Your ERP contains data that is a virtual representation of your business and its operations. Essentially, this means the safety of your ERP data is paramount to protect your business. Given the rise in breaches of data security, it is vital to take precautions and maintain the security of your ERP data. This required measures that go beyond relying on the in-built security in your ERP. Risks with regard to people and processes can also leave ERP data vulnerable. In fact companies lose nearly 7% of their annual revenue to fraud.
Here are 4 measures that will help fortify your ERP data security:
1. Keep An Eye On Data Management and Transactions
Monitor data management and transactions by developing queries that monitor usage of ERP data to spot any suspicious activity. Some activities are clearly red flags like users authorizing double payments. This is an example of procurement fraud.
Anomalies can also be indicative of potential trouble when a user’s typical transaction volume alters suddenly. Identifying trends in strange data usage and surges or fluctuating patterns of data handling you can conclude whether these are threats or fraudulent activity and take action accordingly. Spotting any weaknesses in purchase controls is crucial to preventing cash leakage and fraudulent billing. The clue in such cases is an unusual Purchase Order (PO). Detecting these inconsistencies is key to reducing risk in Procure-to-Pay (P2P). But the impact of compromised ERP data goes far beyond procurement. Monitoring transactions to spot anomalies will help protect your business against a wide range of threats.
2. Oversee and Safeguard External Transactions
Aside from internal data security, maintaining ERP data security for external transactions can be even more challenging. Since every single cloud and associated in-house system transaction is recorded, you get a huge volume of data and it can be difficult to isolate external ERP data transactions. Protected networks should be used when conducting external transactions. An additional precaution is to encrypt such data as it is flowing outside your organization. A few micro-seconds extra is well worth it for your ERP data security. Make sure to keep track of ERP data access points and devices that connect to you ERP, as it may come in handy in the future. Ensure that all these devices are in compliance with your organization’s BYOD policies.
3. Set User-Access & Audit Periodically
Make sure to define rule-based access for every user of the ERP system. Permissions and access fall into three levels – read-only, export ability and full access with the ability to edit. In addition, take the basic precaution of user IDs and strong passwords for every user that logs into the ERP.
Period audits must be carried out to check that authorization levels match user’s job duties and tasks. Regular audits play an important role in maintaining ERP data security.
Furthermore, when a user is transitioning between roles remember to change their access to the ERP to match their new role. Do not simply add onto their prior user access as some access permissions may need to be revoked.
4. Continue Old-School Security Practices
Segregating duties is a traditional security measure that continues to be effective today. Sequentially numbered purchase orders and sales orders are also a good way to bolster security. Another effective tactic is to have an employee responsible for the authorization of both financial and data transactions who has no direct connection to the transaction. If feasible, set formats for ERP data such as encompass security numbers, check numbers as well as part numbers. With this method, data that does not comply with the format can be instantly eliminated.
Although many modern ERP systems have in-built data security measures, you still require strong processes and strategies for data security. If you’re looking for ways to improve the security of your ERP data, our team at SolutionsX would be happy to help. We provide expert solutions for your organization’s ERP needs. With more than a decade of manufacturing industry experience our SolutionsX consultants are not only a point of contact but an ongoing personal guide in building and integrating a system that fits with your operations, goals and culture. Reach out to us at SolutionsX to find out more.