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When it comes to SAP security, following password best practices is essential to ensure secure user access and prevent unauthorized permissions. However, cyber attackers frequently target SAP systems with constantly evolving tactics, and detecting breaches stemming from password-cracking exploits is difficult, as SAP-native change logs are insufficient and manually validating user permissions is time-consuming. As a result, security teams relying on manual SAP security processes may not detect breaches resulting from unauthorized access.

One common and effective hacker tactic is the so-called password hashing “brute-force attack method.”

SAP Password Cracking Exploit in Action

Let’s look at how an SAP password-cracking exploit works. Here is an example showing how a hacker can leverage a brute-force attack program to decipher user passwords in minutes.

Understanding Password Cracking Exploits

SAP stores user passwords as hashes in a table, enabling customer systems to securely store user credentials. Specifically, SAP primarily utilizes the BCODE hash function for password encryption. Hash functions take an arbitrary number of characters and input them into a function to output a fixed number of characters, encrypting user passwords to make it difficult and time-consuming for threat actors to revert the encrypted passwords to usable text.

Unfortunately, technology advancements and evolving hacker tactics have rendered the BCODE hash function susceptible to brute-force attacks. Threat actors frequently leverage malicious programs to circumvent SAP access controls and quickly crack user passwords. Without continuous monitoring, hackers with access to login usernames and knowledge of SAP’s BCODE hash function can run password-cracking programs to iteratively input characters and revert BCODE hash values until a working password is derived. Traditionally, passwords encrypted via hash functions were far too time-consuming to crack manually. However, modern-day hackers leveraging this iterative, brute-force attack method can decipher passwords in just minutes.

Implications of a Successful Password Cracking Exploit

The consequences of a successful SAP password-cracking attack can be severe and numerous. If a hacker manages to decipher the password of a high-privilege user, they can access sensitive information and perform malicious actions. Many organizations are vulnerable to such attacks due to difficulties with manual security processes and a lack of proactive measures to detect anomalies in user access and breaches caused by compromised credentials.

As a result, organizations may not detect breaches in a timely manner, leading to serious data loss. Standard solutions like SAP Enterprise Threat Detection (SAP ETD) do not provide a change log to track such exploits, making it difficult to identify unauthorized access by hackers. Addressing these challenges and implementing effective security measures is important to prevent potential breaches.

Protect Against SAP Password Exploits with Pathlock

Manually monitoring change logs and validating user permissions for SAP systems is a time-consuming process. Without an automated SAP cybersecurity solution, it becomes even more challenging. Additionally, the longer potential breaches go undetected, the more catastrophic their impact can be. By leveraging automation, the threat detection time frame can be significantly reduced, allowing security teams to proactively secure their SAP systems against breaches caused by compromised credentials.

Pathlock offers a comprehensive and automated platform for SAP cybersecurity, providing protective measures against brute-force password-cracking attacks and other user access exploits. It includes specific features and capabilities that safeguard against SAP password exploits:

  • Continuous Monitoring and SAP Standard Solution Extensibility: Pathlock continuously monitors your system configurations, user authorizations, and permissions, as well as change logs for threat anomalies in real-time. Pathlock’s advanced analysis of security and user change logs gives unprecedented visibility into typically untraceable user access exploits.
  • Vulnerability Management + Threat Detection & Response: Pathlock enables your security teams to proactively reduce the organization’s attack surface with automated vulnerability management and scanning while also rapidly mitigating any threats that do manage to exploit a vulnerability with real-time threat detection and response.
  • Rule-Based Threat Filtering: A customizable engine enables prioritized response with rule-based filtering and alerts, enabling you to focus on remediating your most business-critical threats first.
  • Comprehensive Vulnerability Scans: Pathlock provides over 4,000 automated vulnerability scans, keeping your system updated with the latest security patches.

With Pathlock, advanced automation and out-of-the-box security rulesets help to illuminate previously unmonitored user access and change logs, ensuring real-time security alerts and automatically flagging any potential threats or breaches. Reach out today to set up a demo.

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