In late July, the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about a growing number of malicious cyberattacks aimed at ERP systems based on a research project conducted by Digital Shadows and Onapsis. This warning comes at the heels of the first-ever DHS CERT Alert focused on SAP Business Applications released in May of 2016. According to the report, hackers exploited old, unpatched vulnerabilities to successfully hack multiple organizations, including government agencies, energy businesses, and financial services companies. Onapsis and Digital Shadows found significant evidence of increased interest on ERP applications, including bad actors in criminal forums on the dark web asking for exploits specifically targeting ERP technology vulnerabilities. The study, “ERP Applications Under Fire: How Cyberattackers Target the Crown Jewels,” found that the attackers do not need to use advanced techniques to breach their targets because the current state of ERP application security across organizations is such that old vulnerabilities still affect these systems. This means that attackers don’t need to develop new zero-days or advanced exploitation techniques.
In the course of researching, documenting and advising on user experience management needs and directions for more than a decade, I’ve found myself waging a quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) war with several industry assumptions. Chief among these is the notion that user experience management (UEM) is purely a subset of application performance management (APM). This APM-centricity misses some of UEM’s most critical value points, and in a basic sense fails to recognize what UEM is truly about.