Layer Seven Security

Security Analytics with SAP Focused Run

SAP Focused Run delivers real-time application monitoring, alerting and analytics for large-scale SAP landscapes and hosting providers that need to monitor customer SAP installations from a central platform. It leverages the power of SAP HANA to support centralized monitoring for thousands of systems in high-volume environments. Focused Run is intended to complement SAP Solution Manager in SAP landscapes by substituting configuration, integration, system, and user monitoring scenarios from SolMan. However, Solution Manager is required for all other scenarios including change management, patch management, custom code management, business process monitoring, service management, and test management.

This article explores the capabilities of the Advanced Configuration Monitoring (ACM) scenario in Focused Run. Scenarios such as Advanced Event and Alert Management (AEM), Advanced Integration Monitoring (AIM) and Advanced User Monitoring (AUM) will be discussed in later posts. ACM includes Configuration and Security Analytics (CSA), accessed from the Fiori launchpad of Focused Run. CSA enables SAP users to analyze the configuration of applications, databases and hosts and automate audits for security compliance. The following short video from SAP provides a quick introduction to CSA: Advanced Configuration Monitoring

CSA analyzes configuration data collected and transferred via the Simple Diagnostics Agent (SDA) from SAP systems. Focused Run does not include a built-in Business Warehouse (BW). Therefore, unlike Solution Manager, configuration data is stored in HANA database tables starting with CCDB_DATA_ rather than BW InfoCubes.  This simplifies the architecture and improves the performance for configuration analysis. The tables are read by the Configuration and Change Database (CCDB). Configuration changes are tracked to support change and trend analysis. This includes changes to security-relevant parameters, services, RFC destinations, and user privileges. The CCDB contains snapshots of SAP systems. The configuration data is structured in containers known as config stores. The stores can be updated every hour to maintain up-to-date snapshots of SAP systems. The stores can be queried using the search option in CSA. The config store below displays the current values for all profile parameters in system FR1.

The following store contains details of user assigned critical profiles. User related stores can be customized to extract details for specific profiles, roles, user types, authorizations, and combinations of roles and authorizations.

CSA can be used to configure and apply policies that analyze config stores to audit systems and automate compliance checks. Policy Maintenance in CSA enables users to create XML policies. Policies can also be converted from target systems in Configuration Validation from SAP Solution Manager. Policies can be exported and imported as XML files or transported between Focused Run installations. SAP recommends limiting the number of checks in single policies to 100 to restrict the number of SQL statements. However, single policies can be combined into composite policies to execute thousands of checks in parallel. In the example below, the composite policy ABAP Parameters includes multiple single policies for reviewing security-relevant parameters in ABAP systems.

In order to apply a generated single or composite policy to audit SAP systems, you must first define the scope of systems. Systems can be grouped by Customer ID, Data Center, IT Admin Role (Environment) and other variables (see below). Customer ID can be used to group systems by company or business group.

The next step is to select and apply the required single or composite policy. The results below summarize the compliance status of systems in the L7_FRUN group against the ABAP Parameters composite policy.

Users can drilldown into the findings for each system to focus on parameters that failed the policy check.

You can click on the icon at the end of each rule to view further details.

The current value of the parameter is displayed in the Value column. The results can be exported to Excel for offline analysis.

Policy checks can be scheduled for hourly, daily or weekly intervals in Policy Management.

The results of the scheduled checks can be displayed in Trend Analysis. This provides a graphical analysis of compliance levels for each interval of the report.

Focused Run does not include the equivalent of System Recommendations in SAP Solution Manager for discovering and applying security notes. SAP periodically publishes policies for security notes to GitHub. The policies can be downloaded and imported into Focused Run to check for the implementation status of relevant notes in each system. This approach can lead to inconsistencies between System Recommendations and Focused Run since calculated notes may not align between the solutions. The Cybersecurity Extension for SAP Focused Run from Layer Seven Security integrates System Recommendations with Focused Run to ensure calculated notes are consistent between both platforms. The CSA policy below displays all security notes calculated by System Recommendations. The results can be filtered by system and priority. With this approach, SAP customers do not need to manually update FRUN with new policies for security notes. Calculated notes are updated automatically daily.

The beta release of the Cybersecurity Extension for SAP Focused Run is scheduled for Q3 2022 and will include additional config stores to supplement the security content in the CCDB, preconfigured single and composite policies for ABAP, HANA and Java systems, and monitoring templates to support alerting for SAP logs including the Security Audit Log and the HANA audit log.  

Patch Your SAP Systems with SAP Solution Manager

Regularly patching SAP systems is the single most important action you can take to secure business-critical SAP applications from cyber threats. Despite the concern surrounding zero-day vulnerabilities, every known SAP exploit targets existing vulnerabilities patched by SAP through security notes. In other words, there is no evidence of the exploitation of zero-day vulnerabilities for SAP applications. However, there is a multitude of evidence for the exploitation of known vulnerabilities that have been fully patched by SAP.

This includes well-known SAP vulnerabilities such as ICMAD, RECON and 10KBLAZE. Notes 3123396 and 3123427 patch SAP for ICMAD. Note 2934135 secures SAP against RECON exploits. Protection against 10KBLAZE can be applied through notes 1408081, 821875, and 1421005. Some the notes for 10KBLAZE have been available since 2006. This is 13 years before CISA released an alert for the exploits.

Organizations take an average of three months to implement hot news notes for critical SAP vulnerabilities. Yet threat actors can weaponize SAP vulnerabilities within 72 hours of a patch release. Therefore, it is important to minimize the window of opportunity for attackers by rapidly discovering, analyzing and implementing SAP security notes.

Most software tools for SAP patch management automate the discovery of SAP security notes but do not support notes analysis and implementation.  System Recommendations (SysRec) is the only solution that supports the full lifecycle of SAP security notes. SysRec is a standard application in SAP Solution Manager, recommended by SAP for patch management. It is automatically enabled during the installation and setup of Solution Manager.

Discovery

For notes discovery, SysRec performs a daily check for the latest security notes. Therefore, customers are notified immediately as soon as new notes are released by SAP. SysRec connects directly to the SAP Support Portal to identify new notes. It calculates relevant notes based on software information for SAP systems stored in the Landscape Management Database (LMDB). The LMDB is synced to the SAP NetWeaver System Landscape Directory (SLD). The SLD is the source of system information in SAP landscapes including installed software components, databases and operating systems and the versions of components and platforms. Notes calculation takes into account the implementation status of notes. Therefore, fully implemented notes are automatically excluded by SysRec.

It is important to note that the results returned by SysRec are based on installed components, regardless of usage. All installed components must be maintained and patched even if they are not actively used since they are part of the attack surface.

System Recommendations is widely used by SAP administrators to manage not only SAP security notes but also correction, legal, performance and other notes. SAP security teams that rely on third party solutions for notes discovery often clash with SAP administrators since security notes returned by their tools do not align with the results of SysRec. SAP administrators are inclined to trust the results of SAP applications such as SysRec over third party solutions. This can lead to disputes and delays within organizations as SAP administration and security teams fail to align on the notes that should be implemented. The risk is avoided when both teams use System Recommendations and are therefore aligned on the required security notes.

Analysis

SysRec supports detailed notes analysis through integration with Usage and Procedure Logging (UPL) and the ABAP Call Monitor (SCMON). UPL and SCMON support change impact analysis by revealing function modules, methods, programs and other objects impacted by security notes before they are applied. It includes usage statistics for impacted objects. This information enables SAP administrators to determine the scope and extent of testing for security notes. Notes impacting many objects with high usage counts may require detailed integration or regression testing. Conversely, notes impacting few objects with low usage counts indicates that customers may be able to employ less complex and more rapid test approaches such as smoke tests. Change impact analysis in SysRec provides the insights required by SAP customers to pinpoint the effect of security notes in SAP systems. This addresses the root cause of long patch cycles that increase the period of vulnerability for SAP systems.

Implementation

System Recommendations enables users to download corrections from the SAP Support Portal directly to the target SAP system. This is performed using the option for Integrated Desktop Actions. The user is prompted to select the target system before the download and can therefore select non-productive SIDs when analyzing notes for productive SIDs. SysRec automatically calls SNOTE in the target system after the download to apply the note.

Integrated Desktop Actions also enables users to create a Request for Change (RfC) in Change and Request Management (ChaRM) for security notes. ChaRM is commonly used by SAP customers to manage the lifecycle of SAP changes and includes workflows to control requests including phases for requirements, approval, testing, and promotion to production.

If you would like to learn more about patching SAP systems using System Recommendations, request a pre-release of Layer Seven Security’s new whitepaper for SAP Security Patching, scheduled for Q3 2022.

Monitoring SuccessFactors with SAP Solution Manager

SuccessFactors is a cloud SaaS solution from SAP for Human Capital Management. It includes a suite of applications for core HR functions such as employee management, recruitment, and payroll.  It is often closely integrated with HCM functions in cloud or on-premise ERP systems using the Integration Add-On for SAP ERP HCM. The integration can be performed using SAP Integration Suite, Process Integration, or FTP/SFTP.

Similar to other cloud services such as SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Ariba, and SAP Concur, organizations can monitor SuccessFactors with SAP Solution Manager. Solution Manager includes metrics and alerts to monitor interfaces, scheduled jobs and application logs in SuccessFactors including Employee Central and Talent Management. It also supports monitoring for all integration scenarios between SuccessFactors and SAP ERP HCM. The scenarios are outlined in the diagram below.

Monitoring for cloud services including SuccessFactors can be configured using SAP Solution Manager Configuration – Managed Systems Configuration – Cloud Services Tab – Create Cloud Service. For the root URL, refer to SAP Note 2215682 – SuccessFactors API URLs for different Data Centers.

The second step is to create the endpoint for the cloud service. For SuccessFactors, you can create HTTPS and SFTP endpoints, depending on the integration scenario. Both endpoints require the setup of the SFAPI user in SuccessFactors. For more information, refer to note 2161909 – How to enable SFAPI in SuccessFactors. Cloud SSL certificates for HTTPS endpoints can be imported using STRUST. For a successful SSL handshake, the parameters icm/HTTPS/client_sni_enabled and ssl/client_sni_enabled should be set to true in Solution Manager.

Alerts for SuccessFactors can be enabled via SOLMAN_SETUP – Application Operations – Exception Management. SAP Solution Manager supports monitoring for the following log stores in SuccessFactors:

SuccessFactors Data Replication Errors
SuccessFactors Integration
SuccessFactors API
SuccessFactors Scheduled Jobs
SuccessFactors Simple Integration
SuccessFactors Smart Suite

Filter definitions for log stores can used to customize monitoring. You can add, remove or change filter fields and values. You can also use different operators for filter values.

SuccessFactors alerts can also be enabled using Interface and Connection Monitoring (ICMon) in Solution Manager. The monitoring templates for Cloud (Success Factors) or Web Services ABAP can be used to monitor exceptions in communication channels between the SAP Success Factors Integration add-on in SAP ERP and SAP Cloud Integration. This will enable alerts for areas such as Employee Data, Compensation, Recruiting, Onboarding, and Variable Pay. SuccessFactors alerts are automatically integrated with the Cybersecurity Extension for SAP and the SIEM Integrator for SAP.

Security Monitoring with Focused Insights for SAP Solution Manager

Focused Insights is an advanced dashboard framework that was previously available only for MaxAttention customers as part of the MaxAttention Next Generation Add-On (MANGO) but is now available for all SAP customers. Focused Insights can now be installed in SAP Solution Manager 7.2 without any additional SAP licensing or user and usage restrictions.

Focused Insights for SAP Solution Manager provides ready-to-use templates for monitoring a range of KPIs for SAP landscapes. Customers can select from over 800 best practice KPIs for multiple use cases. The framework is organized in three levels: Operational, Governance and Strategic. Security metrics are monitored primarily in the Tactical Dashboard, accessible from the Focused Insights Launchpad.

The Tactical Dashboard can monitor several instances. Instances are groups of systems geared for different users or groups. Instances are setup and maintained using the TAC Configuration option. This includes relevant systems, scenarios and thresholds for KPIs.

The current version of the dashboard supports eleven scenarios such as Availability, Performance, Operations, and Security. Each scenario is rated green, red or yellow based on the thresholds and options maintained in the configuration.

The Dashboard is refreshed automatically every 10 minutes but the frequency can be changed from 5 to 30 minutes and maintained separately for each instance.

The security scenario supports monitoring of security metrics for ABAP, HANA, and Java systems and the SAP Web Dispatcher.  It reports the number of very high (hot news) and high rated security notes that are unapplied in each system, users with critical privileges including the SAP_ALL profile, systems that are open for direct changes, insecure client settings, RFC destinations configured with privileged users, and misconfigurations in specific security-relevant profile parameters. Notes information is sourced from System Recommendations in SAP Solution Manager. The results of other security checks are derived from Configuration Validation using target systems supplied by SAP.

Focused Insights 2.0 SP7 and higher supports the integration of custom target systems with the security scenario in the Tactical Dashboard. This can be used to support monitoring for additional security checks beyond the SAP standard delivery.  

Securing the SYSTEM User in SAP HANA

The SYSTEM user is the most powerful database user in SAP HANA with system-wide privileges including permissions to create and maintain other users, perform system changes, stop and start services, and create and drop databases and tables. The user is created during the initial setup of SAP HANA. Once the system is setup, the SYSTEM user should be deactivated and other users should be created for administrative tasks. The user is not required for HANA updates but should be reactivated for system upgrades, installations and migrations. This includes support stack and enhancement pack upgrades.

Since the SYSTEM user is a well-known administrative user with full system privileges, it is often targeted by threat actors. This article outlines measures to secure the user against attacks and detect and alert for actions performed by the user.

1. Reset Initial Password

Initial passwords for the SYSTEM user for both the system database and the first tenant database are set by hardware partners or administrators. The password should be reset immediately after the handover. The reset can be performed using SQL statements or the SAP HANA cockpit by a user with the USER ADMIN or DATABASE ADMIN privilege. Password resets can also be performed by the <sid>adm user from the system database.

2. Deactivate the User

The SYSTEM should not be used for data-to-day activities, especially in production systems. Create alternative dedicated users for each administrative scenario and then deactivate the SYSTEM user. The user can be temporarily reactivated for emergency tasks, when required. Deactivation can be performed using the SQL statement ALTER USER SYSTEM DEACTIVATE USER NOW and reactivation using the statement ALTER USER SYSTEM ACTIVATE USER NOW. The status of the user can be confirmed by reviewing the values in the columns USER_DEACTIVATED, DEACTIVATION_TIME, and LAST_SUCCESSFUL_CONNECT for the SYSTEM user in the USERS system view.

3. Create Audit Policies

Configure audit policies to log for all actions performed by the SYSTEM user and changes to the user such as password changes and user activation/ deactivation. Once activated, the policies will automatically log events to the audit trail. Audit policies can be created using SQL statements or the Auditing tab of the SAP HANA cockpit with the AUDIT ADMIN privilege. Actions should include both successful and unsuccessful events. Events can be written to one of the supported audit trail targets specified in each policy or the default audit trail if none is specified. Maximum retention periods can also be specified for each policy.

4. Monitor the Audit Trail

Monitor HANA audit logs using System Monitoring in SAP Solution Manager. Configure automated alerts and email/ SMS notifications for actions performed by the SYSTEM user or changes to the user. Integrate alerts with SIEM systems for SOC monitoring. Finally, investigate alerts using guided procedures in SAP Solution Manager.

Securing Software Supply Chains for SAP Systems

Software supply chain attacks are advanced cyberattacks that target information systems through third party software. Threat actors compromise systems and data by exploiting software builds or interfaces for trusted software. This enables attackers to introduce malware without detection including backdoors.

The recent software supply chain attack experienced by SolarWinds is widely regarded as one of the most devastating cyber attacks in history.  It impacted as many as 425 of the US Fortune 500, the top ten US telecommunications companies, the top five US accounting firms, all branches of the US Military, the Pentagon, the State Department, the world’s largest cybersecurity firm, as well as thousands of organizations worldwide. The attack cost affected companies an average of $12M.

Download the whitepaper from Layer Seven Security for guidance on securing software supply chains in SAP landscapes. The whitepaper outlines the threat vectors that could be exploited by attackers to compromise third party software that support SAP applications. It provides practical steps for minimizing third party software and external connections in SAP landscapes, avoiding the use of open source components, and monitoring third party software. The steps are aligned to the Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management (C-SCRM) practices recommended by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Webinar Playback: Protecting SAP Systems from Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware is headline news, and recent attacks have demonstrated the devastating impact of attacks that target critical infrastructure. According to the Department of Homeland Security ransomware attacks have increased by 300% over the past year, impacting all industries and sectors. The average downtime from an attack is 21 days, but full recovery takes an average of 287 days. 

Ransomware can impact SAP systems through vulnerable operating systems. However, securing host systems alone does not safeguard SAP systems from ransomware. Attackers can exploit trust relationships between SAP applications and underlying operating systems to execute privileged OS commands that avoid detection. This can include commands that enable threat actors to transfer, install, and execute ransomware tools. 

This webinar will discuss steps you can take to secure your business-critical SAP systems from ransomware. It will provide an integrated strategy for:

• Identifying and prioritizing critical SAP assets and infrastructure;

• Hardening SAP systems to reduce the attack surface;

• Activating and monitoring SAP logs to detect suspected attacks; and 

• Backing up and restoring SAP systems to minimize the downtime from successful attacks.

The webinar will also discuss how to use SAP Solution Manager to support your anti-ransomware program, from identifying and removing vulnerabilities that could be exploited to attack your systems to detecting and alerting for suspected security breaches.

You can view the webinar recording at SAPinsideronline.com.

Cybersecurity Extension for SAP Identifies Signatures of Active SAP Cyberattacks

Earlier this month, SAP issued a joint report with a security research firm to highlight active cyber threats targeting SAP applications. According to the report, there is conclusive evidence that attackers are actively targeting and exploiting unsecured SAP applications. The report also reveals that some SAP vulnerabilities are being weaponized in less than 72 hours from the release of SAP patches.  Unprotected cloud installations of SAP are being discovered and compromised in less than 3 hours.

The investigation performed for the report identified over 300 successful exploitations of SAP systems. This included attempts to modify users and configurations and exfiltrate business information. Most of the exploits targeted the six CVEs below. Although the vulnerabilities have been patched by SAP, many organizations have not applied the recommended mitigations to protect SAP systems.

CVE-2010-5326 (SAP Security Note 1445998)
CVE-2018-2380 (SAP Security Note 2547431)
CVE-2016-3976 (SAP Security Note 2234971)
CVE-2016-9563 (SAP Security Note 2296909)
CVE-2020-6287 (SAP Security Note 2934135)
CVE-2020-6207 (SAP Security Note 2890213)

SAP recommends customers to immediately assess vulnerable systems to identify indicators of compromise such as unauthorized privileged users. The assessment should include systems within SAP landscapes that are connected to the vulnerable targets. The related SAP security notes and recommendations should also be applied in impacted systems.

SAP also urges customers to implement appropriate cybersecurity measures to protect SAP applications. The Cybersecurity Extension for SAP is an SAP-certified solution that performs automated vulnerability management, threat detection and incident response to secure SAP systems from cyber threats. This includes exploits that target the CVEs highlighted in the report. The Extension detects misconfigured and unpatched systems. It also detects the signatures of exploits that target the CVEs, triggers alerts and notifications for suspected breaches, and provides guided procedures for investigating incidents. To learn more, contact Layer Seven Security.

Securing Linux Platforms for SAP HANA and S/4HANA

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) is the leading operating system for SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA solutions, supporting 85 percent of HANA deployments worldwide. SLES for SAP Applications is optimized to support high availability and persistent memory and endorsed by SAP.

Securing operating systems is a critical component of SAP system hardening. Vulnerable hosts can provide a pathway to SAP applications, databases and other components, bypassing security mechanisms applied in those layers. This can lead to the compromise of SAP systems including the corruption of critical files and tables. It can also support ransomware attacks that disrupt the availability of SAP services.

The Cybersecurity Extension for SAP performs daily automated scans to identify vulnerabilities in SAP hosts. For SLES, this includes authentication settings, firewall configurations, file and service permissions, root access, missing security patches, vulnerable packages and services, and misconfigured settings for logging and auditing. It also includes the detection of open TCP/ UDP ports that are targeted by attackers, including FTP, RPC, RDP, SSH, and Telnet.

SLES vulnerabilities are mapped to SAP systems, supporting holistic security across code, application, database and operating system layers.

The SAP-Certified extension also monitors SLES logs to identify indicators of compromise in SAP hosts. Alerts and notifications are triggered for security incidents and channeled to SIEM and service desk systems. This includes the following scenarios:

  • Changes to operating system configuration, profile, and kernel parameters
  • Firewall and other network settings
  • File system mounts and unmounts
  • Group, user and password changes
  • Cron jobs
  • Daemon and service changes
  • OS scripts
  • External connections
  • Sudo users
  • Root and sudo commands
  • Failed logon and file access attempts
  • Critical file changes
  • File permission changes
  • OS code injection
  • User locks and unlocks

Audit records from the SLES audit log are displayed in the alert details. The records include the audit event number and auid of the initial user that triggered the event.

The Cybersecurity Extension for SAP includes integrated incident response procedures to support forensic investigations. Users can select the Respond option from an alert to start an investigation and document the findings.

Layer Seven Security’s Cybersecurity Extension for SAP® Solutions Achieves SAP® Certification as Integrated with SAP NetWeaver®

Toronto, Canada – March 8, 2021 – Layer Seven Security today announced its Cybersecurity Extension v3.4 for SAP® Solutions has achieved SAP®-certified integration with the SAP NetWeaver® technology platform.  The solution has been proven to integrate with SAP solutions, providing automated vulnerability management, threat detection and incident response for SAP applications and infrastructure.

“We are delighted to announce that our Cybersecurity Extension v3.4 for SAP Solutions has achieved SAP-certified integration with SAP NetWeaver,” said Ian Thomson, Chief Operating Officer at Layer Seven Security.  “The certification will support the successful integration of the extension in SAP landscapes, helping customers to protect business-critical SAP systems against the threat of cyber attacks.”

The SAP® Integration and Certification Center (SAP ICC) has certified that Cybersecurity Extension v3.4 for SAP Solutions integrates with SAP NetWeaver. Technology or infrastructure products that have SAP-certified integration with SAP NetWeaver have proven to interoperate with the technology platform.

The Cybersecurity Extension for SAP Solutions is now listed in the SAP Certified Solutions Directory.

Layer Seven Security is a partner in the SAP PartnerEdge® program. As such, it is empowered to build, market and sell software applications on top of market-leading technology platforms from SAP. The SAP PartnerEdge program provides the enablement tools, benefits, and support to facilitate building high-quality, disruptive applications focused on specific business needs – quickly and cost-effectively. The program provides access to all relevant SAP technologies in one simple framework under a single, global contract.

About Layer Seven Security

Layer Seven Security is an SAP partner, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The company’s Cybersecurity Extension for SAP® Solutions performs advanced security diagnostics and monitoring for SAP systems. The Extension delivers real-time security intelligence for cloud and on-premise SAP systems including SAP HANA®, ABAP® and J2EE platforms. It supports security monitoring across the SAP system stack including application, database, operating system, and program layers, as well as components such as the SAProuter and SAP Web Dispatcher. 

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Any statements in this release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties described in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent annual report on Form 20-F, that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. SAP cautions readers not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which SAP has no obligation to update and which speak only as of their dates.