In a world that runs on technology, businesses require a sophisticated, comprehensive business management system, such as an Enterprise Resource Planning (or ERP) solution like Sage X3, in order to operate efficiently, profitably—and perhaps most importantly—securely.
Why is security so important?
Security breaches or hacks occur every day. According to Norton, a hacker attacks every 44 seconds. Cyberattack types include ransomware, malware, phishing and data breaches, and unsurprisingly, businesses are a huge target. With such concerning security threats looming over your business, protecting your critical business data and peacefully enjoying the many benefits of Sage X3’s award-winning ERP system begin with understanding and following ERP security best practices.
If you’re not sure what these best practices are, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Below, we look at eight Sage X3 security best practices you can start implementing today.
Security Best Practices
We’ve been in the ERP consulting industry for decades, so our consultants know the importance of ensuring your business is secure. Here’s some of their best practices to get you started:
1. Implement a Culture of Security
The first step is to establish a culture of security. Essentially, this means ensuring that every person within your organization understands that security is a top priority, and they—not just the IT staff—are vital protectors of your system. A culture of security also means proactively assessing your security risks using tools like Gartner’s IT Roadmap for Cybersecurity, which looks at the key stages of a successful cybersecurity initiative.
This security assessment will help you develop clear documentation outlining your ERP safety strategy and should include concise definitions of how security is handled.
2. Stay On Top of Updates
Software updates and patches are more than just feature enhancements; they often include security improvements. Staying up to date with the latest patches and updates ensures that your ERP solution is equipped to deal with the latest known threats. Ignoring updates can leave your system vulnerable to cyberattacks that exploit these known weaknesses.
3. Make Multi-Factor Authentication Your Default
Everyone uses passwords to access their devices, and most know that their passwords must be complex (e.g., having 12+ characters, using a random sequence of numbers, symbols and letters and lacking any personal connection), updated regularly and stored in a password vault application, not on a desktop or other hackable location. Unfortunately, hackers are experts at guessing, uncovering and publishing passwords, leaving you and your business vulnerable.
To avoid this vulnerability, you must make multi-factor authentication your default. Multi-factor authentication uses a combination of passwords, codes sent to another device and biometric data as an added level of protection to verify each user’s identity. With it, only the right people are allowed access to your data.
4. Apply Robust Access Controls
In addition to multi-factor authentication, robust access controls guard you against security threats. Sage X3 allows for the restriction of system access based on predefined user roles. Employ the “Least Privilege Principle,” where each role should have just enough permissions to perform their intended tasks. This reduces the risk of unauthorized access.
Sage X3 customers can reach out to their account manager to inquire about role-specific licensing and discuss which license options work best for your team’s needs.
5. Choose Cloud When Possible
Though choosing an on-premises ERP solution may seem like a more secure solution, it’s not necessarily so. On-premises ERP solutions require purchasing hardware that needs to be stored in an onsite location along with software that is installed, monitored, upgraded and secured by IT personnel. Security and access controls are only as good as the IT staff’s capabilities, and often, the constant cyberattacks are an extremely stressful, arduous responsibility that wears on their ability to stay vigilant.
In contrast, if you choose a cloud-based ERP solution, you pay a subscription fee that includes security and data recovery covered by the ERP hosting provider.
6. Offer Frequent Employee Training Programs
A more hands-on approach to security is offering ongoing employee training. Because data breaches often stem from human error, employees should be taught how to properly use the ERP solution, becoming familiar with the solution as a way to avoid security risks.
Some additional common sense safety measures to teach team members include:
- Avoiding clicking links within emails sent from any service (e.g., website, bank, credit card, etc.) and, instead, going to a site directly.
- Moving emails from unknown senders to your spam list instead of unsubscribing.
- Keeping pop-up blockers active and avoiding clicking fake security threat/warning windows.
- Downloading internet software only after doing their due diligence; malware threats can be bundled within legitimate software.
- Installing malware protection software that runs automatically.
As a Sage X3 customer, you can leverage your Sage X3 subscription to access complimentary e-learning courses.
7. Backup Data Often
Protecting your business from expensive, business-debilitating cyberattacks is possible when you remember to back up your data often. According to McKinsey, you want to make sure you’re not backing up “an already corrupted system” because it can combine the corrupted and uncorrupted data. So what should you do? Authors Kathya Defossez and Wolf Richter write:
First, companies should consider running backups daily or weekly. This could increase the chance to spot an attack and keep it from being backed up. In fact, software is available to run ransomware-detection checks across the network on a daily basis. When the system is certified as clean, it can be safely backed up. Similarly, there is software available now to monitor backup systems as well for any unusual backup activity, often a sign of an attack.
Backing up your clean, uncorrupted data is a surefire method of reducing the consequences should a cyberattack occur.
8. Know What to Do if a Breach Occurs
Ultimately, if a cyberattack against your business is successful, then it’s imperative you address it as quickly as possible. But not alone.
Your ERP implementation partner should provide a support analyst to guide you through how to access your back up folders in the event they need to be restored. (Helpful tip: make sure the person responsible for ERP security has access to your vendor’s support platform, so they’re not trying to track down login data in a crunch).
On top of this, NexTec’s hosting provider offers services related to security, breach management and data recovery.
Security at Sage
Sage’s data security practices are designed to keep your data safe and secure. They integrate stringent coding standards, security controls and continuous testing within their development process, thus minimizing cybersecurity threats to all Sage customers. Some of the security measures include:
- Web application firewalls
- 24/7 monitoring and threat detection
- Secrets management
- Serverless and container security
- Traffic inspection
- Secure back-ups and disaster recovery
- Encryption of customer data in transit and in rest
- And so much more
At NexTec Group, our consultants—who have implemented Sage X3 since the product’s introduction—are well versed on Sage X3 security practices and promises. If you choose to implement Sage X3, we’ll support you before, during and after the implementation.
We hope the information in the first of our Sage X3 Security Series has been helpful and that you’ll stay tuned for the second article coming soon. Until then, contact us with any questions. We’d love to chat.