Enterprise resource planning (ERP) refers to the integrated management of business processes, such as inventory management, customer relationship management, and marketing and sales. Typically mediated by technology, which is increasingly likely to come in the form of a fully cloud-enabled infrastructure, ERP involves the handling of large sets of confidential corporate and customer data.
The benefits of implementing an ERP system that’s driven by the latest technology are endless, but this doesn’t stop many businesses from worrying about the potential security implications. To that end, it is wise to address these concerns and take a few extra steps toward implementing a system that makes use of the latest security measures and protocols.
#1. Training Employees
It’s easy to get all hyped up about the latest cybersecurity technologies and how they can protect your business from just about any eventuality. Salespeople often boast about the security benefits of migrating to a cloud-based ERP ecosystem, and while there might be a lot of truth in what they say, there are other vulnerabilities you need to take care of.
Your end users are the weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity. In fact, according to IBM, 95% of data breaches are caused by user negligence.
If your employees are unfamiliar with your ERP software, not only will they struggle to utilize it to its fullest potential, but they’ll also be more susceptible to making mistakes that could lead to a cybersecurity disaster. You can prevent this from happening by providing ample training and giving your employees the chance to get comfortable using the new system before it goes live.
#2. Conducting Audits
Even in the case of smaller organizations, ERP is a complex ecosystem comprising numerous components that all need to work together, typically through a web-based interface.
From an end user’s perspective, your corporate IT systems might not seem that complicated; but when it comes to planning, auditing and keeping track of the whereabouts of confidential data, you need to think strategically.
Conducting regular audits will help you maintain a clear line of sight into the various components that make up your system as well as the location of your data. You’ll also be able to identify which devices are nearing the end of their support lifecycles and in need of a replacement. Regular network auditing will also help you regulate the use of employee-owned devices for work.
#3. Upgrading Systems
While migrating to a cloud-based ERP system, you can eliminate most, if not all, of the up-front costs and lengthy implementation procedures associated with on-site systems.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be set for life as soon as you’ve launched your new ERP system. After all, some cloud providers themselves rely on outdated technology, in which case your company will be the one to suffer.
By following technological developments, you’ll be able to accurately evaluate your service provider and make sure your end points are always up to date so they allow you to use your systems to their fullest potential.
If you’re relying on on-premises software, you’ll also want to keep those security updates coming in, even if it is sometimes inconvenient to do so.
#4. Segregating Duties
To minimize the risk of unauthorized transactions and other fraudulent activities, it’s essential that no one individual within your organization has control over two or more elements of a process. This concept is referred to as the segregation of duties, and is particularly important in the world of accounting.
Since it consolidates many different roles into a single interconnected platform, you’ll want to consider the segregation of duties in your ERP system as well. As such, it is important to split roles between multiple members of your team so that people can be held accountable to one another and put in a better position to identify potential threats. Then, enable access management features to limit who has access to critical files and features of your ERP systems.
If you’re ready to make that shift to the cloud, then you’ll need a technology partner you can count on. That’s why WhiteOwl provides a range of hosted ERP and CRM solutions that are always present and always current. Call us today to find out more.