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Author's profile photo Christoph Boehm

The SAP Google Partnership taking data protection on public cloud to the next level

As announced back in March 2017, SAP and Google are partnering to offer unprecedented innovation, agility, and global reach to enterprises adopting the public cloud. Succeeding in the digital economy requires collaborative development and delivery of integrated solutions across the digital value chain through effective partnerships. SAP and Google are now applying these principles to provide an innovative solution to customers concerned about the privacy of their sensitive data on a public cloud platform.


To fully realize the benefits of cloud computing, enterprises need to store and process their sensitive data on public cloud platforms. They need to do this while being compliant with necessary regulations and mitigating unauthorized access risks. Enterprises need to address these requirements as part of a broader governance, risk and compliance (GRC) solution for a public cloud environment.


Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offers robust security capabilities to defend against external attacks and insider threats. In addition, Google has extensive compliance with security and privacy standards relevant to public clouds. Google and SAP are collaborating on this front by going beyond these existing GCP security capabilities. Together, the companies are working towards providing visibility and controls regarding the access to data stored on GCP. As part of this model, customers could use SAP’s technology and expertise as a trusted enterprise solution provider to act as a data custodian.


Overview of the Data Custodian model

The Data Custodian model will enable enterprises to define a set of controls around the handling of their data on GCP. As data custodian, SAP could continuously monitor compliance with the defined controls and manage exceptions as needed. The initial focus will be on data access transparency for GCP services that store or process customer data. With customer approval, Google will provide relevant access log streams to SAP. Customers could then leverage SAP’s technology and expertise to explain the reasons associated with such accesses. SAP and Google will continue to collaborate on defining an integrated solution that further increases custodian monitoring and control over the handling of customer data on GCP.


What are the benefits of the Data Custodian model?

There are several benefits of the Data Custodian model. It would enable customers to leverage SAP’s deep knowledge of GCP’s security posture, administrative controls and workflows. Customers would therefore not have to build in-house expertise on this front and could use SAP as a data custodian to ensure their data is accessed and stored in compliance with their defined data sovereignty, privacy, and protection policies.


More broadly, with this partnership, SAP and Google are extending and integrating their complementary product portfolios to provide even greater value to customers. In addition to having major SAP products running on GCP and benefiting from the global reach and speed of the network, SAP applications are being integrated with Google’s G Suite to offer the best of both worlds. SAP and Google will continue to collaborate on infrastructure-as-a-service solutions like the Data Custodian model to enable enterprises to consume and build the next generation of digital services.

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