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Author's profile photo Raj Kumar S

HANA password security

This document is prepared based on version HANA 1.0 SPS 05 revision 46.

While creating the new user in HANA studio, we have three types of Authentication.

  • Password
  • Kerberos (Third-party authentication provider)
  • SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language)

                                                             Exhibit: 1                                                                  

      User_pw.JPG

Every database user is identified with in the database by Authentication based on username and password.

In this document we will be concentrating on password and its policy parameters.

Passwords are subjected to security rules and are configured using the parameters in system properties files indexserver.ini. To have a look, let us open the “Administration Console” perspective -> Configuration tab -> Expand Indexserver.ini -> Expand password policy and you find 11 parameters in it.                                                     

                                  Exhibit: 2

    pw-parm1.JPG

We will focus on all the 11 parameters and referring to this Exhibit 2 many times in this document.


First let us create a new user in HANA studio (Security -> Users -> right click -> New user) and click on  as shown below:

                                    Exhibit: 3

           pw_len_old.JPG 

The information it is showing as “Password must have at least eight characters” in the first line, refers to the default value (8) in the minimal_password_length of parameter 7 in Exhibit 2. “meet the rule: ‘”upper-case”, “lower-case”, “digits”‘ in the second line, refers to the default value ‘A1a’ in the password_layout of parameter 10 in Exhibit 2.

One interesting point to know is the default value ‘A1a’ derives A(upper-case), 1(digit), a(lower-case) which means the password must contain at-least 1 upper-case, at-least 1 digit and at-least 1 lower-case.

This default value is equivalent to ‘B2b’ or ‘C3c’ or ‘Z1c’ etc. as all of these contains upper-case, digit, lower-case. In all of these, special characters (_ , -, etc.) is optional.

In order to include special character as must in password, just include any special character in the default value, example E8s*

Now let us change these two parameters: length as 6 and also include one special character as must in password.

                                          Exhibit: 4

            pw_len_lay_new.JPG

Now let us go back to user creation and click on and we observe that these changes are reflected.

                                        Exhibit: 5

                 pw_len_lay_chng.JPG

Now let us create the user, say USER1 and when this user log on for the first time, it will ask you to change the password which refers to default value ‘true’ in force_first_parameter_change of parameter 1 in Exhibit 2.

                                       Exhibit: 6

            pw_chng.JPG       

If this parameter changed to false then when the user log on for the first time, it will not prompt to change password.

Note: Administrators can force a user to change password at any time with SQL command ALTER USER user_name FORCE PASSWORD CHANGE;

What happens when the user forgot his/her password and how many attempts can one make. It depends on the default value (6) in the maximum_invalid_connect_attempts of parameter 3 in Exhibit 2. Let us change this value to a small number, say 3 and give all the invalid passwords for the user USER1.

                                  Exhibit: 7                pw_invalid_attemp.JPG

Now the user is locked until some time and this refers to the default value (1440) in the password_lock_time of parameter 11 in Exhibit 2. The value 1440 is in minutes which is equal to (24 * 60 hrs = 1 day). This value can be changed, say 2 hrs (120 min).

                                       Exhibit: 8

                          pw_lock_time.JPG

The locked passwords can be reset by administrators with SQL command and/or can assign new password.

ALTER USER user_name RESET CONNECT ATTEMPTS;

Now the user can have the new password but cannot use the previous passwords and this refers to the default value (5) in the last_used_password of parameter 2 in Exhibit 2.

The new password can be subjected to rule of using for minimum and maximum number of days and this refers to the default value (1) in the minimum_password-lifetime of parameter 8, default value (182) in the maximum_password-lifetime of parameter 4 in Exhibit 2 respectively.


These values can be changed, say 3 for last_used_password, 2 for minimum_password-lifetime, and 30 for maximum_password-lifetime respectively.                   

                     Exhibit: 9

     pw_min_max_last_used.JPG

It is possible to remind the user before the password expiration, and can be done through password_expire_warning_time of parameter 9 in Exhibit 2. The default value is 14 days and can be changed.

When the user has assigned password for the first time, he/she should log in with in a specific number of days and this refers to the default value 28 of  maximum_unused_initial_password_lifetime of parameter 5 in Exhibit 2.

If the user was logged in within the maximum_unused_initial_password_lifetime and not used for a while then there is a restriction that one has to re-log-in and this refers to default value of 365 days of parameter maximum_unused_productive_password_lifetime in Exhibit 2.

Now let us change these values:

password_expire_warning_time to 7 days

maximum_unused_initial_password_lifetime to 15 days

maximum_unused_productive_password_lifetime to 30 days respectively.

                                  Exhibit: 10

           pw_unused.JPG

However password lifetime check can be disabled by using SQL

ALTER USER user_name DISABLE PASSWORD LIFETIME;

Conclusion: The default values provided by SAP are the best and this document only shows how to change these values.

To reset all the change parameter values, just double click on the parameter  and click “Restore Default” and save it.

                         Exhibit: 11

          pw_conf_reset.JPG

We can also query the parameter values of password policy using below SQL’s and produce the same result:


SELECT KEY, VALUE FROM M_INIFILE_CONTENTS

WHERE FILE_NAME = ‘indexserver.ini’

  AND SECTION = ‘password policy’ ;

              OR

SELECT * FROM M_PASSWORD_POLICY;

      pw_parm_query_res.JPG


That’s it, we are now aware of different password policy parameters, to view current values, and to change, if necessary

Thank You.

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      20 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Intersting !!!....pretty good article.....thnx Raj

      Author's profile photo Azeem Quadri Mohammed Abdul
      Azeem Quadri Mohammed Abdul

      Good article on security policies.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      pretty clear, thanks for the information.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Very good information. Thanks for sharing Raj.

      Author's profile photo Rama Shankar
      Rama Shankar

      Raj,

      Very informative - thanks!

      Author's profile photo Raj Kumar Salla
      Raj Kumar Salla
      Blog Post Author

      Thank You Jagan, Azeem, Azmath, Ramesh, Rama.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Good one security settings

      Author's profile photo Raj Kumar Salla
      Raj Kumar Salla
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Shiva

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Good Work!!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      GooD Work

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Nice post Raj.. Was looking for some specifics on HANA security  and this post helped me with what I was looking for... Thanks for Sharing..

      Durga

      Author's profile photo Raj Kumar Salla
      Raj Kumar Salla
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Durga

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks for it Raj Kumar... 🙂

      Author's profile photo Antony Jerald J
      Antony Jerald J

      Hi Raj,

           Thanks for sharing...it's really helpful.

           Was searching for some documentation on following types of authentication:

      • Kerberos (Third-party authentication provider)
      • SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language)

      If you can get some documentation, plz share it with me 🙂


      Regards,

      Antony Jerald.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Nice post Mr Raj...

      Author's profile photo kishore chillamcherla
      kishore chillamcherla

      Hi Raj

      Thanks for technical stuff on your blog, could you let  me know is there anyway I can exclude a particular user from all these password policies, as I need to reset the password for the schema  <SAPSID> it is not allowing me to use the previous passwords...

      Thanks

      Kishore Ch

      Author's profile photo Nicholas Chang
      Nicholas Chang

      Hi All,

      One quick system, if i recall correctly, "SYSTEM" user password will not get expired even maximum_password_lifetime is set, am i right?


      Because i never see any warning message or issue with SYSTEM user password expired.


      Thanks,

      Nicholas Chang

      Author's profile photo Otto Gold
      Otto Gold

      You can disable the password lifetime for SYSTEM. To protect the user from being blocked. Or you can set the validity to forever.

      cheers Otto

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      very useful..

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

       

      Is there any way by which we can force at least 2 digits in the password ?