Why ERP Security is a Priority


ERP Applications Keep Organizations Running

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, like SAP and Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS), are the operational engine of many organizations—running business applications and holding the sensitive data needed for businesses to function.







Manufacturing Operations










ERP Security is Often Forgotten

ERP systems often fall into a cybersecurity blindspot, left unprotected against internal misuse and external attacks. The results can be devastating for businesses without the right partner.

In the last two years,
64% of ERP systems 
were breached.

In the last five years,
US-CERT published
six SAP vulnerability alerts.

70% of organizations
say their application portfolios
have become more vulnerable.

Why is ERP Security Important?

Most traditional cybersecurity vendors don’t provide visibility into the application layer of complex ERP implementations.


Securing ERP applications requires visibility that many organizations lack because ERP implementations are highly custom to the business, with:

  • Dozens of modules
  • Hundreds of interfaces
  • Thousands of custom code modifications

Standard security offerings from SAP and Oracle can’t scale well with that amount of complexity. 

Security Concerns & Risk Factors for ERP Applications

Increasing ERP System Attacks 

Cyber attacks targeting ERP systems are on the rise, and successful attacks have the potential to disrupt the delivery of goods and services as well as put sensitive company and customer data at risk.

Cloud Migration and Modernization 

Modernization of systems, particularly cloud migrations, are critical in order to improve access to systems that contain customer and partner data. Harnessing the cloud to streamline processes and reduce costs is key for organizations to be able to operate more efficiently.

Critical Infrastructure Regulations 

Many industries, like energy and oil and gas, are categorized as critical infrastructure and therefore are subject to strict government regulations. New clean energy legislation means even more attention must be paid to compliance audits. Failing to comply with audit regulations can result in significant financial impacts to the organization as well as reputational damage.

Strict Audit Requirements

Pharmaceutical companies, for example, are subject to strict compliance regulations by government offices for drug development as well as for the protection of patient and customer data. Failure to comply with laws and regulations can result in significant financial impacts to the organization including fines, revenue loss, and reputation damage.

Digitization and Interconnectivity 

The focus on streamlining operations and creating more efficient processes is transforming supply chains into more localized, digitized, and interconnected systems. This makes companies more agile and able to respond to supply and demand changes. However, this deeper interconnection greatly increases potential unmonitored risks.

New Models and Processes Needed to Support Sustainability

Heavy manufacturing in particular, faces both regulatory and consumer pressure, therefore manufacturers are adopting new service-based models, industry 4.0 technologies, circular supply chains, and green manufacturing processes to reduce emissions and create greener products.

Expanded E-Commerce and Digital Sales

As more retail & personal care manufacturers go direct-to-consumer or enhance their e-commerce experiences to address evolving market demand, protecting consumer PII must be top of mind. Failure to do so could result in significant financial loss due to reputation damage or compliance violation (e.g., GDPR, CCPA).

How to Make ERP Security a Priority

Security of your business-critical applications cannot be left to someone else or pushed onto your standard cybersecurity tools. Onapsis Research Labs helps organizations find and fix vulnerabilities in their ERP systems. Here are six recommended steps toward securing yours.

Firewalls and vulnerability scanners protect networks and infrastructure, but not the ERP application layer.

Risk-based vulnerability management of the application can capture a complete view of an enterprise’s threat environment, and help security teams save significant time, money, and resources that would have otherwise been spent on lower-priority items. 

Security teams have implemented defense-in-depth strategies in an attempt to protect the application layer from these threats. But existing defense-in-depth solutions are not specifically focused on threats and vulnerabilities for business-critical applications.

Threat detection and response tools that continuously monitor threat intelligence sources can detect compromised ERP credentials.

Update ERP regularly to prevent bugs from impacting the system and protect information from being leaked or stolen. Keeping your system regularly up-to-date by keeping up with software updates makes the ERP less vulnerable to external threats.

Organizations face a growing backlog of patches. Manual patch management can be error-prone and there isn’t an easy way to identify prioritization or patch gaps. Automated patch management minimizes the risk of critical vulnerabilities and protects the business’ most important assets.

Organizations need a way to check that custom code and the transports that bring it in don’t introduce new security, performance, or compliance issues. An application security testing solution can replace the time-consuming and error-prone remediation process, enabling organizations to build security into development processes to find and fix issues as quickly as possible. 

Timely, impactful threat intelligence programs can provide insightful information about threat actors for pre-patch protection. They can also provide early alerts about zero-day compromises, new ransomware campaigns, and assist in security control design and implementation. 

Power your ERP Security with Threat Intelligence

To truly secure your ERP systems, you need an offensive security team fueling you with threat intelligence. Onapsis Research Labs is the world’s leading ERP security team dedicated to finding zero-day vulnerabilities in ERP applications. Decades of threat research experience helps deliver impactful security insights and threat intelligence focused on applications from SAP, Oracle, and SaaS providers. 

Onapsis Research Labs is, far and away, the most prolific and most celebrated contributor of vulnerability research by the SAP Product Security Response Team. No other research team comes close.

Take your next step

If you’re ready to secure your ERP, visit our resource center

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