With Cloud-Based ERP, Is Security Playing Second Fiddle?

With Cloud-Based ERP, Is Security Playing Second Fiddle?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools are vital to business operations, but with businesses migrating to the cloud, there’s one key factor that may be overlooked: security.

With all of the other factors at play surrounding ERP cloud migration, including concerns about enhanced flexibility and collaboration, businesses may act without taking proper precautions. And while migrating to the cloud does offer added benefits over most on-site systems, with cyberattacks on the rise, they have a lot to stand up to.

Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind

One of the leading reasons that cloud-based ERP users are prone to greater vulnerability than on-site users of years past is – on its surface – a good one: trust. Companies trust their cloud providers so much that they invest their full faith in the provider’s security practices. Add to that the fact that the cloud puts the technology in question out of sight, and users overlook their own role in keeping data safe.

An Issue Of Inexperience

Another reason companies overlook security for cloud-based ERP technology is one of inexperience, often paired with insufficient staff support. Traditionally, internal IT teams are responsible for system maintenance, but many don’t know how to approach cloud-based ERP. Indeed, small companies typically find the IT support provided with cloud-based ERP to be a key value proposition when making the transition. They may not know what follow-up questions to ask about that support, though.

Internal IT teams need increased education about ransomware and other modern hacking practices. While your average computer user can spot a phishing attack today, ransomware and other contemporary breaches can be remarkably subtle in their operations – and destructive in their outcomes. Both ERP providers and users need to be prepared for these attacks, and have plans to respond to them.

Where Programs Meet

Unsurprisingly, cloud-based ERP systems are regularly made to interact with other business technology systems, but they aren’t necessarily designed to do so, posing unforeseen security problems. While certain enterprise software companies develop programs for many different functions that all fit together seamlessly, independent cloud-based ERP may not be able to securely transfer data to other systems. Companies should always ask questions about system compatibility before any purchase to ensure smooth interaction.

In a 2017 survey, 88% of cybersecurity experts predicted there would be an increase in ERP system attacks, but most recognize insufficient preparedness among businesses. Unfortunately, on the business level, companies don’t agree on whose responsibility it is to prepare for these attacks, preventing appropriate planning and implementation.

If your company has not yet migrated its ERP to the cloud, take a step back and assess your security infrastructure so that you can develop a plan to protect client and company data from attack.

And if you’ve already made the move to the cloud? In that case, it’s time to recognize pervasive vulnerability across cloud-based ERPs and prepare for the worst. While cloud-based ERP systems can significantly improve day-to-day operations, failure to develop security procedures at all levels of your organization can leave your business vulnerable. Your ERP system needs to play a central role in that plan.