Changes, changes, changes…
Business and economic changes taking place in the present world influence the changes in the structures of enterprises. Mergers and acquisitions have become a standard business phenomenon. In recent years, we also see a significant expansion of new technologies and, consequently, services, which are provided in business models that are completely different from those known so far. All of this must be accompanied by new European regulations, such as the GDPR, which impose new obligations on businesses and give new rights to citizens.
Such dynamic changes are reflected in the IT systems which, in order to remain competitive, need to enter the market quickly. However, the speed of software updates cannot be at the expense of the quality of IT environments. Every change before it goes into production must be designed and tested in development, quality assurance and training environments. Therefore, new requirements are created for these environments, which in a short time should provide automatically sets of current, consistent and realistic data, in order to successfully launch new business functions.
Cloning and masking data in SAP
With the standard approach, SAP test environments are created as a copy of one to one of the production system. However, this type of cloning of SAP systems requires a lot of manual work after copying, and a lot of free disk space for classic, relational databases, as well as additional physical memory for the SAP HANA In-Memory database. Another challenge for people responsible for maintaining current SAP system landscapes is the need to mask sensitive production data in order to eliminate the risk of unauthorized access to such data in development, testing and training environments.
SNP company provides its customers with SNP Data Provisioning & Masking software for creating development, testing and training systems from SAP production systems, using reduced, masked and consistent data. SNP DPM is a fully automated software, which saves time in preparing test data. This standard software was built on the basis of over 100 implementation projects, which were successfully completed all over the world. SNP solutions have been available as part of the CrystalBridge platform since 2019.
Sandboxes and project systems can be easily created using SNP DPM. Quality assurance systems can be refreshed at regular intervals using a pre-configured scenario, ensuring that all subsequent reduced copies of the systems are consistent and up-to-date. SNP DPM provides test data for developers and SAP software support teams and masks sensitive data to ensure its protection in non-productive environments.
SNP DPM – how does it work?
After the analysis and conceptual phase in the scope of compliance with GDPR, it is time for the implementation in the IT system, i.e. determining which data should be anonymised and how in order to ensure compliance with GDPR. In this context, SNP DPM provides ready projects for masking the data of sensitive objects, such as suppliers, contractors, business partners, employees, using attributes such as: names, addresses, bank account and card numbers, communication details (e-mail, telephone) and others. The above objects and attributes are related to the rules in SNP DPM projects. The rules determine whether, as part of data masking, fixed values with or without conditions, incremental values, or values having source in lookup tables are substituted. An irreversible anonymisation of sensitive data is also possible.
SNP Data Provisioning & Masking provides pre-defined “packages for masking” of data that allow you to easily and quickly mask the following sensitive data:
- E-mail addresses, phone and fax numbers
- Dates of birth
- Bank account numbers/IBAN
- Credit card numbers
- VAT identification numbers.
We can define and use anonymization scenarios on the above data after just a few configuration steps. These scenarios can be launched and reused for dynamically generated lists of subsequent SAP ERP transactions. In this way, it is possible to quickly and easily prepare SAP non-productive landscapes for the GDPR criteria.
The scope of functions performed by SNP Data Provisioning & Masking is as follows:
- Support for customer’s own tables
- Consideration of own changes in transaction data and master data
- Multidimensional data selection
- Flexible data masking functions and masking launch prior to data export
- Support for all SAP® Business Suite components
- Easy-to-use user interface
- Change of the logical systems on the fly
- Creating new customers/clients
- Creating new scenarios to extend the range available as standard.
SNP DPM is composed of the following functional components:
- Scenario templates
- Scenario developer
- SNP DPM cockpit
- SNP DPM administrator
- Satellite source system components with analysis and data export functionality
- Satellite target system components with data deletion and import functionality.
Three main reasons to consider implementing SNP Data Provisioning & Masking are as follows:
- Test data is always up-to-date and available in a quick and easy way improving test quality.
- Test data are separated effectively by using appropriate data selection criteria (object-oriented, age-based data, or at the table level) in a much more agile manner than standard SAP tools. This leads to cost reductions by reducing the size of development, quality assurance and training systems and by reducing the time required to set up or refresh these systems.
- Test data from production is fully protected. Masked SAP data is available for testing and training in real business scenarios from production without violating the regulation in the scope of data privacy or business secrets.