Several studies and surveys have often shown that when planning investments in new technology, a large percentage of businesses are highly challenged. Many of them accept that data and information protection is essential to their business.
Nowhere are these concerns more relevant than with ERP software, which stores everything from financial and accounting data to the most confidential customer information. Small and medium-sized enterprises, often lacking the resources of larger corporations, are especially at risk. ERP data protection, therefore, assumes significant significance.
But by taking the following five precautions, companies can avoid the pitfalls of on-site ERP security threats and maintain the level of trust, customer loyalty, and revenue required to run a safe and profitable business.
1. Keep Software Up-To-Date
Hackers try new ways to identify and target flaws in a given piece of software. It’s a threat that grows rapidly, and almost any new update addresses, at least in part, some known vulnerabilities. Whenever your ERP platform launches a new update, install it immediately. It’s not just the most efficient way to handle cybersecurity threats; it’s one of the easiest as well.
2. Restrict External Application Usage
You will need to integrate with external applications if your ERP platform does not have all the functionality needed to access, review, and report your important business information. But after you begin using external software, the data is at risk. The more information you distribute to non-ERP applications, the harder it is to handle it, keep track of it, back it up, and protect it from malicious attacks.
The best practice is to house all relevant data inside an on-premise ERP framework with optimized applications. If you can’t do this, consider switching to a new ERP system that has the characteristics you need. And if this is not feasible, on an in-house server, make sure you store all your information and make frequent backups. It won’t shield you from security breaches, but you’ll at least save your details in case of a cyber-attack.
3. Check Your System Configuration
The method of selecting and implementing the ERP can be complex and time-consuming, but carelessness and a lack of planning can have undesirable consequences in the long run. More than any program, the security of ERP systems is largely dependent on your system configuration. With any number of gaps remaining from implementation, haphazard customizations, incorrect credentials, open ports could potentially put the business at risk.
You should never be too precise when integrating your ERP software into your day-to-day business operations, and there are multiple ways in which an ERP implementation can fail. That’s why it’s important for your business to take its time, request the assistance of your IT team, and make concerted efforts at all stages of integration to tighten all the security screws.
4. Educate Those With Access
Sometimes, the culprit of an attack is not external; it is from inside. Staff within an organization can jeopardize sensitive business and consumer data regardless of whether their intent is malicious, if not properly vetted. Those with unlimited device access have the ability to change program settings, making it all the more necessary to safeguard ERP security access properly.
The most successful way to tackle this problem is to enable vital processes in the ERP system to be carried out by only the most trustworthy individuals. It is also necessary to offer adequate training to those running the program, even at the lowest level.
And once access is granted, keep a clear record of the changes made and the users who have made them so that you have all the relevant information if an audit is needed.
5. Compliance Management
If you store customer credit card details or confidential health data, a variety of government-mandated regulations exist to protect sensitive consumer information. Enterprises that do not comply with these mandatory requirements would pay a high price, not just in terms of reputational damage but also financial damage.
First of all, pay close attention to and comply with industry-specific needs. Credit card and social security numbers should be strongly encrypted, and other common steps include firewalls, foolproof passwords, and other back-end precautionary measures. If your ERP software does not have these compliance criteria built-in, consider upgrading to one that does.