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Discover Security Patches for your SAP Systems using System Recommendations

One of the most startling facts revealed by the 2015 Cyber Risk Report is that over 44 percent of data breaches stem from the exploitation of known vulnerabilities that are over two years old. This suggests that effective patching can dramatically lower the likelihood of a successful data breach and, when employed with other countermeasures such as system hardening to prevent misconfigurations, it can reduce the risk to negligible levels.

Developing a workable patch management process that addresses the numerous threats confronted by SAP systems presents a formidable challenge for organizations. The need to maintain high levels of availability and control changes that may negatively impact system performance or even lead to software regression often delays the implementation of critical patches. In some cases, it prevents the application of security patches altogether.

The risks posed by weaknesses in patching procedures should not be understated and are borne out by the findings of the HP study. Statistics reveal a direct correlation between ineffective patching and significantly higher levels of susceptibility to security threats that lead to data breaches.

Traditionally, SAP customers have relied upon tools such as RSECNOTE and SAP EarlyWatch Alert (EWA) to identify patches and verify their implementation status. RSECNOTE can be executed using transaction SA38 or ST13. It should return relevant Security Notes and convey whether Notes are successfully implemented, require implementation or are manually confirmed.  EWA is a diagnosis report that is run from SAP Solution Manager for managed systems on a weekly schedule. The system configuration checks performed by EWA should include an identification of relevant Security Notes.

EWA, however, no longer performs any meaningful check for security-relevant Notes. Fewer than 10 percent of the 364 Patch Day Notes and Support Pack Notes released by SAP in 2013 were checked and reported through EWA. By 2014, EWA had lost all relevance for security patching: none of the 389 SAP patches released last year were checked by EWA.

RSECNOTE has not fared any better.  According to Note 888889 updated in September 2014, the tool is effectively deprecated by SAP and should no longer be relied upon.

Note 888889

RSECNOTE and EWA have been replaced by tools with more powerful calculation engines capable of supporting more detailed analysis of not just Hot News and Security Notes, but also Java patches and Notes for general, performance and legal areas.

These tools include System Recommendations (SysRec), accessible through the Change Management Work Center of SAP Solution Manager. SysRec uses the SAP-OSS RFC destination to connect directly to SAP Global Support and check the status of Notes in managed systems. The results are based on the specific kernel, patch and support package level of systems maintained in the Solution Manager System Landscape (SMSY). This minimizes the risk of both false positives and false negatives.

SysRec can be filtered by SAP system, component and date range. Only components are that are applicable to the selected system are displayed by SysRec.

SysRec2

Priority levels and the implementation status of each Note are displayed in the returned results. The Download Notes option can be used to download all or selected Notes from the SAP Service Marketplace. Click on the image below to enlarge.

SAP System Recommendations

SysRec can be used to identify both ABAP and Java patches. However, Java patch notes are displayed in the Corrections tab rather than the tab for Security Notes.

The Create Request for Change option is used to trigger a change request to implement the relevant Notes when using ChaRM.

The automated job SM:SYSTEM RECOMMENDATIONS should be scheduled to collect information on the status of implemented Notes from managed systems. The frequency of the automatic check can be set to daily, weekly or monthly.

SysRec4

Once corrections are identified and applied, the implementation status of the Notes should be validated across all systems in your landscape. This can be performed using Configuration Validation. The implementation status of Notes is recorded in the PRSTATUS field of the ABAP_NOTES store. The PRSTATUS of completely implemented notes should be E. Therefore, you can define operators to search for Notes implemented in a reference system with the identical component and release dependencies that have the same PRSTATUS. Based on the example below, for instance, Configuration Validation will check that version 2 of Note 1922205 for component SAP_BASIS  is completely implemented (PRSTATUS = E), taking into account the release dependencies.

SAP System Recommendations

Notes that are not completely implemented in comparison systems are flagged as non-compliant in BW reports generated by Configuration Validation.

SAP System Recommendations

Five Logs that Could Reveal a Data Breach in your SAP Systems

One of the most important discoveries uncovered by security researchers investigating the recent data breach at Anthem is that the original compromise may have occurred as early as April 2014, nine months before the breach was discovered by the organisation.  The attack has led to the loss of personal information impacting over 80 million individuals. The investigation into the impact on health records stored by the organisation is ongoing. Such records have a far higher value in underground markets than financial data including banking and credit card information.

Anthem was alerted of the breach after a system administrator learned that his logon credentials had been compromised and used by attackers to access servers containing sensitive data. The fact that the discovery was made by Anthem itself should be applauded. The majority of breaches are not. Most are detected by law enforcement agencies, third parties, and even customers. However, the time lag between the initial breach and its eventual discovery is a concern and one that is consistent with most other successful attacks. According to the 2014 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) based on an analysis of 1300 confirmed data breaches and 63,000 security incidents, the gap between the average time taken by attackers to compromise their targets and the time taken by victims to discover a breach has been widening steadily since 2004. This suggests that attackers are developing and exploiting ever more effective methods to compromise organisations at a rate that outstrips the ability of companies to detect and defend against such attacks. This is despite higher spending on both security solutions and personnel.

Protecting information in SAP systems from attack vectors used successfully against organisations such as Anthem requires two critical countermeasures. The first is system hardening. The second is log monitoring. This article focuses on the second of these measures. The effective and timely review of forensic data captured by several SAP logs can enable your organisation to drive back attacks before they lead to a data breach.

The first category of logs covers network traffic patterns. Incoming and outgoing connections registered in ICM/ Web Dispatcher, SAProuter, message server and gateway server logs should be regularly reviewed for suspicious network activity. This includes connection attempts from unknown or unauthorized source IPs or during unusual hours, as well as sessions that involve the transfer of large volumes of bytes to external destinations. The latter is a clear sign of potential data theft.

The second category covers authentication and authorization logs that record logon attempts and the actual resources accessed after successful logons. The main source of such data in SAP systems is the Security Audit Log. However, for more granular information, you should review log entries in the Read Access Log which register views and changes to sensitive data fields. UME log events in the J2EE Engine can be monitored using the NetWeaver Administrator. Within this category, logon attempts using default accounts across multiple systems and during irregular hours are especially suspicious.

The third category covers changes for configuration settings, files, user accounts, documents, programs and tables.  Logging such changes will support the reconstruction of events and help contain any breach. Authorization, password and other changes impacting user master records are automatically stored in non-transparent SAP tables which can be viewed using transaction SU01. Change documents can be used to capture changes to sensitive data objects. Changes to critical tables can be logged using SE13 and analyzed through report RSTBHIST. Changes to productive systems implemented through SAP transports are recorded in CTS and TMS logs stored in both transport directories and tables E070 and E071. Changes to profile parameters in managed systems, including security-relevant areas, are logged in Solution Manager and can be analyzed using Configuration Validation or Change Analysis.

The fourth category covers application and system events that are not directly security-relevant but may indicate potential malicious activity. This includes system shutdowns and restarts, unscheduled or unauthorized backups and error messages for the usage of memory, disk, CPU and other system resources. Such information can be collected from Syslog and other host-level event logs. It can also be accessed through local or central SAP System logs using transaction SM21.

The final area covers database-level actions and events, particularly activities performed by privileged non-system users including the execution of ALTER, INSERT and DELETE commands and CREATE and GRANT schema changes. You can minimize the performance impact of database logging in some database versions and releases by creating context-dependant policies that limit logging to precise scenarios. Examples include database connections originating during specific time periods or from outside specific application servers identified by hostname or IP address.

Attackers may attempt to remove evidence of their actions by altering or deleting log records. Therefore, it is important to secure access to SAP tables and OS-level files containing log information. Also, log files should be replicated to independent time-synchronized servers and log data held directly in SAP systems should be periodically archived using the archiving transaction SARA.

SAP Cybersecurity Framework 2.0: What’s New?

Since the official release of the SAP Cybersecurity Framework in 2014, the standard has become the de facto benchmark for securing SAP systems from advanced cyber threats. Drawing upon guidance issued directly by SAP, as well as the real-world experience of front-line SAP security architects and forensic investigators, the framework delivers a single point of reference to harden SAP systems from cyber risks. It enables enterprises to counter weaknesses in perimeter controls such as network firewalls and intrusion detection systems by securing the technical infrastructure of SAP systems. Vulnerabilities in such infrastructure could be exploited to bypass perimeter controls and corrupt or leak sensitive business information or perform denial of service attacks in SAP systems.

The threat posed by attackers that seek out and exploit vulnerabilities has reached epidemic proportions. By all measures, attacks are growing in frequency and sophistication. The number of threat actors is also increasing, ranging from organized gangs of cyber criminals to hacktivist groups and state-sponsored agents. Finally, the impact of cyber attacks has reached new levels. The cost of a successful data breach is no longer measured in purely monetary terms. Recent experience has demonstrated that the impact can be strategic and long-lasting.

The SAP Cybersecurity Framework fills the void created by weaknesses in perimeter security and the limitations of GRC software that focus exclusively on the SAP authorization concept. It empowers organizations to better understand and respond to lesser known risks in the technical components of SAP systems to greatly reduce the likelihood of a system breach. It also enables enterprises to improve breach detection capabilities to respond more rapidly to attacks and contain the impact.

What’s more, the framework provides a clear path for securing SAP systems from cyber threats using only standard SAP-delivered software. It demonstrates that effective strategies are not necessarily tied to licensing third party solutions but leveraging the host of security tools made available by SAP to customers without any additional expense. This includes automated vulnerability detection and alerting tools available in Solution Manager. It therefore provides a powerful and cost-effective alternative to approaches that revolve around purchasing, installing and configuring solutions from independent software vendors.

The SAP Cybersecurity Framework 2.0 improves upon the original standard by incorporating new SAP guidance in areas such as trace functions to identify authorizations required for RFC users, enabling switchable authorization checks, whitelists for RFC callbacks, and approaches for identifying required security patches included in Notes and support packages.

Trace Functions
There are several limitations with analyzing log data in event logs configured in the Security Audit Log and transaction STAD for restricting permissions for RFC users. The former only record function groups accessed by users and the latter is resource-intensive. Therefore, SAP recommends using short and long-term trace functions through transactions STAUTHTRACE, STRFCTRACE or STUSOBTRACE. This approach will reveal the function modules accessed by users and consume fewer system resources than STAD.

Switchable Authorization Checks
Switchable authorization checks are intended to strengthen security for critical remote-enabled function modules that are used to access or modify sensitive data by requiring additional authorization checks above and beyond the standard S_RFC check. They are delivered via Notes and support packages but should only be enabled after relevant user profiles are updated to include the new authorizations. The DUO and DUQ event logs of the Security Audit Log should be activated and reviewed to identify the specific users requiring the authorizations during a non-disruptive logging phase.

RFC Callbacks
Positive whitelists for systems with later versions of SAP Basis have been introduced by SAP to control the dangers posed by RFC callbacks. Callbacks enable servers to open RFC connections in clients during synchronous calls using the privileges of the RFC user in the client system. A new profile parameter rfc_callback_security_method is used to enable the whitelists which are configured using SM59.

Security Notes and Support Packages
The framework no longer recommends the use of the EarlyWatch Alert and RSECNOTE for the identification of relevant Notes and support packages. Both components have severe drawbacks and are effectively deprecated by SAP. Security Notes and support packages should be identified using System Recommendations accessed through the Change Management Work Center in Solution Manager or via WDC_NOTE_CENTER through the Easy Access Menu.

The SAP Cybersecurity Framework is presented in the white paper Protecting SAP Systems from Cyber Attack.

SAP Security Architects at Layer Seven Security perform comprehensive gap assessments against the recommendations of the SAP Cybersecurity Framework and enable customers to implement defense in depth by hardening the entire SAP technology stack. The layered control strategy supported by the framework is based on best practices and SAP security recommendations and represents the most comprehensive, efficient and cost-effective approach to secure SAP systems from cyber attack. To learn more, contact Layer Seven Security.

Three Steps to Prevent a Sony-Scale Breach of Your SAP Systems

The recent attack experienced by Sony Pictures Entertainment may well prove to be the most significant breach of the year. By all measures, the impact has been devastating for the organization, leading to the loss of almost 40GB of data to attackers. This includes not only proprietary intellectual property such as digital media, blueprints and schedules, but also social security numbers, bank accounts and payroll information. The loss of some of this information has led directly to several lawsuits against the company. It has also severely damaged and undermined the Sony brand. The attack has illustrated the vulnerability and unpreparedness of organizations in the face of sophisticated, targeted cyber threats.

The most surprising fact about the breach is that it is the second time in three years that Sony has been the victim of such a destructive attack. Therefore, the company has drawn has a great deal of criticism for alleged security practices that arguably should have been stamped out following the previous breach in 2011. In terms of the monetary impact of the recent attack, many experts estimate that impairment charges could range between $70M-$80M for Sony. Some place the cost closer to $100M.

The attackers compromised digital certificates used to authenticate Sony’s servers and released information related to over 1600 Linux/ Unix and 800 Windows servers at the company, as well as IP and MAC addresses and computer names of over 10,000 PCs within its network. This includes many SAP servers. An analysis of the leaked data performed by Joris van de Vis available on the SAP Community Network revealed that the data includes SAP server hostnames, IP addresses, SAP System IDs (SIDs), and version information for operating systems and databases. It also includes username and password combinations stored in unencrypted files. However, the most damaging revelation is that the leaked data includes the results of security assessments performed for SAP systems at Sony. Such reports could provide attackers with insights into vulnerabilities impacting these systems.

This particular revelation leads to the first recommendation for how to prevent a Sony-scale breach of your SAP systems. It is suspected that the attackers targeted security groups and users at Sony in order to access information that could be used to aid their attack. Therefore, it is imperative to secure such information within your network. The use of desktop-based tools to audit SAP systems and the circulation of the output from such tools in common file formats such as Excel and PDF can pose a serious security risk. You can remove this risk by ensuring that security-related data never leaves your SAP systems. This can be achieved by avoiding the use of third-party tools. A more secure option is to leverage vulnerability management components in Solution Manager such as Configuration Validation. This will ensure that access to security-related data on managed systems is secured using the SAP authorization concept directly within SAP systems.

The second recommendation is to reexamine your current cost-benefit calculations or risk-reward ratios when determining resource requirements and spend levels for security countermeasures. Sony’s experience has illustrated that traditional assumptions no longer apply. The impact of a breach is not just technical or even financial but strategic and can cause far-reaching harm to your organization. Security is no longer a question of ‘just enough’. It’s all or nothing.

Our final suggestion is not to focus exclusively on your network security. The most effective strategies are designed from inside-out rather than outside-in. According to a recent survey published by the Ponemon Institute, most organizations allocate 40% of their security budget to network security. In contrast, database security receives an average of just 19%. These ratios should change to reflect a greater emphasis at the application, host and database level for defense in depth.

In the view of McAfee Labs, we can expect to see more headline-capturing attacks next year. The research group’s 2015 Threat Predictions report forecasts an increase in cyber attacks as state-affiliated, criminal and terrorist actors grow in number and employ ever more sophisticated and stealthier techniques against their targets. You can read the report at McAfee for Business.

 

New SAP Guidance Recommends Configuration Validation for Security Monitoring

Some of the most critical recommendations issued by SAP in the recently released paper Securing Remote Function Calls include the use of configuration validation in Solution Manager to monitor RFC destination settings. This includes checks for destinations with stored credentials, trusted connections, and authorizations granted to RFC users in target systems. It also includes the review of profile parameters for RFC and secure network communication, as well as access control lists for RFC gateways. The SAP paper lends support for other security functions in Solution Manager such as management dashboards and alerts by pointing out that “an overview of the current security status can be provided in a security dashboard and alerts on noncompliance can be collected in the alert in-box” (p33).

The paper draws together leading practices and SAP recommendations into a single reference document for protecting one of the most vulnerable areas in SAP landscapes that is often targeted by remote attackers. RFC is a proprietary SAP technology that drives cross-system integration. Misconfigurations in RFC destinations and gateways that manage RFC communications can lead to the complete compromise of not just individual SAP systems but entire landscapes. Common mistakes include using destinations with stored logon credentials or trusted connections between systems with differing security classifications, using service or communication user types for RFC destinations rather than system users, granting excessive authorizations to RFC users, failing to limit access to remote-enabled function modules, and non-existent access control lists to control the registration and starting of external RFC servers.

The paper emphasizes the importance of established and well-known counter measures for securing RFCs based on the authorization concept. This includes not granting full access to objects such as R_RFC_ADM, S_RFC_TT, S_ADMI_FCD used to administer RFC destinations and other objects such as S_RFC , S_ICF and S_RFCACL that control access to remote-enabled function modules and logons in trusting systems. The paper also discusses enhancements delivered by SAP in the most recent release of NetWeaver AS ABAP, including unified connectivity (UCON). UCON blocks access to remote-enabled function modules using whitelists configured in so-called communication assemblies. According to SAP, “Typically, less than 5% of all available RFC function modules are used in customer software systems for remote RFC communication” (p14). It also outlines methods for performing short-term and long-term traces to identify authorizations checks performed during the execution of RFC-enabled function modules called remotely. This should be used to reign in access privileges for RFC users. Finally, the paper outlines how to control dangerous RFC callbacks and activate switchable authorization checks that are only enabled in specific RFC scenarios.

Contact an SAP Security Architect at Layer Seven Security for professional services to implement these and related SAP recommendations. Our SAP Cybersecurity Solution includes a gap assessment for all of the recommendations on RFC security issued by SAP in the paper.

To request a copy of the SAP paper Securing Remote Function Calls, email info@layersevensecurity.com.

Featured in SAPinsider: How to Build Security using SAP Solution Manager

Data breaches occur all too often and organizations are frequently left blindsided. As a result, cybersecurity has become a board-level issue across all industries. According to a recent survey of global business leaders, cyber risk is regarded as one of the most significant threats faced by corporations today, and is consistently rated higher than legislation, regulation, and other risks.

Even SAP systems are not immune from the anxiety surrounding cybersecurity. The architecture and complexity of SAP landscapes, as well as the form and volume of data typically managed within SAP systems, makes them targets for attackers. This was illustrated by the discovery of a modified Trojan that was targeting SAP clients in 2013. The malware targeted SAP GUI configuration files and was capable of malicious activities such as logging keystrokes; capturing logon credentials; and identifying, copying, and exporting files.

Responding to such threats is a daunting challenge. However, SAP customers do not have to look far for the tools to secure their systems from cyber threats. In fact, SAP offers a variety of tools with standard license agreements that can be leveraged immediately at zero cost.

Read more at SAPinsider

How to Secure SAP Systems from Password Attacks

Exploiting weak password hashes is one of the most common and successful attack scenarios used against SAP systems. The availability of open-source programs such as Hashcat and John the Ripper enables even novice hackers to perform attacks against SAP passwords. In fact, Hashcat is capable of breaking any SAP password encoded using the BCODE hash algorithm in a maximum of 20 hours, regardless of the length and complexity of the password.

SAP systems support a variety of cryptographic algorithms to convert passwords into hash values. These values are stored in table URS02. This is designed to prevent the storage of passwords in clear-text. During the logon procedure, passwords entered by users are converted to a hash value and compared to the value stored for the user in table USR02. The logon is successful if there is match between the two values.

Since hash algorithms are one-way, it is not possible to calculate passwords from hash values. However, it is possible to compare values generated by tools such as Hashcat to the values stored in SAP tables to break passwords providing both are encoded using the identical algorithm.

Therefore, it is critical to restrict the ability to read and extract password hash values in table USR02. This can be achieved by controlling direct access to database tables through SQL statements using firewall rules. The ability to read tables using generic table browsing tools accessible through transactions SE16, SE17 and SE11 should also be restricted and monitored.

Note that USR02 is not the only table containing password hash values. In some releases, hashes can also be found in tables USH02, USH02_ARC_TMP, VUSER001 and VUSR02_PWD. Such tables should be assigned to the authorization group SPWD (refer to Note 1484692). Access to table USRPWDHISTORY should also be restricted since attackers are often able to guess current passwords based on former passwords if users employ variations of the same password.

There should be similar restrictions on debugging and transport authorizations since these can also be used to access or export SAP tables containing password hashes.

Users with access to multiple systems or systems in different environments should be required to use different passwords for each system and environment. Passwords for productive systems should not be identical to those used to access development or test systems.

SAP password code versions A-E are based on the MD5 hashing algorithm. The hash values generated through this mechanism are stored in the table column BCODE. All MD5 hashes are susceptible to brute force and other password attacks. Code versions F and G use the SHA1 algorithm. SHA1 hashes are stored in the PASSCODE column. They are less vulnerable than MD5 hashes but can be broken if passwords are short and relatively non-complex. The most secure hashing algorithm supported by SAP systems is iterated salted SHA-1 in code version H. This mechanism uses random salts and a higher number of iterations to mitigate password attacks. Iterated salted SHA-1 hash values are stored in PWDSALTEDHASH.

SAP kernels should be upgraded to 7.02 or higher to support PWDSALTEDHASH hash values. For added security, default iterations and salt sizes can be increased using the login/password_hash_algorithm parameter.

Once this is performed, the profile parameter login/password_downwards_compatibility should be set to 0 to ensure only the strongest possible hash values are generated. CUA systems can be excluded from this requirement if they are connected to systems that do not support PWDSALTEDHASH.

The report CLEANUP_PASSWORD_HASH_VALUES should then be run to discover and remove redundant password hashes. There is a clear security risk if this is not performed. Attackers may be able to use passwords encoded in BCODE and PASSCODE hashes if users employ identical or similar passwords encoded in PWDSALTEDHASH.

Enforcing single sign-on (SSO) for all dialog users provides the optimal level of protection against password attacks by removing the need to store hashes altogether. However, once SSO is enabled, direct logons should be blocked through the parameter snc/accept_insecure_gui=U and by ensuring users are not exempted from SSO through settings in user records maintained in the SNC tab of SU01.

Taken together, these countermeasures should safeguard systems from dangerous password attacks aided by well-known and easily accessible tools that can be leveraged to take full control of SAP systems.

Update: A new version of Hashcat capable of cracking SAP code version H password hashes encoded using SHA-1 is currently in beta testing. You can learn more at http://hashcat.net/forum/thread-3804.html

FBI Director James Comey Speaks out on the Threat of Cybercrime

During a candid discussion with host Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes at FBI headquarters in Washington DC, James Comey speaks out about the threat of cybercrime confronted by American citizens and corporations. Comey declares that cybercrime perpetrated by nation states, criminal syndicates and terrorist organizations has reached epidemic proportions and is directly costing the US economy billions of dollars a year.

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The following is a transcript of the excerpt:

James Comey: Cybercrime is becoming everything in crime. Again, because people have connected their entire lives to the Internet, that’s where those who want to steal money or hurt kids or defraud go. So it’s an epidemic for reasons that make sense.

Scott Pelley: How many attacks are there on American computer systems and on people’s credit card numbers and the whole mass of it? What does a day look like if you’re concerned with crime in cyberspace?

James Comey: It would be too many to count. I mean, I think of it as kind of an evil layer cake. At the top you have nation state actors, who are trying to break into our systems. Terrorists, organized cyber syndicates, very sophisticated, harvesting people’s personal computers, down to hacktivists, down to criminals and pedophiles.

Scott Pelley: What countries are attacking the United States as we sit here in cyberspace?

James Comey: Well, I don’t want to give you a complete list. But I can tell you the top of the list is the Chinese. As we have demonstrated with the charges we brought earlier this year against five members of the People’s Liberation Army. They are extremely aggressive and widespread in their efforts to break into American systems to steal information that would benefit their industry.

Scott Pelley: What are they trying to get?

James Comey: Information that’s useful to them so they don’t have to invent. They can copy or steal so learn about how a company might approach negotiation with a Chinese company, all manner of things.

Scott Pelley: How many hits from China do we take in a day?

James Comey: Many, many, many. I mean, there are two kinds of big companies in the United States. There are those who’ve been hacked by the Chinese and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked by the Chinese.

Scott Pelley: The Chinese are that good?

James Comey: Actually, not that good. I liken them a bit to a drunk burglar. They’re kicking in the front door, knocking over the vase, while they’re walking out with your television set. They’re just prolific. Their strategy seems to be: We’ll just be everywhere all the time. And there’s no way they can stop us.

Scott Pelley: How much does that cost the U.S. economy every year?

James Comey: Impossible to count. Billions.

Scott Pelley: Sounds like cybercrime is a long way from Bonnie and Clyde for the FBI.

James Comey: Bonnie and Clyde could not do a thousand robberies in the same day, in all 50 states, from their pajamas, halfway around the world.

Scott Pelley: The FBI’s had legendary problems upgrading its computer systems. Are you now to a place where you’re satisfied that you’re meeting the cybersecurity threat?

James Comey: We’ve made great progress coordinating better as a government. When I last left government, my sense of us was kind of like four-year-old soccer. So like a clump of four year olds chasing the ball, we were chasing it in a pack. We’re about high school soccer now. We’re spread out. We pass well. But the bad guys are moving at World Cup speed. So we have to get better.

Scott Pelley: Do people understand, in your estimation, the dangers posed by cybercrime and cyber espionage?

James Comey: I don’t think so. I think there’s something about sitting in front of your own computer working on your own banking, your own health care, your own social life that makes it hard to understand the danger. I mean, the Internet is the most dangerous parking lot imaginable. But if you were crossing a mall parking lot late at night, your entire sense of danger would be heightened. You would stand straight. You’d walk quickly. You’d know where you were going. You would look for light. Folks are wandering around that proverbial parking lot of the Internet all day long, without giving it a thought to whose attachments they’re opening, what sites they’re visiting. And that makes it easy for the bad guys.

Scott Pelley: So tell folks at home what they need to know.

James Comey: When someone sends you an email, they are knocking on your door. And when you open the attachment, without looking through the peephole to see who it is, you just opened the door and let a stranger into your life, where everything you care about is.

Scott Pelley: And what might that attachment do?

James Comey: Well, take over the computer, lock the computer, and then demand a ransom payment before it would unlock. Steal images from your system of your children or your, you know, or steal your banking information, take your entire life.

Scott Pelley: We have talked about a lot of menacing things in this interview. Do you think Americans should sleep well?

James Comey: I think they should. I mean, the money they have invested in this government since 9/11 has been well spent. And we are better organized, better systems, better equipment, smarter deployment. We are better in every way that you’d want us to be since 9/11. We’re not perfect. My philosophy as a leader is we are never good enough. But we are in a much better place than we were 13 years ago.

A Five Step Guide to Securing SAP Systems from Cyber Attack Without Breaking the Bank

With SAP solutions deployed by 85 percent of Forbes 500 companies, they are a prized target for cyber attackers. Watch our Webinar playback to discover how to secure your SAP systems against targeted cyber attacks that could lead to denial of service, financial fraud or intellectual property theft. The Webinar is hosted by John Corvin, a Senior SAP Security Architect at Layer Seven Security. The insights delivered during the Webinar are based on lessons learned from hundreds of front-line engagements, aligned with leading practices and SAP recommendations and delivered by experienced SAP security consultants. Learn how to:

Secure SAP networks and communications
Protect remote function calls
Control critical user authorizations
Build log forensics
Configure security-relevant parameters

The Webinar will also enable you to identify opportunities for your organization to continuously monitor the security of SAP systems using standard tools and components available in SAP Solution Manager without licensing costly third party software. This will empower your organization to unlock the potential of SAP software and maximize the ROI of SAP licensing, while minimizing software-related capex and opex.

 

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Three More Reasons for using Solution Manager to Secure SAP Systems from Cyber Attack

Our recent article outlining the advantages of using SAP-delivered components versus third party software resonated strongly with customers seeking an effective and cost-efficient solution to address cyber threats impacting their SAP systems. The article examined the five key benefits of a Solution Manager-based strategy that included lower costs through the avoidance of licensing and maintenance fees for third-party software, the ability to configure custom security checks to address system, company or industry-specific risks, alerting for critical security events, detailed reporting driven by SAP Business Warehouse, and the availability of SAP support. The article presented a compelling argument for selecting SAP Solution Manager over the host of competing solutions offered by independent vendors.

The benefits delivered by Solution Manager stem from the depth and volume of security-related data that is continuously pulled from managed systems into the platform. Solution Manager lays at the core of SAP system landscapes and therefore occupies a central vantage point to oversee the security of connected systems. In contrast, third party software solutions are not embedded within SAP landscapes to the same extent and therefore lack the connectivity and range of Solution Manager.

Aside from the advantages mentioned above, there are three other benefits delivered by Solution Manager for security monitoring. The first is the availability of security dashboards. SAP delivers three security apps through the standard WebDynpro dashboard application in Solution Manager, located in the Cross-Application section for dashboard apps. This includes the Security Overview app, which summarizes security policy compliance by system across landscapes, the Security Details app, which displays compliance levels for software, configuration and user categories, and finally, the Security List app, which conveys security compliance levels for every SAP System ID. Dashboards apps can be automatically refreshed as often as every 5 minutes to provide security information in near real-time.

The second is Solution Manager’s ability to deliver detailed metrics for analyzing changes. Like third party solutions, components such as Configuration Validation in Solution Manager are able to pinpoint differences between actual and recommended security settings. However, Solution Manager goes a step further by enabling users to drill-down into the underlying changes that created risks identified by security scans. This is performed through Change Analysis which provides timestamps for changes in managed systems and the original values for instance, profile or other parameters before the changes were implemented.

The third is Solution Manager’s flexibility to support security policies aligned to any compliance framework. This includes not only familiar frameworks such as SOX and PCI DSS but requirements that are unique to specific industries or sectors. The transparent security checks performed by Configuration Validation can be customized for all regulatory, statutory and other forms of compliance standards.

Organizations do not have to look far for the solution to remove security vulnerabilities in their SAP systems. Most are delivered with standard license agreements by SAP and can be leveraged immediately at zero cost. Tools such as Configuration Validation provide a powerful and cost-effective alternative to third party solutions. They are also fully supported by SAP. You can learn more about SAP Configuration Validation here or contact Layer Seven Security to unlock the value of your Solution Manager systems.