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ERP Catching The Fancy Of Cyber Criminals In 2018

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The Facebook data breach has hogged the headlines this year for several months now. 2018 has been a year where cyber crimes have shaken the world of technology. The world has been hit by waves of digital safety issues. And with so much of digital chaos we forgot about the recent report that stated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications are starting to catch the fancy of the hackers around the world. The research report presented by Digital Shadows and Onapsis said that ERPs were about to face major disruptions due to the growing interests of the cyber attackers.

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ERP applications are highly prone to cyber espionage since there is a huge requirement for their high availability which makes them easily accessible and less secure. These platforms become appealing for the hackers to enter a company’s system as the entry point to start executing a lengthy infiltration process.

The report by Digital Shadows and Onapsis called ERP Applications Under Fire, also stressed that there was a specific rise in the focus these cyber criminals were paying to the Oracle E-Business Suite and SAP. The report also pointed out that in the last three years the number of exploits for Oracle ERP and SAP HANA has doubled.

Recent attacks mounted on the ERP applications are usually to compromise critical information and DDoS attacks that disable people from accessing business operations. This directly puts many a thousand of businesses and organizations in the risk of being hoodwinked by these cyber attacks. These risks were taken seriously by US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-cert). They sent out an alert warning people who are using ERPs.

Digital transformations across all mediums are making ERPs more popular in cloud and mobile platforms, thus improving the chances of susceptibilities too. As many as 17,000 of SAP and Oracle ERP applications are exposed to threats that could find a way to them through the internet. Highest level of exposure to these threats are in UK, Germany and the US.

The report further described that the traditional identity management tools were close to useless in preventing or detecting the attacks on ERP applications. To help defend them better the research recommended a few points organizations need to work on:

  • Keep an eye on ERP data and the user credentials.
  • Track ERP user activity and look for signs of compromises.
  • Identify and settle ERP application layer loopholes
  • Detect and deal with potentially dangerous interfaces and APIs on different ERP applications in use.

The report said there wasn’t much focus on these attacks because there has been a great deal of under reporting when it comes to breaches and there has been lack of information on the threat actors.

Onapsis and Digital Shadows say that the mission-critical nature of ERP systems make them targets for different groups – financially motivated hackers are looking to steal sensitive data from ERP systems, while political hacktivists are seeking to disrupt systems, particularly using denial of service attacks. Such DoS attacks against ERP have already been launched by ‘Anon’ related groups several times. Meanwhile, nation state actors may be looking at both espionage and disruption. The report noted that there is a lack of ERP security consciousness across several of the world’s leading organisations, at the same time as increasing uptake of ERP in the cloud and on mobile devices have increased the potential attack surface.

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