SAP Transport Management: Best Practices

What is SAP Transport Management?

SAP Transport Management (SAP TMS) is a tool used for managing the transportation of objects and changes between SAP systems. It helps to ensure the consistency of the systems and avoid conflicts when changes are made.

SAP Transport Management is vital because it is the vehicle for organizations to effectively manage changes to their SAP systems, ensuring that changes are implemented smoothly and without interruption to business operations. This enables changes made in the development system to be moved to the testing and production systems in an organized fashion. This prevents errors and data inconsistencies. SAP Transport Management provides security measures to protect against unauthorized access and data breaches. This makes it an important part of any organization’s cybersecurity strategy.

How does SAP Transport Management Work?

SAP Transport Management is a tool. It helps manage the movement of software and configuration changes. These changes are moved across different SAP systems, including development, testing, and production systems. Here’s an overview of how it works:

Create A Transport Request
Approve and Release The Transport Request
Transport The Request
Test The Changes
Close The Request
Create A Transport Request

A transport request is created to package the changes made in a development system. This request includes all the required details. It includes the objects that were altered, the SAP version, and the target system to which the changes will be applied.

Approve and Release The Transport Request

The transport request is reviewed and approved by relevant stakeholders, such as developers, quality assurance personnel, and project managers. Once approved, the request is released to be transported to the target system.

Transport The Request

The transport request is transported to the target system, where the changes are applied. The target system could be a testing or production system.

Test The Changes

After the changes are applied, they are tested to ensure they work as intended and don’t impact other areas of the system.

Close The Request

Once the changes have been tested and verified, the transport request is closed.

Why Focus on Transports?

Part of DevSecOps is to bring security to each step of the process–more and more organizations are adopting this process. SAP transports are used at multiple points in the development cycle as shown in the diagram. Because transports are used at multiple points in the development cycle, it can be an overlooked area, allowing opportunity for exploitation. Even with appropriate permissions in place, an attacker can leverage a number of techniques to compromise production systems. This often results in loss of confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

Security Risks in SAP Transport Management

There are several security risks associated with SAP Transport Management, including:

Unauthorized Access

If proper access controls are not in place, unauthorized individuals could gain access to the SAP Transport Management system and make changes to the transport requests. This could result in data breaches, system downtime, and other negative consequences.

Data Breaches

Transport requests may contain sensitive data, such as user credentials, financial information, or personally identifiable information (PII). If these transport requests are not properly secured, they could be intercepted and used to steal data.

Insecure Transport Protocols

SAP Transport Management uses different protocols to transport requests between systems, such as HTTP or FTP. If these protocols are not properly secured, attackers could intercept the transport requests and modify or delete them.

Lack of Monitoring and Auditing

Without proper monitoring and auditing, it’s difficult to identify unauthorized access or changes made to transport requests. This could result in security breaches going unnoticed for long periods of time.

Segregation of Duties

Without proper segregation of duties, it’s possible for individuals to have access to all areas of the SAP Transport Management system. This could make it easier for them to make unauthorized changes or steal data.

To mitigate these risks, it’s important to implement proper access controls, use secure transport protocols, monitor and audit transport activities, and ensure proper segregation of duties. Additionally, implementing encryption and digital signatures can help ensure the integrity and confidentiality of transport requests.

Best Practices for Securing SAP Transport Management

A few best practices for securing SAP Transport Management include but is limited to:

How to Implement Security Measures in SAP Transport Management?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to implement the best practices for securing SAP Transport Management:

Implement Access Controls
Use Secure Transport Protocols
Monitor and Audit Transport Activities
Secure Transport Routes
Apply Security Patches and Updates
Perform Regular Security Assessments
Educate Users
Implement Access Controls
  • Define roles and responsibilities for users and assign access based on these roles.
  • Implement two-factor authentication for critical functions.
  • Enforce password policies to ensure that passwords are strong and changed regularly.
Use Secure Transport Protocols
  • Implement HTTPS for web-based access to the SAP Transport Management system.
  • Implement SFTP for secure file transfer of transport requests.
Monitor and Audit Transport Activities
  • Configure audit logging for all transport activities.
  • Review audit logs regularly to detect any unauthorized access or changes.
Secure Transport Routes
  • Implement firewalls and VPNs to secure transport routes between systems.
  • Implement encryption and digital signatures to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of transport requests.
Apply Security Patches and Updates
  • Regularly update the SAP Transport Management system with the latest security patches and updates.
Perform Regular Security Assessments
  • Perform regular penetration testing and vulnerability scanning to identify and address any security gaps in the system.
  • Review security policies and procedures regularly to ensure they are up to date.
Educate Users
  • Provide regular security training and education to users to raise awareness about the importance of security and how to identify and prevent security threats.
  • Promote a culture of security awareness by making security a priority in the organization.

Onapsis for SAP Transport Management

Organizations need to implement the right controls to protect their SAP development system holistically against threat actors. If not properly protected, the SAP Transport Management system represents a significant risk as we have addressed above.

Onapsis Control automates the monitoring of changes that are leaving the development system and provides additional approval workflows for critical situations. Control is ideal for enterprises who want to:

  • Scan transports, and their construction, for errors prior to being released into production
  • Customize transport scans to identify errors in transport construction, and the code within the transport, for errors prior to release into production
  • Take advantage of continuous monitoring of transports with automated alerts of suspicious content
  • Leverage compatibility with SAP Languages, Databases, Objects, and Development Environments

Ready to eliminate
your SAP cyber security

Let us show you how simple it can be to protect your business applications.