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ERP security best practices: Are too many users licensed to do ill?

When it comes to ERP security, a common theme seems to be the threat of hackers — and nothing gets an enterprise system administrator’s hackles up more quickly than the threat of hackers.

But… that’s usually not the main security issue for anyone managing an ERP such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance. We’re not saying hacking doesn’t happen (it does), but in many cases the threat to your systems’ security comes from within.

Worry not! You (probably) haven’t hired KGB-type sleeper agents sent by competitors who are working from the inside to destroy you. The truth — as it often is — is both more obvious and less dramatic. And it usually comes down to the following:

  • Too many users with too many permissions
  • Access through users who no longer work for your enterprise still having access to enterprise systems
  • Users in over their heads, with access to higher functioning features in your ERP system that can result in them “leaving the back door open” (making the hackers’ job far easier, or just leaking critical info into the ether)

Not only do the preceding create glaring security loopholes in your enterprise system, they also cost money. For example, why pay for extra super user-level licenses when you only need a few?

While there are myriad factors to ensuring the complete security of your ERP systems, ensuring your licensing is “on point” is one factor that’s completely in your hands, and made even easier to do with help from Arbela Audit and Security Manager extension for Dynamics.

You can read on to learn more, or watch a webinar, The Audit and Security Journey.

Myriad malefactors and plethora of problems? Auditing is step one.

As stated, every ERP includes a multitude of security considerations: the complexity of the system and the ways it operates means multiple entry points; over-reliance on the complexity can lead to a “security though ignorance” mindset; and the fact that so many in the enterprise “touch the system,” but knowledge of exactly how is siloed or not known at all. And these are just a few of the ongoing challenges for security professionals.

Solving these challenges begins with being able to easily execute a systems audit, ideally, an automated systems audit as a manual audit can seem like it takes eons to complete.

Auditing is more than a security function, too. It’s a “health of the system” function, and essential to compliance. Let’s elaborate on the critical importance of auditing to ERP security. It can help:

  • Prevent fraud by ensuring users have correct access levels
  • Help discover and avoid errors that could cause productivity losses or operational failures
  • Help ensure more accurate financial reporting (inaccurate reporting can have two negative outcomes: bad play-calling by stakeholders, and financial misstatements to regulatory agencies)
  • Prepare you for audits by outside agencies required to ensure you’re in line with, for example, Sarbanes-Oxley requirements

Ideally, your ERP auditing process and platform has mechanisms that allow for increased visibility into the auditing, as well as reporting tools to make sharing information (when required) with regulatory agencies as easy as printing a PDF.

The good news is that you don’t have to do this alone nor manually. Arbela Audit and Security Manager delivers these benefits, which help deliver an even greater benefits to anyone focused on ERP security: peace of mind.

While we focus primarily on licensing in this article, there are a host of issues we can dig into that create a ripple effect for ERP security, such as Segregation of Duties.

Learn more in this webinar. You can also bookmark our blog or subscribe to notifications as we continue to share what we’re learning and what we’re doing about security for Dynamics.