Seven ERP Security Best Practices to Protect Your Business

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ERP systems manage crucial financial processes, such as order to cash (OTC) processes, and operational processes, such as cash collection, production planning and steering, and payment processing.

Apart from managing OTC processes, as well as various operational processes, ERP systems also store a company’s crown jewels, which include customer data, stock levels, order entries, production plans, and contract data. A company’s ERP system serves as the company’s existing operating system, without which it would be unable to run.

While CEOs continue to worry about cyberattacks, many may not fully understand how exposed their ERP systems are to such attacks. In 2021, the average number of cyberattacks per firm was projected to rise by 32%, making securing data from external threats more crucial than ever. Research from Cybersecurity Magazine indicates that SMEs are involved in 43% of cyberattacks.

Each company must individually customize its ERP security to meet its own needs. So, here are the top 7 methods for protecting an ERP system.

Top 7 Methods for Protecting an ERP System

1. Recognize Your Weaknesses

Your ERP landscape should be well-defined to enable you to recognize any possible weak points that require repair. Include procedures, master data, infrastructure, storage networks, interfaces, and connectivity points with other applications, and take into account all components of your ERP system. Consider the effects of a hack after finding any potential vulnerabilities, such as whether an attack could bring a system to its knees.

You can also ensure an SSL cert such as single domain, wildcard SSL, or multi-domain. For example, if the site has numerous subdomains, then a wildcard such as Comodo wildcard SSL, Sectigo wildcard SSL certificate, or DigiCert wildcard SSL will suffice for your business site. These certs are highly effective in beating data spying activities. Even an SSL certificate is highly recommended as they come at immensely cheap prices.

2. Impose Strict Password Regulations

Setting up a robust and sophisticated password policy is essential to tying up any loose ends in your ERP security. Your group has to follow the most recent password security guidelines and use a 12-digit complicated password. Ensure that the password combines upper- and lowercase letters, digits, and symbols.

Avoid using passwords that are simple to guess, such as a DOB or popular keyboard strings. You should instruct your employees to use different passwords for work-related and social media accounts and to change their passwords regularly.

3. Deploy Multi-Factor Authentication

For identity verification, multi-factor authentication is the ideal option. It can be challenging for a hacker to enter a network because numerous pieces of information, such as passwords, pin codes, security numbers, security questions, and OTP, are required.

Two-factor authentication is generally initiated directly from a login page for public cloud ERP software. A remote desktop or remote app login might have a multi-factor authentication process if your ERP system is hosted on-premises or in a private cloud.

4. Stay Updated

Updates are provided almost daily, and organizations must stay up to date. Restarting a system is necessary for some significant modifications, which is never simple for any organization. One of the reasons a company can decide not to update its platforms or operating systems is because restarting a system is not straightforward.

Numerous updates frequently fix bugs that can otherwise cause irritating problems. Because updates can address security flaws in a system, never skip an update, regardless of the situation.

Establish a policy to frequently apply updates, whether for your on-premise ERP software, the Windows operating system, or another application that interacts with your ERP. With software used by public clouds, the manufacturer, who affords you access to the most recent security patches, frequently carries out upgrades automatically.

5. Use Proper Authorization

Giving users access to exactly the data and features they require to perform their tasks and nothing more is the general rule for user authorizations.

This needs to be properly adhered to for your ERP program. Conduct a user audit to learn about your roles and the permissions currently attributed to them. If a role has unnecessary permissions, change authorizations as necessary before putting your policy in writing. Every time a role within a business changes, you should check an employee’s access to ensure that it still reflects what is necessary for the position. You should also ensure that user accounts for your ERP system and any connected applications are disabled when an employee leaves your organization by including a clause in your employee departure checklist that addresses this.

6. Conduct Employee Training Programs

A significant portion of an ERP system’s vulnerability is brought on by user error. For this reason, it is crucial to inform the entire workforce of the best ways to maintain the system’s security.

An IT team can be trained so that it’s familiar with the most recent developments in operating system security, ERP system security, and cybercrime prevention. Taking online courses is the simplest of these approaches.

Another good strategy for staying up to date is participating in workshops, attending trade conferences, and reading the most recent cybersecurity publications.

7. Develop an Incident Response Strategy

There is some level of protection offered by every security system. However, the difficulties a cyberattack presents may easily neutralize the effectiveness of any defense. Every day, viruses and other threats are becoming more of an issue for many companies.

The best course of action is to incorporate a second cybersecurity program. In this manner, a company can become a far more difficult target for hackers.

A thorough list of incidents that call for action, including particular threats and circumstances that demand official incident response activities, should be included in your incident response strategy.

Key Takeaway

The security of ERP systems should be a key issue for any firm. Hackers are constantly aiming their attacks at a system that contains all the information and details of how the business is run. So follow the advice above and maintain the security of your ERP system.