An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a must for every business. The need to store and access large amounts of data makes it nearly impossible to operate a business successfully without proper business software.
The main problem however, is that it poses the risk of a security breach, and with all the cybersecurity attacks like WannaCry Ransomware, plus the risks involved, it is extremely important to keep your ERP system protected and well maintained.
Data stored on an ERP system has great value for organizations, and if it ends up in the wrong hands it may be used against your business. With this in mind, Kaloyan Dimitrov, founder of Coriti.com, an online company that offers cloud-based ERP solutions, dives deeper into this topic and discusses six classic ERP system security problems and suggestions on how to avoid them:
Selecting the Wrong ERP Provider
Don’t let headstrong marketing and aggressive sales people win you over. Investigating and doing research about your ERP software provider thoroughly is the key to understanding the functionalities and restrictions of your system. Don’t be afraid of shopping around a bit in order to get at least three serious offers from reputable software providers. Make sure to ask the providers you’re considering for references within your specific line of work, as this will help you out in the long run.
Furthermore, it’s a good idea to ask the vendors directly why they consider their product safe or better in security aspect that the competition. You may not understand their answer at first, but if you take note and write the facts down, it is easier to investigate and even question the next ERP software provider over the answer of the previous one, and so on. You will gain a sense of how comfortable they are discussing the topic, as will you.
Not Being Consistent with the Technology
People think that once they have implemented their ERP system, that they are set for life. However, this is so far from the truth. Technology is constantly improving to keep up with the ever-changing market and to meet new standards, trends and requests. If you don’t follow through with any technological developments, falling behind will be a given. It’s important to evaluate your need for a new ERP system and act accordingly. Check for software updates regularly and if it’s included in the pricing.
Overlooking Proper Training
Yes, the word “cybersecurity” sounds scary and people tend to get hyped up about it, but they often don’t realize that the weakest link in the system are humans. Uninformed and poorly trained staff that use an ERP system and handle sensitive data are probably the biggest security liability.
Don’t rush into anything when it comes time to implementing, deploying and using your ERP system. Give your staff (and even IT department) enough time to get comfortable with it. And rather than spending extra money on extreme cybersecurity measures, invest time and money on educating yourself and staff on how to handle passwords, what to do with suspicious email and hyperlinks, and especially how to avoid giving a potential hacker what they need freely.
Ignoring Necessary Audits
Regular cybersecurity audits are important. Think about them as regular check-ups at your doctor’s office – if you detect something is wrong at the right time, you’ll have much fewer problems fixing it. Not only will you be able to detect possible loopholes in your system, but also catch security breaches relatively early. According to Dimitrov, on average security breaches get detected between six months to a year after it happens. During this period an intruder has access to sensitive information, so doing a cybersecurity audit twice a year is highly recommended.
Delaying Necessary Software Updates
Sadly, software updates take some time, and when you’re running a business, time is often one thing you do not have. That’s why, more often than not, companies delay making regular software updates. These software updates are not meant to mess with you, software developers are doing them to fix bugs and weak spots. This means that if you don’t keep your ERP software up to date, you are making it potentially vulnerable.
Not Keeping Up with Business Growth
As your business grows, you’ll inevitably add more devices to your ERP system. Sure, you’re probably thinking of regular desktop computers in your office, but now tablets and mobile phones are being added to the mix. Being able to connect to your ERP system from anywhere is extremely convenient, but make sure that your ERP system can keep up with this and ALWAYS use secure networks. Don’t gamble with free wireless connections when you’re trying to manage your business remotely, it’s not worth the risk.
A good ERP system can be a lifesaver when you’re doing business, and although it makes day to day work much easier, it does require that you consistently take care of it properly to avoid security attacks and/or breaches. If you’re looking for more information, we suggest downloading our free buyers guide in order to look over the top ERP software vendors and some extremely important questions to ask before you choose one.