For most companies that have just purchased new enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, the advantages are immediate. Within the first few months of putting an ERP solution to good use, the client company’s productivity, cost efficiency, and sales revenues may even hit an all-time high. But just like how it is with any major system upgrade, getting an ERP system to reach peak performance requires time and effort. New clients should prepare to work out some issues while on their ERP journey, including those that pertain to security matters.
What security issues should you watch out for when rolling out a new ERP Philippines-based companies trust to get the job done? To answer that question, here’s a rundown of five common ERP security problems as well as action points for addressing them.
Inadequate Training on How to Identify and Manage Security Risks
ERPs are powerful tech upgrades, but they do not work in isolation. The only way that you can maximize your own ERP solution is to upskill its human users, i.e. your company staff. In the context of maintaining the security of your ERP system and its data, your staff needs to know how to identify imminent security risks and how to respond appropriately.
To keep your staff sharp, it’s best to plan briefings and training sessions on ERP security. Topics can include how to spot fraudulent behavior done within in the ERP system, how to protect the company’s data integrity, and how to coordinate with the company’s IT team for security monitoring. The more skilled and knowledgeable your staff is about matters of ERP security, the easier it will be for your company to address security risks in real time.
Security Errors Due to Honest Mistakes
Some ERP security crises happen because bad actors are deliberate about sabotaging the system. But more often than not, they’re a result of human error and not committed out of malice. All the same, careless errors can cause severe business disruptions. Make it your goal to decrease the chances of these happening, and enjoin all users of your ERP system to be conscientious about security best practices.
Like the issue above, this issue can be addressed through extensive staff training. But it would also be good to craft specific guidelines for maintaining ERP security and avoiding errors. You can then follow it up by distributing these guidelines to every user that will interact with the ERP.
Lack of Hierarchy and Lax Authorization Protocols
It’s not necessary, however, for all users to have the same degree of access to the ERP’s assets. In fact, having too many users with full access rights, or the highest level of privilege for using the system, poses a huge security risk. The same goes for overly lax authorization protocols, which make it easier for unauthorized users to access sensitive company data.
Like you do with physical files like bank statements and employee pay slips, you should determine access to important ERP data based on a particular hierarchy. The degree of permission you afford each user, as well as the strictness of your authorization protocols, should reflect this hierarchy accordingly.
Weak Single-Layer Authentication Systems
Another threat to your ERP security may lie in how permeable its authentication system is. If you require only single-password authentication to access your system, and if your password isn’t very hard to guess, it may not be long before a hacker gets through and compromises the whole system.
To tighten the security around your ERP assets, you and your staff must practice what’s called “password hygiene.” Good password hygiene consists of strong and unapparent passwords, utilization of two-layer authentication protocols, and frequent enough password changes. Fortify your ERP’s defenses and make it difficult for hackers, phishers, and fraudsters to get ahold of your ERP assets.
Delayed or Intermittent ERP Security Updates
Lastly, your ERP may not be as protected as it should be because the system is behind on its upgrades. But take note that out-of-date software features won’t hold up very well against sophisticated security attacks. In addition, an obsolete system can’t be trusted to recover your business data during catastrophic events like accidental system crashes.
Security updates may be tiresome and obstructive to your workflow, but going without them makes your ERP more susceptible to both internal and external risk. Knowing that, be sure to set aside time to upgrade your system and to adjust your staff workflow so that you can accommodate regular security updates. It would also be a good idea to enable auto-updates on your ERP system whenever new software updates are available.
There are four elements that you should secure in your ERP—namely, its infrastructure, its network, its operating system, and its database. Follow the advice listed above to mitigate security risks in all four areas, and protect the hard-earned success that you’re able to achieve on your new ERP.