Security should be the number one priority for any software developer. Often, however, developers of software such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) neglect to include certain security features. ERP systems provide the backbone of many companies, so it’s critical that the data be secure and protected against attack. Organizations face multiple attack vectors, including near-daily ransomware attacks that threaten their security infrastructure. Many individuals and companies were affected by the WannaCry attack, which cost businesses over $4 billion, according to CBS News.

lift up Awareness

Lack of awareness of the importance of ERP security is the result of companies’ reliance on ERP vendors to incorporate that security. Many ERP solutions come with some security, but organizations must build a secure network for the ERP system to reside in.

Build Parameters

Security features such as firewalls and host-based security systems help harden the network and protect ERP software against attack.

ERP Architecture

At a minimum, a secure ERP arrangement should: 

  • Have a compartmental structure, with different business functions designed as differing components;
  • Be integrated, with components of the ERP system integrated with a continuous data flow between components;
  • Be flexible, with the ERP software expandable and compatible with legacy systems;
  • Be customizable and easily configurable based on the organization’s needs;
  • Provide real-time support both on- and offline; and
  • Be secure, with the security of the ERP software enforced to protect network resources.

 

Approaches to ERP Security

ERP security can be integrated into the network, presentation, and application layer of every network to include external interfaces, the database, and internal business processes. When an ERP user communicates with customers, the security of the system is classified into the network domain. An ERP expert doesn’t handle these individual cases; instead, this function is available by purchase from network security vendors.

Key Aspects of ERP Security

Key aspects of ERP security include: 

  • Security policy. Explicit and well-defined security policies must be maintained. The security policies will provide rules for information access and put constraints on administrators when configuring user permissions.
  • User authentication. All ERP users must verify access to ERP resources by providing a username and password in addition to their authentication to the network.
  • Time restrictions. ERP access is available only during business hours.
  • Access logs. Logging and traceability of access to ERP resources can help administrators log relevant activity, which can in turn prevent breaches.
  • Database security. Administrators must secure the ERP database with proper encryption.
  • Separation of duties. Tasks must be assigned by role to different groups of users. 

End-to-end security must be established for an ERP solution to be effective. Depending on ERP software to come with proper security settings should never be an option. Organizations should approach ERP security as they would any other network resource. With proper defenses in place, organizations can minimize risk to their network. All information in an ERP solution should be properly encrypted and treated as sensitive data.