Layer Seven Security

Database Security with the Cybersecurity Extension for SAP

Protecting SAP systems against cyber threats requires integrated measures applied not just within the SAP layer but across the technology stack including network, operating system, and database components.  As repositories of business-critical and sensitive information, databases warrant specific attention for hardening and monitoring efforts. This includes identifying and addressing configuration weaknesses, excessive privileges, and weak audit policies, encrypting data in transit and at rest, removing vulnerable stored procedures, and detecting and responding to privilege abuse or escalations.

SAP Solution Manager is uniquely positioned to monitor the security of SAP databases given its deep connectivity into SAP platforms. This article outlines the architecture and data collection procedures for database monitoring with Solution Manager. Next month’s article will explore database-level security reporting and event monitoring with SolMan.

Establishing connectivity to databases supporting SAP systems is a standard step during the mandatory configuration procedures for Solution Manager. Connection information is entered into the DB Parameters section during the Enter System Parameters step of Managed System Configuration. This includes the database host, port, and user credentials.

The connection supports the DBA Cockpit for database administration and monitoring. It also supports database extractors used by the Extractor Framework. The Extractor Framework performs data collection and distribution for monitoring and alerting in Solution Manager. The framework operates regular extractors to snapshot configuration, user, system, change and event-related data from systems. The snapshots are stored in areas such as the SolMan Configuration and Change Database (CCDB) and queried by other applications in SolMan including Configuration Validation and the Monitoring and Alerting Infrastructure (MAI). The concept of running or scheduling security scans is foreign in Solution Manager. Periodic jobs run the extractors to refresh the data. Therefore, there is no need to schedule scans or connect directly to systems to compile data when reviewing security-related information. Job Monitoring in Solution Manager can be used to monitor the relevant jobs and alert for job errors or warnings.

Solution Manager automatically applies preconfigured templates for databases once they are successfully connected for monitoring. SolMan installations are packaged with templates for all platforms supported by SAP systems including SAP databases such as HANA, Sybase and MaxDB, and third-party databases from Oracle, IBM and Microsoft. Template contents can vary based on the specific version and release of databases.

Templates for HANA platforms including metrics and alerts for monitoring system availability, performance and security. They also include CCDB stores to extract current values for HANA parameters, and details of active users, audit policies and users with critical database and system privileges.

The extractor framework and SAP-delivered templates may not provide coverage for monitoring all the security-related areas for each database platform. Therefore, customers or partners can either define their own templates or create/ modify extractors, metrics, alerts and CCDB stores to extract additional data. In the example below, we’ve added several custom stores to extract and query data for Sybase ASE that is not available in a standard Solution Manager installation.  This includes runtime values for all Sybase parameters, active users, roles assigned to database users, enabled stored procedures, audit settings, and database event logs with event IDs, user IDs, and timestamps.

The stores are assigned to the custom /L7S/ namespace to avoid any conflict with SAP and other namespaces.

The extractor framework regularly refreshes the data through background jobs. Database security policies are then applied by Solution Manager against the CCDB to identify vulnerabilities and security-related events in the platform. The data is also monitored by the MAI which triggers alerts and notifications for critical risks. The results are replicated to an internal Business Warehouse (BW) in Solution Manager.

In next month’s article, we will discuss how you can use Service Level Reporting and BusinessObjects to create detailed and user-freindly reports to convey the results of database security monitoring with SAP Solution Manager.

Webinar Recording: Security Analytics with SAP Web Intelligence

Watch the webinar replay to learn how to visualize security risks in your SAP systems using interactive reports in SAP Web Intelligence. Powered by the BusinessObjects platform, Web Intelligence connects directly to data sources in SAP Solution Manager to convey system vulnerabilities, missing security notes and open alerts using dynamic charts and graphs and detailed tables.

Join the global leaders in security monitoring with SAP Solution Manager to learn how to:

– Discover security vulnerabilities
– Manage missing patches
– Detect alerts for security incidents
– Collaborate and track remediation efforts using comments
– Filter and sort report data
– Export and share results
– Access reports remotely

We will also demonstrate how you can trial Web Intelligence using Layer Seven’s cloud platform.

Watch Now

 

 

Secure, Patch & Respond: Security Analytics with SAP Web Intelligence

SAP Web Intelligence enables users to visualize and manage security risks in SAP systems using interactive reports delivered through an intuitive web interface. Powered by the BusinessObjects platform, Web Intelligence connects directly to data sources in SAP Solution Manager to convey system vulnerabilities, missing security notes and open alerts using dynamic charts and graphs and detailed tables.

Animated charts summarize risks by system, location, priority and other dimensions. Results can be filtered and sorted to focus on specific areas. Users can comment on report elements for collaboration, decision-making and tracking remediation efforts. Reports can be exported to Excel, HTML and PDF. Reports can also be accessed remotely using the mobile app for SAP BusinessObjects.

The security reports are comprised of five distinct sections. The first section includes a series of charts that summarize risks across three dimensions: vulnerabilities, security notes, and alerts. The results can be filtered to focus on single or multiple systems.

The second section includes trend charts, bar graphs, geo-maps and bubble charts that break down the results for each dimension.

The remaining sections convey detailed findings and empower users to secure SAP systems against cyber threats by discovering and removing vulnerabilities, applying patches, and responding to alerts for suspected security breaches.

To learn more, contact Layer Seven Security. You can also request a free trial for security reporting with SAP Web Intelligence using Layer Seven’s cloud platform.

 

Coming Soon: Security Reporting with SAP Web Intelligence

SAP Web Intelligence (WebI) provides a platform for self-service reporting that enables users to analyze and visualize data from SAP systems using an intuitive, interactive and web-based interface. WebI supports BEx queries to connect to security-related data in Business Warehouse within Solution Manager. Users can create dynamic reports with embedded dashboards to monitor and manage risks and track remediation efforts. Reports are published to the BI Launch Pad to support enterprise-wide access through a web browser. They can also be refreshed, scheduled and broadcast from the Launch Pad.

Stay tuned for more details.

 

How to Comply with the DHS Recommendations for Securing SAP Systems from Cyber Attacks

In response to the dramatic rise of cyber attacks targeting ERP applications, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a warning earlier this year that encouraged organizations to respond to the risks targeted at their business applications by implementing specific measures to secure, patch and monitor SAP systems. The measures included scanning for vulnerabilities and missing security patches, managing SAP interfaces, and monitoring user behaviour, indicators of compromise, and compliance against security baselines for systems.

This article discusses how you can leverage SAP Solution Manager to comply with the DHS recommendations. Solution Manager is installed and available in most SAP landscapes and includes diagnostics and monitoring applications to support cybersecurity. The specific applications are outlined below against each of the DHS recommendations.

1. Scan systems for all known vulnerabilities, such as missing security patches and dangerous system configurations.

Configuration Validation in Solution Manager can perform automatic daily scans of SAP systems against security benchmarks to identify misconfigurations that could expose systems to cyber threats. The scans are performed against snapshots of systems stored in the Configuration and Change Database (CCDB). The results of the scans are stored in an internal Business Warehouse (BW). Service Level Reports and Security Dashboards connect to BW using BEx queries to read the results of the security scans and report the findings.

System Recommendations (SysRec) in Solution Manager connects directly to SAP Support to discover missing security patches.  SysRec also connects to each system in an SAP landscape to determine the current patch level. It reads the system information in the Landscape and Management Database (LMDB) to identify installed software components and versions. SysRec also integrates with the ABAP Call Monitor, Usage Procedure Logging, and Solution Documentation to perform change impact analysis for security patches.

2. Identify and analyze the security settings of SAP interfaces between systems and applications to understand risks posed by these trust relationships.

Interface and Connection Monitoring (ICMon) in Solution Manager automatically maps cross-system interfaces including RFC, HTTP, IDOC and Web Services. This includes internal and external connections. It also monitors real-time traffic patterns to detect and alert for malicious actions including dangerous RFM and URL executions.

3. Analyze systems for malicious or excessive user authorizations.

Solution Manager can detect users with administrative privileges in SAP systems. It flags users with privileged authorizations, profiles, roles, transactions, Java permissions, and HANA system and table privileges. Privileges can include standard and custom objects.

4. Monitor systems for indicators of compromise resulting from the exploitation of vulnerabilities.

The Monitoring and Alerting Infrastructure (MAI) in Solution Manager can monitor event logs in SAP systems to detect and alert for indicators of compromise (IOCs). This includes log files and tables such as the Security Audit Log, HTTP Log, System Log, Gateway Server Log, Change Document Log, Read Access Log, Java Security Log, HANA Audit Log, and the SAProuter Log. The MAI triggers alerts and email and text notifications for IOCs. Guided procedures provide a framework for incident response and tracking.

5. Monitor systems for suspicious user behavior, including both privileged and non-privileged users.

MAI monitors user logs to detect and alert for suspicious behavior covering both privileged and non-privileged users. This includes unauthorized access, escalation of privileges and actions that could lead to data leakage.

6. Apply threat intelligence on new vulnerabilities to improve the security posture against advanced targeted attacks.

SAP Partners periodically update content for Solution Manager to address new vulnerabilities and attack vectors.

7. Define comprehensive security baselines for systems and continuously monitor for compliance violations and remediate detected deviations.

Solution Manager continuously monitors for policy violations against security baselines and compliance frameworks such as GDPR, IT-SOX, NIST and PCI-DSS. Service Level Reports and Dashboards provide directions for implementing and tracking remedial actions taken to patch and secure systems. Guided procedures document incident investigation steps performed by responders. The results are archived in Solution Manager.

To learn more about how Solution Manager can help you comply with the DHS recommendations for securing SAP systems, contact Layer Seven Security.

SolMan-SIEM Integration for Advanced Threat Detection

SAP Solution Manager monitors real-time event information in SAP logs to automatically detect and trigger alerts for specific Indicators of Compromise (IOCs).  This includes events written to the security audit log, system log, gateway server log, change document log, HTTP log, transaction log, SAProuter log, Java security log and the HANA audit log. Alerts are managed in the Alert Inbox or the System Monitoring app of SAP Solution Manager and automatic email and SMS notifications are triggered for critical incidents. Alerts are integrated with Guided Procedures to support an end-to-end process for incident detection and response within Solution Manager.

The data collection for event monitoring using Solution Manager is performed using existing RFC connections and Diagnostics Agents installed in managed systems. Since Diagnostics Agents can be installed in both SAP and non-SAP systems and components, Solution Manager can perform many of the functions of a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system. SolMan can monitor across the technology stack including database, operating system, and application layers, as well as network components such as routers, switches and firewalls. These areas are often monitored by organizations using existing SIEM platforms. Therefore, SolMan is more commonly used for application-level monitoring.

SIEM platforms support direct monitoring of SAP log files, tables and other data sources. However, there are several drawbacks with this approach. One of the drawbacks is that each data source within every target system must be connected separately to SIEM platforms. This increases deployment times and complexities. Once connected, rules and patterns must be defined in the platforms for every possible event. Also, since SIEM platforms are ingesting raw logs, the cost of monitoring and storing mammoth-sized logs for multiple SAP systems can be prohibitive, especially for large landscapes.

SAP Solution Manager overcomes these drawbacks by parsing log files and tables and filtering events before forwarding alerts to SIEM platforms. This enables the platforms to avoid ingesting raw logs to monitor SAP event information. Since the event data forwarded to SIEM platforms is derived from a single source for all SAP systems in a landscape, deployment is also faster and less complex. Finally, Solution Manager structures and enriches the event data before it reaches SIEM platforms to reduce the need to develop rules and patterns to interpret SAP event information.

Solution Manager can integrate with SIEM platforms through several ways. The most common is using OS commands that are called by SolMan to write event data to external files that are ingested by SIEM solutions. Alerts are written to external files as soon as they are triggered by SolMan. Alert fields can include the alert name, description, priority, date, time, SAP System ID, and other areas.

This process integrates alerts for IOCs and other security risks detected by SolMan for SAP applications with SIEM systems for centralized monitoring and cross-platform correlation. The example below is for Splunk Enterprise. Click on the images below to enlarge.

GDPR Compliance with SAP Solution Manager 7.2

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be enforceable throughout the European Union in less than a month. The regulation specifies how personal data should be managed and applies to organizations that collect data on EU citizens, regardless of whether or not they are located within the EU. GDPR requirements include data protection measures to secure systems that store or process personal data (privacy by design). They also include breach notification requirements that oblige organizations to notify customers within 72 hours of any compromise of their personal data.  Organizations may be fined up to €20 million or 4% of global turnover for non-compliance, whichever is greater. Therefore, GDPR is regarded as the most stringent data security framework to date.

In SAP environments, the requirement for privacy by design can be met by hardening and patching systems using Service Level Reporting, Security Dashboards, and System Recommendations, available in SAP Solution Manager. This will support automated monitoring for security vulnerabilities and missing security patches that could be exploited to target SAP systems and compromise personal data. Interface Monitoring and the Monitoring and Alerting Infrastructure (MAI) in Solution Manager can be used to perform event monitoring to detect potential attacks in near-time.

The requirement for breach notification can be met through systematic monitoring of access to personal data, supported by incident response procedures aligned to GDPR disclosure standards. This can also be performed using SAP Solution Manager. The flowchart below summarizes the process for logging access to personal data in SAP systems, automatically monitoring logs for access violations and finally, responding to potential breaches using guided procedures.

The logging for access to personal data is performed using SAP Read Access Logging (RAL). RAL supports logging for access and changes to sensitive data fields in SAP systems, including custom fields. It can also be used to log access to SAP tables containing bulk records of sensitive data. Data fields and tables are tagged for logging using RAL scenarios. Once configured, RAL configurations can be transported across systems within a landscape. User exclusion lists can be maintained to exclude authorized users from logging. The RAL recording below captures access to banking information accessed through vendor maintenance in SAP ERP.

Access violations are logged in RAL tables. The raw log can be viewed using SRALMONITOR. In the example below, RAL has logged access to banking data belonging to vendor number 1752249 by the user ATTACKER on April 24, 2018 at 1.39 PM. Click on each image to enlarge.

The next step involves automated monitoring of RAL logs and triggering alerts and notifications for suspected breaches to personal data. This is performed using the MAI in SAP Solution Manager. MAI continuously monitors the contents of RAL tables as often as every minute. The MAI Event Calculation Engine alerts for each incident recorded in RAL tables and triggers email notifications to security analysts.

The alert details include the date and time of the event, the impacted system and client, and the name of the user that accessed the personal data.

The final step involves incident response. Analysts can execute guided procedures to investigate suspected breaches of personal data directly from each alert. Once executed, guided procedures provide standard operating procedures including automated steps for security investigations.

Guided procedures provide a framework for ensuring incident response procedures are aligned with GDPR requirements including disclosures to impacted customers, employees or other parties within the reporting window mandated by the regulation. Completed guided procedures are archived to provide an audit trail for compliance purposes.

The comprehensive coverage provided by SAP Solution Manager for the privacy by design and monitoring and disclosure requirements of GDPR presents a powerful alternative to third party software platforms.  Contact Layer Seven Security to discuss how Solution Manager can help your organization become and stay GDPR-compliant.

SAP Solution Manager is ITIL-Certified for Information Security Management

The SAP Integration and Certification Center (ICC) has been validating and certifying solutions from partners and software vendors for over twenty years. The certifications provided by the ICC are based on rigorous testing and enable customers to invest with confidence in technologies that integrate with SAP solutions. This includes technologies that support security scenarios such as automated vulnerability management, code scanning and threat detection.

The ICC cannot certify SAP’s own product offerings since self-certification does not provide the same level of assurance as independent certification. However, SAP platforms are often certified by recognized certification authorities. SAP Solution Manager, for example, is certified by organizations such as SERVIEW. In fact, Solution Manager is one of the most awarded service management platforms in the market and certified for all 18 certifiable processes of the ITIL framework, including Information Security Management.

ITIL is the Information Technology Infrastructure Library and provides best practices to support the design, management and monitoring of IT infrastructure and optimization of service levels for end users. The framework consists of five distinct lifecycle phases for service strategy, design, transition, operations, and continuous improvement. It includes key performance indicators to identify problems, measure performance, and track progress.

IT Security Management is a process within the Service Design lifecycle of the most recent version of the ITIL framework. It includes four sub-processes for the design of security controls, the performance of regular security reviews, and the management of security incidents. The sub-processes are targeted at preventing, detecting and containing security intrusions and breaches. The chart below maps each sub-process to relevant applications available in SAP Solution Manager.

ITIL v3 – IT Security Management

Applications such as Configuration Validation, Service Level Reporting and the Dashboard Builder enable customers to enforce security baselines for SAP landscapes and monitor compliance against security KPIs. System Recommendations automatically detects missing security patches through a direct connection to SAP support. Interface Monitoring detects potential breaches of cross-system connections. Finally, the Monitoring and Alerting Infrastructure and Guided Procedures provide an advanced framework for detecting and responding to security incidents and suspected breaches. Overall, Solution Manager provides a powerful ITIL-compliant platform for defining, implementing and sustaining secure SAP system landscapes.

 

5 Common Myths for Security Monitoring with SAP Solution Manager

Does Solution Manager have a complex installation process? Is it difficult to maintain? Does it create dangerous connections with SAP systems? Is it a high value target for attackers? Does it provide no support for zero-day vulnerabilities?

This article tackles the five most common myths about SAP Solution Manager and reveals the truth behind the fiction.

The first and most common myth is that SAP Solution Manager is complex to install and difficult to maintain. In fact, the installation procedures for Solution Manager are relatively simple and standardized, especially in comparison to other SAP platforms such as ECC. Once installed, guided procedures in Solution Manager track the progress of the setup process across three major areas: System Preparation, Basic Configuration, and Managed System Configuration. Performing the configuration steps in Technical or Application Monitoring is recommended to enable the monitoring capabilities of Solution Manager.

Once configured, security-relevant applications such as System Recommendations, Dashboards, Interface Monitoring and the Monitoring and Alerting Infrastructure are enabled and ready to use. Therefore, the standard setup procedures automatically activate most of the requirements for security monitoring using Solution Manager. Since security applications use existing connections with SAP systems, there is no need to install and configure additional agents in target systems.

Maintenance is relatively straightforward. Support packs for functional enhancements and bug fixes are released at regular intervals and are applied using the Maintenance Optimizer. The guided procedures for SOLMAN_SETUP will flag any configuration issues that need to be tackled after an SP upgrade.

The second myth is that SAP Solution Manager creates dangerous RFC connections with managed systems. The RFC connections created by Solution Manager are no more or less dangerous than similar connections between other systems in SAP landscapes. Also, the risk is not removed if you decide not to perform security monitoring using SAP Solution Manager since the connections will remain in place.

The third myth is that SAP Solution Manager is a high-value target for attackers. In fact, all SAP systems are valuable targets for attackers. Since Solution Manager does not typically store or process sensitive business data, it may be a less valuable target than systems such as ECC, CRM and SRM. Also, Solution Manager performs self-monitoring to detect security vulnerabilities including misconfigurations and missing patches, and potential security breaches captured in SAP logs. In dual landscapes, Solution Manager systems can monitor each other.

Fourthly, it’s often emphasized that Solution Manager is not certified by SAP. SAP certifies third party solutions developed by independent software vendors for integration with platforms including SAP NetWeaver. SAP does not certify it’s own software platforms such as Solution Manager. However, Solution Manager is ITIL-certified by organizations such as SERVIEW for Information Security Management.

The final myth is that Solution Manager does not provide any coverage for zero-day vulnerabilities that are unpatched by SAP. Security researchers choose to deliver virtual patches for zero-day vulnerabilities through third party tools in order to induce SAP customers to subscribe to expensive licenses for such tools. This is a business decision and not due to any technical limitation in Solution Manager. Also, all zero-day vulnerabilities do not pose a critical risk to SAP systems. The fact that patches for vulnerabilities are often released many months after the weaknesses are disclosed by security researchers to SAP does not necessarily mean that SAP systems are at serious risk. SAP’s response to such disclosures depends on an assessment of the risk posed by reported vulnerabilities. This includes factors such as the complexity and range of related exploits and the impact to data confidentiality, integrity and availability.

Featured in SAPinsider: Secure Your SAP Landscapes with SAP Solution Manager 7.2

Firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and antivirus solutions may not protect SAP systems against advanced cyberattacks. However, this does not necessarily mean that SAP customers have to license third-party vulnerability scanning or threat detection solutions to deal with the risk. The answer to their security questions may be closer than they realize. Bundled with standard and enterprise SAP support agreements, SAP Solution Manager 7.2 includes five integrated applications to safeguard SAP systems against cyber threats:

Service Level Reporting (SLR)
Dashboard Builder
System Recommendations
Interface and Connection Monitoring (ICMon)
and the Monitoring and Alerting Infrastructure (MAI)

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