In SAP’s patch round of February 2022, an SAP Security Note was released with a CVSS score of 10/10 named, “Request smuggling and request concatenation in SAP
Managed SAP Security Services: A game changer
The increased risk of being exploited and the introduction of legal regulations on data protection, like GDPR, HIPPA, etc., have presented a challenge for many international SAP customers. The shortage of specialists contributes to this and affects not only small and medium-sized enterprises but also large corporations that cannot find specialists. That is especially true for IT professionals and worsens as the job profile becomes more specialized. SAP Security Experts are not only rare but simply not available. However, there is a solution that neither burdens your internal staff nor demands additional knowledge, a specialized managed SAP Security Service.
Managed SAP Security Service is a game changer
At the same time, the usual dilemma applies; internal employees have neither the necessary knowledge nor time to study all the issues to make SAP systems resilient to cyber-attacks. Cyber resilience is needed, and compliance or coping with the regulations and the changing threat situation is no longer optional.
The frequent situation for SAP customers
An organization operates an SAP ERP next to an SAP SRM and an SAP HCM environment. Following the customer’s cloud-first strategy, new environments and the existing SAP implementations move to the cloud.
In addition, the company relies on a hybrid-cloud architecture to maintain the flexibility required for each environment and application scenario of a so-called Intelligent Enterprise. The ERP environment operates with the RISE with the SAP model. The other two SAP environments work at a hyper-scaler, while only the SAP HCM has been shifted to the cloud thus far. The internal SAP team will later manage these.
Looking back at the unpleasant experiences of a cyber-attack led us to see how painful and costly such an incident can be. Therefore, the topic of cybersecurity is given priority by the executive management and regularly examined by the auditors.
Companies that have not yet developed this level of awareness should review the NTT Security Holdings 2022 Global Threat Intelligence Report.
Increased complexity with constant resources
Many companies forget while they move into such a configuration that the complexity of the environment increases. Using hyper-scalers, SaaS, and combining them with on-premises requires new knowledge and typically results in an attacked surface. Internal workers are put under additional strain and must be able to cope with these pressures. Unfortunately, those who believe an application management service will provide a remedy are often disappointed. Also, the in-depth review of the RISE with SAP contract revealed that cyber security is not covered.
The solution, a managed SAP Security Service
One cannot outsource accountability. This means organizations must take ownership and introduce a cybersecurity strategy that embeds the protection of critical SAP applications. Being accountable does not mean you cannot add additional services to your strategy. Depending on your situation, you should consume specialized services dealing with SAP Patch Management, SAP Vulnerability Detection, and even Vulnerability Remediation or SAP Threat Monitoring.
What is a Managed SAP Security Service?
Many people believe they understand the term “managed services,” but when they encounter difficulties when they need to define it. A managed service is on a service level agreement (SLA) and monitored using key performance indicators (KPI). In the specific case of managed SAP Security Services, the monitoring period (e.g., 24×7, 8×5), or the time lapsed until reporting a detected incident, serves as a criterion. Security services exist in many forms and have different objectives.
How can the Managed SAP Security Service help?
The above example requires coverage of two areas, ideally by an independent service provider if the AMS does not cover them. RISE requires SAP Threat Monitoring for SAP, hyper-scaler, and on-premises SAP environments. It is also necessary to harden SAP applications sufficiently and monitor configuration vulnerabilities. This is also helpful and sometimes necessary in environments with AMS to confirm that the security baseline is maintained.
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Leiter des Forschungslabors ist Joris Van De Vis, Director of Security Research bei SecurityBridge und Mitgründer des SAP-Sicherheits-Spezialisten Protect4S, der seit September 2013 zu SecurityBridge