IP, the breach might remain undiscovered for weeks or months, by which time much damage can be done. How quickly can you react? Speed is crucial when IP theft is involved.

 

High risk of fines

One of the significant risks for IP infringement is financial penalties. Customer data is frequently deemed critical IP for an organization. The loss of financial data can result in substantial fines. Although different in each country, copyright law often results in heavy penalties as well.

 

Breaches could severely damage your brand

IP theft differs from customer information theft because your organization owns the IP. Thus, your company may have an obligation to shareholders and stakeholders to identify what has been stolen, assess the potential impact, and seek recovery of the IP. Furthermore, the damage to reputation and the effect on customer relationships are hard to rebuild if the IP breach goes public.

 

Your innovation cycle will be interrupted

When not adequately protecting your IP, years of work can be disregarded, such as product development or technology innovation, if it falls into the wrong hands or becomes public.

 

Why should you act now?

Secure your competitive advantage

Your company is all about profit, responsibility, innovation, sustainability, and compliance. A simple mistake in protecting your IP can cause you to lose market share and competitive advantage.

 

Reduce the risk to your business

Significantly reduce the risk by focusing on a sustainable IP security strategy that enables rapid response and decision-making.

 

The Intellectual Property resides in the SAP system

It is vital to understand your IP and know where it lives. Secure your SAP data from being compromised.

 

Cybercriminals are everywhere

Cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated, and unprotected SAP systems with the organizations’ IPs are attractive targets.

 

Summary

SAP systems are becoming a prime target for cybercriminals and malicious insiders alike. IP is commonly stored in the SAP system alongside other critical data, making it essential to protect and monitor the overall cybersecurity strategy. By doing this, you enable your organization to proactively respond to security incidents, centrally monitor your SAP activity in line with other activities across the network and make informed decisions about the safety of your IP, the core of any organization.

Protecting Intellectual Property (IP) in SAP

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