Is your ERP a cybersecurity risk?
Posted on 6th February 2024 at 10:56
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have been a gamechanger for many businesses. Being able to integrate so many essential functions like finance, HR, inventory, and customer relationship management, is so integral, that the system is the backbone of many growing companies.
However, is having so much business and customer data simmering in the same pot a weakness for your business? With great power comes great responsibility, and for your ERP system, that responsibility must include robust cybersecurity.
The treasure trove of ERP systems
When ERP systems are used to their fullest extent, they are an absolute goldmine of sensitive data. Glittering in one large treasure chest sits financial records, intellectual property, and customer information. Since data is so valuable right now, all that digital bounty could be irresistible for any talented cybercriminal. Without robust cybersecurity, your vulnerabilities could be exploited, your data stolen, or your business could be held hostage.
The cybersecurity risks lurking in the shadows
The promise of complete efficiency and effectiveness doesn’t come without its challenges. There is usually a weakness in every system. Here are some of the cyber security risks linked to ERP systems:
Complexity: ERP systems are intricate, with numerous modules, integrations, and customisations. This complexity creates more attack surfaces for hackers to exploit.
Outdated software: Many businesses are still using older versions of ERP software that haven't been patched for known vulnerabilities. This leaves them wide open to cyberattacks.
Human error: Employees, whether through malicious intent or simple oversight, can be the weakest link in the security chain. Phishing attacks, social engineering, and accidental data breaches are all common threats.
Limited visibility: Traditional security tools may not be able to effectively monitor and protect all aspects of an ERP system, leaving blind spots for attackers to exploit.
The consequences of a cybersecurity breach through your ERP
Your business thrives on the data held, and activities recorded, within your ERP system. Any cyberattack on your business can be devastating. Business might face:
Financial losses: From stolen data to ransom demands and operational disruptions, cyberattacks can cost businesses millions of pounds.
Reputational damage: A data breach can erode customer trust and damage a company's reputation, leading to lost business and decreased future profits.
Legal and regulatory penalties: Businesses that fail to adequately protect customer data can face hefty fines and legal action under data protection regulations like GDPR.
Fortifying the defences around your data
Cyber-pirates could be circling your treasure trove at any point. You have learned from many films, that hoarding your gold in a cave on some accessible island invites more attacks than keeping it in a well-guarded fortress. So, what can businesses do to protect their ERP systems from cyberattacks? Here are some essential steps:
Implement a comprehensive security strategy: This should include regular vulnerability assessments, patch management, access controls, data encryption, and security awareness training for employees.
Stay up to date with software updates: Regularly update your ERP software and other related applications to ensure you have the latest security patches.
Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA): MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide a second factor, such as a code from their phone, to log in.
Segment your network: Separate your ERP system from other parts of your network to limit the potential damage in case of an attack.
Monitor and log activity: Continuously monitor your ERP system for suspicious activity and keep detailed logs of user access and system events.
Have a data breach response plan: In the event of a cyberattack, having a clear plan for how to respond will help minimize damage and get your business back up and running quickly.
ERP security – an investment worth making
Investing in robust cybersecurity for your ERP system is not just a good idea, it's essential. By taking proactive steps to secure your data and systems, you can protect your business from the growing threat of cyberattacks and ensure the continued success of your operations. Remember, in the fast-paced world of business, staying ahead of the curve also means staying ahead of the hackers.
If you are worried about potential DoS attacks, or would like more advice on mitigating the risk, contact us today on 01327 300 311 or email [email protected] with any enquiries.
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