We strive to optimize efficiency and productivity by integrating all departments and operations into one data framework. This all-in-one system provides security benefits and creates security risks. It’s important to understand the unique security challenges of a centralized network as your company moves towards centralization.
The Benefits of Centralized Data
Most systems are accessed or “hacked” by malicious parties via single-point vulnerabilities. The legacy of department-specific software multiplied the potential access points to a data network. The security chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Data may be secure in one application, but it can easily be passed to a less-secure environment in day-to-day activities.
Integrating all software into a single ERP application provides the benefit of reducing the total number of potential access points. You now have just one application to secure, and the smaller number of vulnerabilities is easier to manage.
Security Risks of Centralization
The disadvantage of this all-in-one approach is the fact that one breach can yield access to the entire system to attackers. Once an attacker is “in” the network, he can potentially access the entirety of your ERP framework.
There are a number of other security risks that come with consolidating your software systems, and most have to do with poor security practices. Make sure to follow your ERP service provider’s security recommendations and install updates immediately and you will avoid most common security mistakes.
Login Information is Easy to Steal
The most common way that security is compromised is through theft of identity credentials such as login user names and passwords. It is disturbingly easy for online invaders to steal login information.
Best Practices to Avoid Breaches and Complete Compromise
If your data is especially private, you should enforce two or multi-factor authentication for all users who have access to your network. This is the only way to ensure the authenticity of every login instance to your network. Two factor authentication can be a hassle but it is the only sure-fire method of securing the user access points to your network.
User segregation is a good final precautionary measure to secure your network. All ERP software comes with customizable user segregation settings. This means that your users should only have access to the data that they need access to.
Even system administrators should be restricted if it’s feasible. Any user account can be hijacked.
Users are well-trusted, but creating these “walls” within your system will isolate breaches into one “area” of your network. This reduces the potential for your entire network to be compromised by a single breach.
Outsource a Solution
As the demand for complete centralized network security solutions, many enterprise-class security solutions are entering the market. It’s important to find a specific solution appropriate for you industry and your business.