October 6, 2022

As CEO LogPointJesper is an expert in business innovation and cyber security innovation.

Cyber ​​attacks on critical systems such as SAP, Salesforce and Oracle can devastate business operations. With 77% of global transactional revenues passing through SAP systems, for example, organizations must adequately protect them.

SAP systems, Salesforce and Oracle are critical for business continuity. Organizations use them for enterprise resource planning (ERP), human capital management (HCM), sales, marketing, supply chain management (SCM), and customer relationship management (CRM). Most likely, your critical and most valuable data resides in one of these systems.

Despite its importance, many organizations carelessly manage business-critical security. Actually, 64% of all ERP implementations was breached from October 2017 to October 2019. The problem is that business-critical security is either beyond the reach of security teams or relies solely on the vendor’s own security tools for protection. Either way, it’s a risky business. On average, downtime costs 10,000 dollars an hour, and only one successful attack is required.

Organizations need to ensure end-to-end visibility across business-critical systems to keep risk under control.

A veritable goldmine for fraudsters and cybercriminals

With the wealth of digital assets housed in business-critical systems and poor security to protect them, it’s no surprise that they are attractive targets for fraudsters and cybercriminals. In fact, the average number of attack attempts per company increased by 31% from 2020 to 2021. Furthermore, the average cost of a data breach increased from $4.24 million in 2021 to $4.35 million in 2022—and the rise looks set to continue.

The threat, however, does not only come from the environment. Human error remains one of the most common causes of successful security breaches – sometimes on purpose, sometimes by mistake. According to 2022 Verizon DBIR Report, a staggering 82% of breaches involve human action. In addition, insider threats have increased 44% more over the past two years, it cost an average of $15.38 million per incident.

Unfortunately, adversaries can use a variety of attack vectors to exploit unprotected business-critical systems, including advanced persistent threats, malware, ransomware, phishing, and denial of service. Organizations risk losing control of their systems if adversaries successfully attack them, and the consequences are multiple and dire.

Security breaches with irreparable consequences

A failure or threat in a business-critical system can be fatal to day-to-day operations, leading to financial losses, productivity shortfalls, and brand and relationship damage. Let’s take a closer look at the consequences:

• Intellectual property in the public domain. Cybercriminals can steal your intellectual property and sensitive data and expose or delete it. If a criminal releases your information to the public, you are no longer in control. If they delete it, you’re done. In both scenarios, you risk losing your competitive advantage and a significant portion of your market share.

• Mismatch. If someone – intentionally or unintentionally – leaks, misuses, or gains unauthorized access to sensitive personal payroll, health, and personal information about employees, suppliers, or business partners, your organization is at risk of noncompliance. Not good for your brand. Not good for your bottom line.

• Disruption in work. Attackers with unauthorized access can manipulate sensitive data such as banking information or supply chain data. The result can be that your suppliers are not paid on time or that the purchase order is lost and causes delays throughout the production value chain. It is not conducive to business continuity or your relationship with suppliers.

Obviously, the consequences of breaching the security of a business-critical system are far-reaching and detrimental to your business. To prevent such a scenario, you need to rethink your approach to protecting them. The best way to do this is to map your most important assets to protect, assess threat levels, and implement security levels to match.

Strengthen protection and solve technology and process compliance issues

To reduce risk to your business, you need a cybersecurity strategy that minimizes business risk and enables your security team to react quickly and make informed decisions. For starters, you should give your security team access to business-critical data generated in the systems. Otherwise, they cannot be proactive and connect data with data from the IT infrastructure, which is vital to address current and emerging security threats to your business.

You need to monitor anomalous activity from user accounts to prevent your organization from being among the majority that suffer financial losses due to security breaches. Real-time monitoring of business-critical infrastructure alerts you to suspicious behavior and helps you resolve compliance issues and minimize the cyber threat. Finally, automatic remediation of suspicious behavior can dramatically reduce the risk of internal and external data breaches and disruptions.

Visibility, visibility, visibility

Your business-critical systems are at the heart of your digital infrastructure. Your intellectual property and most sensitive data live there. That’s why they’re so attractive to cybercriminals and vulnerable if left unprotected. Enabling your security team to continuously monitor these systems and automatically detect and respond to threats is vital to reducing the risk of an attack—and ensuring your organization is well prepared when the next cybercriminal decides to target your critical assets.

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