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ERP Security

Why ERP security is important

ERP systems are used by organisations to manage their accounting, project management, risk management, compliance, supply chain, and procurement activities. ERP solutions also include enterprise performance management software that helps to plan, forecast, budget and report on financial performance. 

An ERP system combines human resources, procurement, and production management into one application, making it easier to manage business processes. These ERP systems make workflows and operations easier by centralising data and allowing better management of administrative assets. ERP systems unify all your disparate systems and departments, and are an indispensable component for business management, regardless of organisation size and industry.

However, cybercriminals are targeting ERP systems more frequently due to the large amount of sensitive and critical business information being housed. This increases the risk of data breaches and security incidents as when even a single part of an ERP system is hacked, they can gain access to your organisation’s most valuable assets across multiple departments. The security of ERP systems is critical to ensuring the safety and future success of your business. 

Why is ERP security so vital?

An ERP cyber-attack can have significant ramifications for a company’s operations, as it is connected to numerous aspects of daily business life. Because cyber threats are increasing, financial losses and damaged reputations are real possibilities. To prevent information leakage, downtime, and corruption, organisations must defend their systems from both internal and external cyber threats. 

Many businesses tend to overlook or neglect ERP security. While firms invest in updating their ERP systems and management, they often neglect to invest in adequate cybersecurity to match it. The inadequate quality of older ERP systems makes it simpler for cyber criminals to exploit companies. 

Common security vulnerabilities in ERP systems

Your ERP system’s computers and software may be susceptible to common security exploits, which could cause serious problems if not addressed. Whether your system is on-site or in the cloud, you should look for common ERP security issues.

System complexity

An ERP tool combines processes from several departments into a single working environment. These tools often include configurable settings and customisation options to meet users’ unique needs. Some users may not be familiar or comfortable with this complexity and this may lead to user mistakes that harm infrastructure safety and cause cybersecurity problems. Therefore, all employees should receive training when using ERP systems. 

Access rights

When you link your ERP system to external data sources or third-party tools, it is important to set the access rights correctly to avoid security risks. If full access rights are given to an external tool that has access to your infrastructure, your system may be vulnerable to data breaches. 

ERP tools have access roles and permissions that determine which users can access what information. Systems administrators must be careful when configuring their role and permission settings to ensure that data is protected. 

Updates

It is essential to update ERP systems automatically to minimise the dangers associated with outdated software. To address the system’s weaknesses and known vulnerabilities, software updates are typically applied. Therefore, systems that have not been updated are popular targets for cyber attacks. To avoid this security risk, it is important to pick ERP solutions that can be automatically updated. 

Compliance

It’s a challenge for ERP systems to safeguard business networks and data unless their built-in safety features comply with security standards. ERP security systems should comply with IT governance regulations to protect the integrity of business data and ensure regulations are met at all times. It’s essential to ensure ERP system security compliance with continuous monitoring, audits, and robust data backup and recovery solutions.

Cloud-based ERP

Cloud-based ERP solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, the ERP solution that’s built for Microsoft Azure, offer automatic updates and easy integration with third-party applications. Cloud ERP solutions, however, are internet-accessible and thus incur a higher security risk to web-accessible data. Organisations can keep user accounts safer and have fewer entry points for cybersecurity breaches by using private cloud or hybrid cloud solutions. 

Password authentication

Many ERP systems only require single-factor authentication to access user accounts. A more secure approach to protecting your organisation would be to select a system that requires multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA adds an extra layer of authentication to verify each user’s identity, ensuring that only authorised individuals can access the ERP system. 

ERP security best practices

While there are several security factors to consider when implementing a new ERP system, the benefits outweigh the concerns. In fact, maintaining a secure and safe ERP system, which has high data consistency, could actually help to make your company even more secure, providing peace of mind for your employees and customers. The security experts at INTELLIWORX can provide the knowledge and support you need to ensure your business-critical data is secure. 

Shane Maher

We passionately work on the IT Infrastructure of mid-tier businesses and support MSPs into cloud services. I have over 17 years of commercial experience that includes supporting and managing IT systems, developing infrastructure solutions, both onsite & in the cloud.

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