Data Security Tips for On-Premises ERP Implementation

May 19, 2021 | Data Security
car manufacturing plant

On-premises ERP software runs on in-house servers at your own location or locations under your control. Many small and medium-sized businesses that implement on-premises ERP don’t have to sacrifice data security while keeping the ERP system on company property. While nothing is foolproof, with the right resources and a strategic plan, data can be confidently kept protected.  

An on-premises solution puts the business in complete control of its data security. Having an ERP system installed on-site gives control over all IT infrastructure, processes, and systems from end-to-end. However, this requires some initial steps to be taken to ensure your business’ security and data protection.

There are data security benefits of having an ERP system in general, regardless of whether the system is deployed in the cloud or on-premises. By providing one entry point per client, information can’t be replicated elsewhere in the system or be subjected to inconsistent updates. ERP systems also automate and streamline processes tied to customer service, accounting, and production which eliminates calculation errors and gives more time for staff to dedicate to customer relationships. Implementing an ERP system along with your own security plan can provide endless protection for your data. Consider the following recommendations for ERP data security. 

Define and consider the design and test strategies for all security requirements. The security implementation that comes with the ERP application should be extended as much as possible to all of your custom developments. Proper analysis of each requirement is also essential to determine the right security protocol levels and tools to meet security requirements.

Perform proactive health checks. This means having a strong performance monitoring system in place, which includes knowing your baseline of trends and peaks (including seasons) so that there’s no hesitation in answering “what’s abnormal?”

Best practices and training efforts serve as insurance. Be sure your staff know how to spot phishing links and other suspicious items that are designed to deceive. Regular training for both staff and IT professionals will keep everyone vigilant. Adhering to a training schedule ensures that staff is kept up-to-date on the newest forms of phishing or fraud and that new members of your business are looped in as well. These practices should become long-term routines.

Make security a habit. Have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place and practice it. There’s nothing worse than losing precious time because your staff isn’t ready to take charge of an unplanned situation. 

Avoid over-customization. On-premises systems are often easier to modify and the ability to customize to their specific needs and requirements is paramount for many organizations, especially for specialized manufacturers with unique processes. While customizations can be helpful, too many can be difficult to upgrade which makes the system more vulnerable.

Consider licensing updates, patch management, backup archiving, and environmental protection. Keeping up with patches and upgrades is essential. If you can’t continuously scan for updates, then set a definitive scan schedule to keep abreast of newly available patches and make it a priority to deploy them as soon as they are available. Also, physical protection of your equipment is essential and should include considerations for secure physical barriers, temperature control, and regular monitoring. 

Keep complete control of critical data and access-based user data. Many companies operate under some form of regulatory control, regardless of the industry, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) which administers accounting and financial reporting regulations for the oil and gas industry, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which regulates worker health and safety in the workplace, and other government and industry regulations. For companies that are subject to governmental regulations, compliance is crucial, and they must know where their data is at all times.

Get in touch with the team of experts at Decision Resources, Inc. to learn more about an on-premises or cloud ERP implementation at 412-562-9660 or info@decision.com.

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