While 2017 ushers in appealing trends for getting into or enhancing enterprise resource planning systems, it also comes with inherent risks. Whether you are involved in ERP systems with embedded cleverness or licensing on-premises software run publicly or privately via the cloud, it's critical to understand the accompanying risks and vulnerabilities. These risks extend beyond operations and accessibility to the utilization of unpatched security applications and a lack of open design infrastructures for legacy ERP systems, leaving the systems vulnerable to data breaches and compromises.
These risks beg a need for better ERP security, especially as data breaches continue to evolve. Data breaches increased by 40 percent in the United States between 2015 and 2016. This has prompted an increase in global cyber security spending from $68.2 billion to just under $74 billion in 2016. These costs are projected to grow to $90 billion in 2018. However, you can still take the necessary steps to protect your enterprise and information technology departments from falling prey to ERP security pitfalls. Here's how.
It's important to have a game plan recognized from start to finish for your ERP system, especially since you can only handle so much information at any given time. You want to expect the risks that your ERP systems will be exposed to while staying within your cyber security budget, and that will require making vital decisions about the most important issues to address first as well as the critical components to secure. If you're using a legacy system, this may mean employing patches for applications or implementing open design systems.
If you're using a third-party ERP vendor that uses cloud services, it's vital to check if the steps the vendor takes to protected data are compliant with your enterprise's standards and any local or national security laws for your industry. Opt for vendors that are transparent in their processes and policies, so you can assess whether their security measures align with your security objectives.
The more your company grows, adding employees, additional partners and contracted workers, the more access people will have to your ERP systems. This can leave your systems vulnerable to hacks and data breaches if workers and partners are left in the dark about the potential risks the systems are exposed to, especially if an individual is careless. Don't forget to make your employees, contracted workers and partners that use your ERP system aware of the system's vulnerabilities. Teach your team best practices to prevent data leaks; including using dynamic versus static encryption keys during ERP installations, updating default passwords to unique, multistep authenticated ones, and eliminating the use of unnecessary services that run in the background. Taking the time to reduce and get rid of weak leaks can help keep your ERP system secure.
There's no question that there's a need for better ERP security. Moreover, the risks of implementing ERP systems in your enterprise should not stop your team from leveraging the unification capabilities that ERP systems can bring to your business. Having a strategy in mind, making sure your systems are compliant, and educating your IT staff and other workers or partners can help mitigate vulnerabilities to these risks. By taking the necessary steps to protect your business from these risks, you can face 2017 and the years to follow with confidence.