Securing SAP SuccessFactors – Protecting Human Capital

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It goes without saying that your own organization’s most strategic cloud application is the most important cloud application when it comes to ensuring proper data protection.

However, some clouds are different than others. Many of the programs that we run here at CipherCloud, and a large number of our customers’ environments, focus heavily on protecting their customers’ information, or their sensitive intellectual property. We spend a lot of time covering processes such as ensuring that employees don’t mistakenly transmit protected information such as PII and PHI, or product plans, within the scope of ongoing cloud-based email and collaboration.

Within the context of the global pandemic, as the remote workforce continues to swell, this has been an extremely relevant topic as well as a significant driver for additional uptake of our CipherCloud CASB+ platform.

Yet, some cloud apps are inherently different. It’s not to say that protecting the PII and PHI of your own employees and co-workers is more important than defending anything related to customers or business operations. At the same time, it is hugely vital to maintaining internal processes, and perpetuating organizational morale, to protect these unique assets to the max.

That’s where this week’s campaign on protecting SAP SuccessFactors comes in. We’ve spent a lot of time speaking to new and existing customers alike about this very topic of late. SuccessFactors is clearly revolutionizing the world of “HR” or what has now evolved into the paradigm of Human Capital Management (HCM) and we’re running into related opportunities all over the place.

In this week’s webcast, my colleague Madhu Dodda and I explored “The Top Seven Tips for Securing SAP SuccessFactors” – covering a range of related best practices, from understanding just whom precisely is allowed to access and handle data in the application – which itself spans everything from employee payroll records to internal success plans, and beyond – to detecting potential malware threats.

The whole conversation is uniquely compelling from the standpoint that cloud HCM is a massively powerful platform in and of itself in terms of enabling businesses to accelerate their operations and engage further in digital transformation. And the notion of protecting the sensitive details of your co-workers and even their families really strikes home – if we can’t successfully protect that data – whose information can we be expected to handle?

For our part, CipherCloud’s approach is about extending and building on the significant security controls already built into SuccessFactors, from access controls all the way to encryption. While the application’s onboard security capabilities are robust, we’ve found that enterprises require additional help with areas including:

  • Maintaining continuous visibility into applications usage
  • Controlling access from trusted locations and devices
  • Maintaining optimized protection wherever data travels
  • Enforcing policies to ensure compliance [ex. GDPR]
  • Encrypting any protected data with full key control
  • Detecting threats including malware and compromises
  • Performing context-driven forensic investigation

And those capabilities represent precisely the requirements that our SAP SuccessFactors customers have turned to CASB+ to address, typically spanning a number of these areas and seeking a solution to address them in an integrated fashion. Then there’s the no-so-small matter of maintaining many different types of cloud apps in a centralized manner – the elephant in the room for any of these individual cloud apps security conversations.

As we here in the US enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday week, experiencing the unique challenges of staying connected in 2020, and looking forward to next year with renewed hope for COVID-19-related optimism – perhaps now more than ever we’re appreciative for the fact that cloud applications and mobile computing have allowed us to soldier on in the face of tremendous adversity.

Here’s hoping that you’ve been able to enjoy the time, no matter where you reside – and, no matter where you store your most valuable data!


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