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SolarWinds: The Hunt to Figure Out Who Was Breached

TAKE NOTE (Insights and Emerging Technology)

The Russian hacking group suspected of leveraging a tainted SolarWinds software update to infiltrate as many as 18,000 organizations is presenting a forensics challenge unlike any other.

To ensnare such a large group of private companies, government agencies and organizations is the equivalent of factory ocean trawler scraping the seabed. The question now for organizations is whether they were selected by the hackers for further probing, says Joe Slowik, senior security researcher at DomainTools.

“There’s a lot of work to do,” Slowik says. “I expect a lot of holidays, unfortunately, to be ruined by this activity as many organizations try to understand what their exposure was and whether or not they were impacted by this.”

The attackers infiltrated SolarWinds’ infrastructure and seeded a backdoor in a software update for the company’s Orion network management software.

That malicious update – essentially a foothold into an organization – could be leveraged for access and used to place other malicious software onto company networks. The activity, which may have started in late February and continued until recently, means the hackers could have been digging around networks for 10 months.

The espionage campaign may have been conducted by a Russian group known as APT29 or Cozy Bear, which is linked to Russia’s SVR intelligence agency, according to news reports. But that has not been confirmed, and the investigation is likely to continue for months.

Victims include the U.S. Treasury, Commerce, State and Homeland Security departments, the National Institutes of Health and FireEye. One think tank is also a victim, according to computer security firm Volexity.

Although investigators have identified some of the attackers’ infrastructure and the malicious SolarWinds update, there could be more that hasn’t been uncovered, including other malicious SolarWinds binaries, Slowik says. “That’s where this becomes a really hard security problem,” he says.

Sense of Panic?

There’s a tangible sense of panic among enterprises that use SolarWinds. With 18,000 organizations that installed the malicious update, the task now is to meticulously comb systems to see if the hackers roamed around in them, stealing information.

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UNDER DEVELOPMENT (Insights for Developers)

SAP C/4HANA – A Look Under The Hood

SAP C/4HANA CRM Overview

In 2013, SAP laid the foundation for C/4HANA CRM, which is a customer relationship management (CRM) software. It did so by first acquiring Hybris, an e-commerce software provider.

In 2015, the company started moving its solutions to the S/4HANA. It also began developing new customized solutions for all business sectors. In 2018, SAP officially announced the market introduction of the C/4HANA after the successful acquisition of several third-party software companies to boost the functionalities of the CRM software it had acquired from Hybris.

C/4HANA CRM is the customer experience suite from SAP. This suite comes with solutions that will change the traditional CRM environment as it currently runs.

C/4HANA Overview

SAP understood that a business relationship with clients does not end when they buy a product. As such, C/4HANA encourages positive customer experiences through every stage of a client’s relationship with your business. It also generates a consistent experience on all channels through which customers associate with your business while giving your real-time data to guide decision making.

Cloud Solutions for SAP C/4HANA

SAP C/4HANA set out to revolutionize CRM solutions by combining marketing and front-office operations with business applications and back-end transactional ERP solutions. These applications are interconnected via the SAP cloud platform then embedded with technologies such as machine learning and AI using SAP Leonardo.

C/4HANA comprises five clouds, each covering a specific CRM section. The right mix of C/4HANA components can help ensure that a company achieves a faster return on their customer experience investment.

The clouds include:

  • SAP customer data cloud
  • SAP sales cloud
  • SAP service cloud
  • SAP marketing cloud
  • SAP commerce cloud

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– Dig Deeper –
Modernize the Customer Experience

2020 was certainly a year for the history books –– and the medical books, and the science, economics, government, law and justice books. Our children and grandchildren will read about 2020 for decades to come.

When I reflect on this year, I realize there is surprising much for which I am grateful.

Purpose. As the pandemic escalated, our teams had some of the most meaningful conversations we have ever had.
Connection. When social distancing and travel restrictions became our new reality, we were able to work with our partners and serve our customers in a new way: virtually.
Community. We saw much of the world leap into action to support urgent needs, from food insecurity to education and more…

We are glad to leave much of 2020 behind. But we will carry forward purpose, connection, and community in 2021…

So as the holiday season approaches, we want to thank all of our Partners, Customers, and most of all our team of contractors and employees, that have helped us be the best we can be staying the course when the world felt off course .

So, as 2020 ends… All of us at IT Partners want to wish you a holiday season filled with hope, joy, laughter, and peace & prosperity in the coming year!!

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