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Author's profile photo Mirna Chaanine

Winning Trust. SAP Data Custodian Co-Innovation Project

Moving beyond Gold!

Data is the most valuable resource in today’s world. It is the unique driving force that powers national economies, global enterprises, and digital platforms. From clinical research to gene therapy to autonomous enterprises, there are myriad ways in which data can improve business and humanity. The influence of data can be seen across all lines of business and has become more valuable than gold in our modern economies.

As businesses become increasingly data-driven, they must also recognize and respond to vulnerabilities that threaten the personal data and trust of their customers, employees, and partners. We must manage the dark side of data and safeguard our valuable resources in the cloud and on-premise. Transparency and Control are important factors when protecting against these risks, especially for businesses driven by data-value chains.

With the SAP Data Custodian Solution, you can protect your data with innovative Transparency, Control, and Key Management features.

Customer Requirements and Use Cases

For a customer in the retail industry, currently embarking on a digital transformation journey through a brownfield SAP S/4HANA implementation and adoption of a multi-cloud strategy with Software-as-a-Service solutions.

Challenge – Requirements

The evolution of global data protection laws has resulted in new challenges to multi-cloud era deployments in landscape. The key challenges include:

  • Innovation Factory Approach to establish a solid Data Transparency & Control foundation for the latest technology adoptions
  • Deploy new dimensions for real-time risk insights and automatically detect anomalies at the infrastructure and application layers, using advanced machine learning algorithms
  • Implement the leading industry best practices, for the design and process of Data Privacy & Protection
  • Comply with Global Regulations (for example, GDPR) and industry standards

Solution Scope

To address the challenges faced by the customer, the SAP Data Custodian Co-Innovation Project was proposed. SAP Data Custodian is a Multi-Cloud SaaS application designed to achieve the following business objectives:

  • Create and enforce public-cloud data access, data transfer, and data at rest policies
  • Monitor and report on these various policies in the public cloud
  • Enforce geolocation controls for data access, data transfer, and data at rest
  • Control the full lifecycle of encryption keys

For this customer, SAP ERP systems (SAP S/4HANA, SAP ECC) hosted on hyperscalers (AWS, Azure) were connected to SAP Data Custodian pre-production tenant. Five use cases were implemented in the Co-Innovation Project. This includes data regulation, data protection, anomaly detection, information detectors, and key management.


Use Case 1: Data Regulation

Supported by infrastructure transparency and control


  • Provide data regulation features to address global legislation, data sovereignty, and localization.
  • Establish consistent data guidelines through SAP Data Custodian’s pre-built policy templates, automated alerts for policy violations, incident management workflows, and audit reporting.


  • Comply with global data regulations such as GDPR, CCSL, CCRF, India Privacy Bill, and China Cyber Law.
  • Achieve governance of data sovereignty, support legislative compliance, and prevent data exfiltration to embargoed countries.

Use Case 2: Data Protection

Supported by application transparency and control

Objective: Apply data protection policies based on a Customer’s Privacy framework, to monitor and safeguard data in SAP Applications that are hosted on public clouds and on-premise environments.

Benefits: Continuously monitor activities and safeguard data by implementing data protection policies to monitor activities for critical operations, prevent exposure of sensitive data to unauthorized users, minimize personal data exposure through contextual masking policies, and notify users if privileged accounts access confidential data.

Use Case 3: Anomaly Detection

Identify suspicious activity

Objective: Monitor system activity and raise alerts on suspicious actions without setting policies.


Benefits: Anomalies can be identified for suspicious resource instances, operations, principals, resource zones, and locations. New policy requirements can also be pinpointed.

Use Case 4: Information Detectors

Identify and tag sensitive data

Objective: Detect sensitive information (e.g. SSN, credit card number, etc.) for resource objects at the infrastructure level and label resources that contain personally identifying information (PII).



  • Apply appropriate policies on resources, based on labels generated by the information detector
  • Reduce data protection risk through identification of data storage locations
  • Rapidly identify most sensitive data locations in near real time, prior to configuring control policies to prevent unauthorized access or to detect data breaches and data exfiltration activities

Use Case 5: Key Management Service

Provides Customer with complete control over their encryption keys


Objective: Protect sensitive and confidential data in SAP Applications that are hosted on public clouds and on-premise.


Benefits: Key management and data encryption capabilities allow Customer to:

  • Protect the data in their Hyperscalers
  • Prevent unauthorized information disclosures from third parties
  • Secure data against breaches by internal and external entities
  • Control the complete lifecycle of their encryption keys
  • Segregate duties and manage their keys separately from their data


In conclusion, as a result of evolving data protection laws and new security perspectives, challenges on Multi-cloud Era deployments are growing. In order to help customers to comply and protect data on the public cloud, SAP Data Custodian solution offer cloud data insight and protection for full stack (from Database – infrastructure, SAP HANA, SAP S/4HANA Application). The following diagram provides a summary of the business value offered by SAP Data Custodian.


Key Team Members

Authors/ MaxAttention IDG ContactRohit Dwivedi , Kiran Kola , Balaji Rao Gaddam , Thomas Walther

Product Management: Wasif GilaniPriyank Patel

SAP MaxAttention PE Package Info: SAP Data Custodian PE Package (External)