In today’s corporations and companies, SAP software has set a new standard of data security. Data centralization and organization in SAP systems allow rapid access to critical information. This leads to greater efficiency in many departments of your company – not only do SAP systems simplify complex business processes, but it also saves time, money, and resources. To take full advantage of SAP and to keep your data secure, your SAP supply chain must be well protected against attacks.
What are SAP Supply Chain Attacks?
A supply chain attack (also known as a third-party attack, value chain attack, and the like) occurs when an attacker accesses an organization’s network through third-party vendors, suppliers, or the supply chain. Supply chains can be extensive and complex, making some attacks difficult to track.
Supply chains, especially in SAP, focus on the organization of purchases, products, and the delivery of those various products – its coordinates, collaborates, and delivers. However, a new type of threat is aimed at this supply chain system: the so-called SAP supply chain attacks. In these attacks, the hackers and attackers try to access source codes, change mechanisms or create new process steps. This is how malware is spread in the supply chains.
No distinction is made between external and internal software – both types of software can be damaged and affected by this type of attack. The same applies to the attackers. Both malicious outsiders and insiders can carry out this type of attack.
Elements of SAP Supply Chains
The supply chain includes various elements, such as instances for testing, development, and data integration. At the end of these instances is the SAP production system.
In most cases, these instances have a common node. This node is also known as the central transport directory, where the SAP system stores and accesses the files. These files are required to enforce changes in the supply chain.
How SAP Supply Chain Attacks Occur
To apply repository changes and distribute codes along the various staging levels, SAP transport requests are used. Previously, it was believed that such transport requests could not be changed after they were exported.
However, this is not quite correct – existing transport requests can be reopened and new elements can be added. SAP has a feature that can be used to change the header attributes of the SAP transport request. Hackers with appropriate privileges can change the status of the transport request from „released” to “modifiable” and thus influence the supply chain.
The consequences of supply chain attacks are devastating, which is why such attacks should not occur. SecurityBridge offers a wide range of options for preventing such attacks from the very beginning, so that your business, your data, and your company are protected at all times. True to the motto „to be on the safe side“.
Why is SAP Security Important?
In the supply chain, harmful objects can be introduced after the export and before the import into the production system. One possibility to prevent attacks is to check the transport protocol for manipulations – ideally before importing into the production stage.
Without comprehensive protection of the SAP supply chain, attacks can multiply and put your business at risk. Attackers exploit SAP vulnerabilities to inject malicious code into the development phase and import it into the testing phase. Not only outsiders can do this, but also malicious insiders.
SAP environments in which a single transport directory is used at different staging levels are particularly vulnerable to such attacks. Therefore, SAP supply chain security is important.
New Patches Solve the Problem
When a vulnerability in the SAP system is discovered, patches are developed. These new patches are applied to the SAP system so that it is secure at all times. Hacker attacks can happen easily. Therefore, the patches are an important part of the security of the SAP systems.
As with any business process, implementing SAP security patches requires proper management. You should apply the patches as quickly as possible so that your system is not exposed to attacks. Interrupting production can lead to serious consequences – from a complete production shutdown to supply chain tampering. Update your patches and seek expert advice.
Take Home Message
SAP systems are an important and efficient foundation for companies of all kinds. Their supply chains can be attacked and changed by hackers. This is done by implementing malicious codes into the SAP development phase. In the time window between exporting a transport request and importing it into the next staging system, these attacks can change the status of the transport request.
In this phase, the malicious code can be infiltrated and transported into the test system. Detecting such changes in the transport directory can prevent implementation in the test system. Here, the attack will become visible. In addition, updated patches are available that prevent such attacks.
Stay up-to-date and secure your systems with the expert knowledge of SecurityBridge. They help to make your data and SAP security a top priority and deliver appropriate solutions.