Why can a failed SAP audit put your business at risk, and how to ensure successful audits? SAP systems are subject to an IT audit every year. The main two areas of concern around any SAP audit are security and data integrity.
Why is an SAP audit so crucial for your company?
When looking at security as part of the audit, proper segregation of duties and access controls are fundamental to establishing the system’s controls. This can take time, as when implementing SAP. A company must go through an extensive process of outlining their processes and then building their system security from the ground up. It is easy to monitor who has access to what data and processes by ensuring sufficient segregation of duties. Once these security measures are in place, the next step is looking at the system’s changes. To ensure the security and integrity of the system, it is paramount to define who can authorize a change between a test and a production system.
To pass an audit, the auditors need information about system settings, data integrity, and processes to determine if regulations have been followed. Deficiencies in components must be corrected quickly to pass an audit. Continuous monitoring of systems for security and remediation of deficiencies will help comply with regulations and facilitate audit clearance.
What are the consequences for your company if your SAP system fails an audit?
If the SAP system fails an audit, the consequences can be severe, often leaving companies unable to maintain day-to-day business operations. Possible consequences can include:
- A shutdown of the SAP system. A failed audit or data integrity on critical data (e.g., financial, procurement, and sales data) can lead to a system or transaction shutdown in SAP.
- Use of expensive resources. If the SAP system fails an audit, it must be rectified immediately. Correcting system deficiencies identified during the audit often requires investment and external consultants, which can be costly.
- Personal liability. In many companies, the leadership team is personally liable for the accuracy of financial data. An error in the financial data will result in a failed SAP audit.
- Lack of trust from customers and partners. Non-compliance with standards such as GDPR and SOX are often the result of a failed audit. Non-compliance can lead to problems with customers, partners, and suppliers whose data is stored in the SAP systems.
- Increased risk of fraud. Suppose system deficiencies are only fixed after each audit. In that case, your systems are vulnerable to continued fraud attempts until the next audit. Automation and continuous system monitoring are necessary to protect SAP systems from fraudulent activity.
Why should you act now?
Audits are ongoing
SAP audits are a repetitive and expensive process that can lead to financial losses if system deficiencies are not addressed promptly. Automation and continuous monitoring make the audit smoother and reduce costs.
SAP is vulnerable to fraud
Protecting SAP systems from fraudulent activity is essential to the sustainability of the business. If the SAP system is only monitored once a year to comply with an audit, it may remain vulnerable for the rest of the year.
Failure is costly
The cost can be high if an SAP system fails an audit, not just through the disruption to the business but having to bring in expensive resources to solve the issues that led to the failure.
Protect the heart of your organization
SAP systems store your intellectual property and are at the core of your business processes. An audit-related error in your SAP systems can lead to losing important data from your systems.
SAP Audits are necessary for each organization and are vital to securing the system and protecting data integrity. In case of a system fails the audit, the consequences to the organization can be critical both financially and operationally. Even outside of the audit, it is necessary to monitor these systems continuously and automatically. With an intelligent security platform, you can detect threats to your SAP systems early and, thus, act proactively with appropriate countermeasures for security incidents. An interruption or an unavailable SAP infrastructure leads to immediate financial losses and manual efforts to restore the system. All it takes is one successful attack!