February 12

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Learn How to Defend Your SAP System from Security Breaches

Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing (SAP) applications have become a great target for cyber attackers. SAP system touches 74% of the world’s transaction revenue and it is uniquely vulnerable. However, SAP has its strong defense security products and architectures including its threat intelligence, governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) solution, and many other solutions. So, if a company uses an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, then it's common that SAP is the ERP of choice for most of the business these days.

In the past, business models had their data stored and managed in a separate database according to their business functions and operations. That’s the reason why many employees were having problems in accessing the data that’s stored in the different operational databases. In addition to it, companies had to spend a lot of their budgets in managing the storage due to data duplication and data errors. Hence, SAP deftly handles this multiple business functions by providing easy access to real-time data across the enterprise, deal with supply chain management, HR, finance, etc. This is a great benefit to a company because it increases efficiency, productivity, saves time, due to less error and duplication.

Now, we can guess how ERP cybersecurity breaches can be a great loss and costly for a company. The data stored are very sensitive and can cause millions of dollars for data repairs and recovery. The hackers are out there to penetrate the SAP system to steal data and hope for ransomware. By the fact provided by, 9th Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study, conducted by Accenture Security and the Ponemon Institute, the annual cost of cybercrime has risen by 72% during the same period, from $11.7 million to $13.0 million. The study also shows that cybercrime in banking has increase by 11 % and utilities by 16%, which is considered to be the highest cost of cybercrime. Another incident of 2013, where DHS had their SAP system infiltrated by cyberattacks, “state-sponsored attack.” The security of over 25,000 government workers was compromised, and USIS lost over $2.8 billion in contracts. Therefore, it was never recovered.


Here Are Some of The Tips That Can Help to Secure the SAP System

Protect Your SAP Audit Logs

The SAP Security Audit Log (SAP SAL) contains all events that happened within the ERP. All different actions are recorded in the logs and have their transaction codes and their metadata. SAP's main responsibility is to write text files and does not care if there is any alteration, deletion, or modification in those logs. Hence, it does not provide integrity. So, it is very important to protect the integrity of SAP’s audit logs. So, the products like installing LogSentinel helps to combine log management, behavior analytics, threat detection, and incident response into a complete security monitoring platform. Therefore, collecting the correct, secure, and detailed logs can help the business in different purposes like Information security, Fraud & Anomaly Detection, Digital forensics, Regulatory compliance, Data integrity, Business Analysis, and many more.

Scan Your Source Code Using Security Analyzer Tools

Most of the industry has adapted using security scanners in their network as well as in their codes, to detect and report any threats that can lead to security vulnerabilities. Source code analysis tools are also called Application Security Testing (SAST) tools that help to find the security flaws in the custom code or compiled versions of code. These tools help in continuous integrations as well as they run constantly. Using these tools can find any vulnerabilities like SQL injections, Buffer overflow and also provides developers with exact infected source files and infected source code lines. Some of the tools are Redshift, SpotBugs, AppScan Source, API Security Tools, etc. Here are some of the list of tools provided by OWASP.

Protecting Specific Profiles In SAP

By now, we are very familiar with Privileged Access Management (PAM), which gives strategy about privilege access and permissions for users, accounts, and systems over the entire enterprise. PAM helps companies to constrict their organization’s attack surface, and prevent insider threats, as well as helps to mitigate the risk. Thus, to maintain security in the SAP system, critical SAP authorization needs to be safeguard. A few profiles that need to be protected in an SAP system are − SAP_ALL, SAP_NEW, P_BAS_ALL. SAP_ALL Authorization Profile is very powerful because it gives the user any authorization in an SAP system. In addition to it, it allows users to perform any task. It is recommended to assign individual authorization rather than assigning SAP_ALL authorizations.

Implement Continuous Security Monitor and Forensics

As we have already discussed securing source code and SAP authorization, it is also very necessary to have 24x7 monitoring of all the systems and networks. This will help to identify any sort of breach as well as an alert for suspicious activity. After observing the anomalous behavior in the system, it helps to reduce the risks. Forensics is also crucial as it allows the company to learn from the past security breaches through analyzing the past logs and behaviors.

Allow High Security to Different Network Security Zones

It is prevalent that organizations are pretty flexible in IT environments like remote connection, bring your own devices and are also trying to maintain robust security. Security zones have a specific set of security rules, and zones have specific security policies implemented. Hence, having separate security zones, protects email users, accounts from malware, phishing, and botnet threats. It assists in providing real-time threat intelligence data via anti-spam blocklists and IP/Domain Reputation in those particular zones.

There are many other strategies that we can execute. By deploying effective prevention strategies, we can maintain SAP security. SAP security would allow the company to diminish the costs related to a cyberattack. At Allari, we provide responsive support 24/7 and continuously monitor your SAP security status. We provide a range of expertise and services, as required, to fill in gaps and ensure a robust security posture for SAP enterprises.

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About the author

Priya Thapa

A dedicated and driven security professional, an expert in Cybersecurity as well as an experienced Software Developer. Inspired by Alan Turing, who is considered to be the father of Theoretical Computer Science, I am very fascinated by cryptography and deciphering secret codes. That's my main inspiration to choose my career path in cybersecurity. Besides this, I have an interest in exploring and learning about the universe, traveling, sketching, solving puzzles, games, and cooking as well.


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