Your ERP system is essential to your business by natural world it contains and controls a huge amount of your corporation data and processes. This kind of implication can make security risks all the more frightening. It pretty much goes without saying that it’s important you take extra care in the ERP implementation process to mitigate the most common ERP security risks, like poor data, mishandled communication and porous security barriers. Here are four steps you can’t miss on your own enterprise software implementation project so that you can breathe easier every time you use ERP.
Whether you choose to host your ERP in the cloud or in on-site servers, one of your company’s first priorities should always be a secure location for your company data and processes. For on-site, that means dedicating some of your tech team to building flexible, strong protections around your system. For cloud-users, this burden will be passed onto your vendor. The idea of hosting your ERP on a public cloud online might seem counterintuitive to your data security, but it shouldn’t. The fact is that SaaS ERP vendors are usually going to be well-equipped to focus on data security they host ERP instances on their servers in bulk, meaning they have the resources and workers to dedicate full time to keeping your data secure. If you’re worried about being able to dedicate enough time and money to your ERP security, then cloud ERP might actually be the best option for you.
The purpose of an ERP suite is to be an all-encompassing software solution not just another request on a long list. If you implement a new ERP but are still relying on a bunch of other applications (Quickbooks, spreadsheets, etc) to support processes, you’re putting information at risk for corruption or to just be plain lost. If you’re committing to ERP, your business will have to commit all the way. Don’t fall back on old system just because they’re familiar map all those processes onto the new, more efficient software. That way, your business will have a single source of truth, stronger and more secure because it has been pooled together in one place. If you have certain processes that currently need to take place outside your ERP system and also deal with sensitive company data, it might be worth looking into software customization to accommodate those tasks.
Just because your ERP system will involve and affect everyone inside your business doesn’t mean every person should have full access to all information and controls. For example, your sales team will want to be able to see inventory and make quotes that can get sent directly to the shop floor, but they don’t need to be able to change production line data directly. Conversely, employees outside of sales don’t need to know contact information or proprietary details about your clients.
During implementation, it’s important construct a set of rules and checkpoints that will limit access for specific employees to only the data they need to see. You can work with your implementation partner to create incomplete dashboards or password protected areas, but it’s vital that you create barriers for employees and know how they will be interacting with the system.
Running old versions of ERP software can invite vulnerabilities and error into your company data. Aside from slow and aging software being more prone to mishandle data, old versions of ERP are likely to be more vulnerable to viruses, hackers and malware. One of the primary purposes of updates is to fix bugs and patch security holes in the system, after all. Yes, upgrading or updating old version of enterprise software can be a hassle. Perhaps your company is putting it off because there will be downtime to install the update, or you are happy with your current version and don’t see a need to spend time training your users on new features. However, that perceived time saved will be for naught when you have a significant data breach and have to spend even more of your time and money fixing the problem then probably updating in the end anyway.
It’s important to note that this security risk can be completely alleviated if you are running SaaS ERP, as your platform vendor will mechanically roll out and install updates as they become available in the cloud rather than making you responsible for upgrading your own servers.