If you could surround yourself with riches, what would you choose? Gold? Diamonds? Platinum? What about data? As the world’s most valuable resource, data compiled by your company can open up a vast number of avenues for you to improve business operations, address workforce inefficiencies, develop brand-new products to sell and much more. To harness this valuable resource, many companies rely on Enterprise Relationship Planning (ERP) technology to secure, manage and transfer high-compliance information between internal and external systems.
While knowing this, bad actors with savvy technology skills are working 24/7 to access this data to exploit your operations, steal valuable employee data and freeze essential processes. Their number one goal is to disrupt your business, and have you pay them a ransom to stop it from happening. So, to avoid these ERP security issues, let’s discuss a few examples and some best practices.
The Importance of Maintaining ERP Security
Data theft can affect a lot of different groups negatively other than just the business. You need to consider how your workforce; investors and the public are affected too. ERP systems are attractive to attack by hackers because they centralize business-critical, intellectual property, corporate, customer, supplier and employee data.
It’s important that you’re able to diagnose potential threats before they hit. After learning about some common ERP security concerns, we’ll go over some best practices that will help you protect your data.
Common cloud ERP security concerns
The following common ERP security risks can put your business at risk to face numerous negative outcomes including stolen data and equity; unhappy stakeholders including your workforce; a downturn of workplace culture; a bevy a fines and penalties from the government and other class-action lawsuits.
- Unpatched software
- Poor technology configurations
- Deficient access controls
- Archaic web interfaces
- Incompetent shielding to prevent complex Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks
- Internal problems including poor training and inside employee theft
- Reliance and trust on third-party providers for protection
Implement these ERP Security Best Practices
Too many businesses are overlooking the importance of established secure functionality within their ERP systems. If you follow these basic practices, you can ensure security is maintained, and your data protected.
Emphasize on internal security training and strong password creation
Let’s face it. You could build the strongest security network ever for your product, but it will still be at high-risk for attack if the people you employ who use the product are negligent with online security best practices.
For example, one common attack bad actors like to employ on unaware, or gullible people, are “Phishing” tactics. Phishing is defined as “The fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.”
Another easy win you can focus on is requiring all stakeholders in your business to create strong passwords. Some things to consider with your password requirements:
- 8-12 characters
- At least one upper and lowercase letter
- At least one number and special character
Example of strong password: 8erry*sKool
With proper training and awareness tactics, you can ensure your workforce knows online security best practices. After this education, they will easily be able to distinguish between real and fake parties messaging them over email and create enhanced passwords to name a few. Every leader in the business needs to work with I.T. to develop an actionable process that includes training, troubleshooting, emergency contacts and more.
Patch your product with updates as soon as they’re available
When your ERP security goes unpatched, over time, you will see deficiencies eat away at complex system structures; customizations that become dated and an increase in system downtime. Typically, employers with onsite technology implemented will forget to, or just don’t care about updating their tools. When you combine that issue with an unreliable vendor, you’re bound to see security issues arise.
The easiest way to ensure you’re receiving the most-up-to-date upgrades to your technology relies on two factors:
- You’re using a cloud-based product
- The vendor you work with is reputable
True cloud products are hosted online and are easily accessible with a username and password. This means that you don’t have to install any hardware whatsoever on-premise of your property. When it comes to technology and security, your vendor can easily update the system offsite for you to keep your data protected.
Vendor dependence comes down to your own research. Leave no stone unturned when vetting for technology partners. Ensure the solutions you get are scaled for your needs, and that if issues do arise, the vendor clearly lays out how they will fix the problem for you. Additionally, most vendors will negotiate a way for you to get out of the contract if their solutions do not work for you in the way they sold it to you.
Database and integration security
As ERP systems tie data from varying components of your business from HR, finance, accounting, sales manufacturing, logistics, development and more from both internal and external tools; it’s imperative that you employ numerous encryption security tactics to defend it all.
To protect their information, many companies will secure their ERP tools by restricting user access to just those on the network who access through their firewall. Additionally, they may employ a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to stop internet intruders.
If you’re integrated with more than one platform, you must routinely check the interface mapping between APIs and ERP tools to ensure security is hardened. You will need to work with I.T. and development to identify which points in your system need to be addressed, and at which stages too. Everything in pre-production, development and quality assurance need to be accounted for.
Keep up-to-date with ERP security and other technological topics
Like viruses in the human body, cyberthreats and the tactics used are always evolving. Bad actors are always A/B testing new, innovative ways to get ahold of your data. It’s critical that you employ knowledgeable people within your ranks to keep up-to-date on security and other technological topics that affect your business.
Stay-in-the-know with ERP security by:
- Independently research topics on ERP, security, technology and more
- Speak directly to your vendor about how you can work together to keep on top of security and if they have any best practices, they can share with you
- Earmark in-house resources to bolster security
The Arcoro Cloud-Based Solution: An ERP System’s Best Friend
Most basic, out-of-the-box ERP systems lack true HR automated components. It’s possible that a few of the in-suite applications can tape together some workflows, sure. However, the WD-40 approach is no way to support your HR professionals. These workers need efficient tools to allow them to focus on business-critical objectives; not as glorified document hunters, or data-entry warriors.
Arcoro is a true cloud-based HCM platform, built at a modular approach. The entire suite features a built-in integration with over 300 partner technologies. It allows you to scale up or down, when your requirements change. The platform connects with ERP systems, insurance carriers, benefit brokers, payroll providers, business intelligence tools, job boards, drug and screening companies and much more.
Arcoro features the following technologies:
Core HR (featuring employee self-service tools)
Time and Attendance
Applicant Tracking System (ATS)