For many organizations, ERP solutions serve as epicenter of business operations. This includes software like, “SAP, Microsoft, and Oracle”. These applications provide a useful way of handling the important and confidential data of a business. This data contains classified information about sales, customers, accounting & finance, products & services, workforce and commercial secrets. However, any damage to such applications can result in unforeseen situations, enforcement issues, weakened product position and postponement or delays in work schedule due to manipulated data. Whereas, according to a research (Dec,2019), “More than half (64%) of IT decision makers whose organizations rely on SAP or Oracle E-Business Suite confirmed in a recent survey that their ERP applications have been breached in the last 24 months”.
If we go a few years back, businesses had internal ERP solutions, only accessed by the organization’s workforce. But still, those applications were not totally secured, irrespective of the filters they had. Nonetheless, in today’s era of digitization and cloud storage, every data has been taken out of the internal boundary of an organization. Despite the fact that these features can result in cost reduction and growth in long term. But, they also enable hacking and other potential data thefts.
Now more than ever, businesses are moving from traditional methods to digitally transformed processing. Also, now external hosts are handling the applications. This allows them to manage “Amazon, MS Azure, Google, IBM, or SAP” in an external data center. Nevertheless, these applications are linked to an onsite locale and is accessible through internet services. A survey by IDC showed that, “74% of respondents indicate that their large ERP applications are currently accessible via the internet and this connection adds another layer of complexity and increases the potential attack surface”.
Potential financial impact of an ERP breach
Although, companies shouldn’t back out from investing in cloud storage to gain benefits of cost reduction and enhanced operating functions. But they should consider making it as secure and protected as possible. According to another survey by IDC revealed that, “Nearly one in three (35%) respondents believe that ERP application downtime could cost their organization over $50,000 per hour”. Also, “Twenty-nine percent of respondents thought ERP downtime could cost their organization more than $100,000 per hour”. Regardless of the difference in invasion, it is apparent that any detriment to the ERP software can lead to a significant impact on the financial processing of a business.
Maintain adequate ERP security and IT controls
Businesses should understand that there is no magic formula to completely secure an ERP solution. Following are some measures to prevent data invasion and damage,
- Assure a continuous check on essential business applications to identify internal and external risks.
- Develop unique safety checks for financial reporting through the crucial business applications.
- Ensure that the safety of key cybersecurity controls is according to the standards and regulations.
- Enforce “Patch Management Tools” assure protected code changes for ERP systems and also, they should be regularly reviewed.
At the present time, critical softwares are more vulnerable. Because they are connected to several networks and other applications. This might be an opportunity for hackers and other cyber-terrorists. As a result, they can breach the security and cause harm to the confidential data. Furthermore, now of all times, companies need distinctive and advanced technology that understands the working of ERP solutions. Also it should know about the level of transparency and provides proper security of important information regarding secret data.