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7/19/2012
05:20 PM
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An IPS For SAP Apps

Onapsis offers an intrusion prevention system for the enterprise resource planning application

If you think Oracle database patching is patchy in organizations, then enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications are just as bad when it comes to being kept up-to-date. A security vendor today rolled out an intrusion prevention system (IPS) for SAP ERP software that runs with Snort and similar products that helps catch SAP-related attacks. It could be used in Sourcefire, McAfee, Cisco, and HP TippingPoint IPS products, according to its developer Onapsis.

Boston-based Onapsis, which has been at the forefront of ERP security research, now offers a subscription-based IDS/IPS signatures for SAP that run atop Snort and other perimeter detection devices. "There is a big problem in this ERP security space: More security breaches are being reported and customers need patches to protect themselves from them, but most do not patch their ERP systems enough," says Mariano Nunez, CEO at Onapsis.

"The problem is that many of these also have relied on IDS/IPS, but, unfortunately, those [devices] have no way to stop SAP attacks. They don't have signature data specific to SAP, so we developed a set of signatures that we could add onto current IPS systems ... and it make it SAP-security aware," he says. "So you don't need to go buy another appliance."

As SAP apps have become more Internet-connected, they also have become more of a target for cyberespionage, sabotage, and fraud purposes. Onapsis has found via penetration tests that most of its own customers, which include Fortune 100 firms, have not properly locked down their SAP apps, which typically run sensitive business processes, such as finance, sales, production, expenditures, billing, and payroll.

Nunez in 2011 demonstrated SAP exploits that take advantage of poorly configured SAP apps, and also abuse the apps' design.

Among the early adopters of Onapsis' SAP IPS technology are financial services and energy firms.

Nunez says the IPS is not meant to replace patching. "It protects you while you deploy the patch," he says.

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Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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