How to Maintain Security in an ERP Implementation

Reading Time: 6 minutes


“Businesses and users are going to embrace technology only if they can trust it.” – Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

That statement by Microsoft’s leader is critical to understanding why security must be a top priority when implementing—and then, upon go-live, getting the most out of—your ERP system. If you don’t trust your system, you won’t glean the full benefits of a modern ERP solution.

To protect sensitive data and mitigate risks, you need to get off on the right foot with your ERP system and then ensure you stay there post-implementation.

The Right Software

A successful and secure ERP implementation starts with the right software solution. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management and Business Central are backed by state-of-the-art security and more than 3,500 global cybersecurity experts.

As a cloud provider, Microsoft covers security, including physical datacenter security, operating system, network controls, and a secure application framework. Microsoft offers security controls for:

  • Security Development Lifecycle
  • Datacenter security
  • Data segregation
  • DDoS defense
  • Encryption
  • Secure Identity
  • Authorization
  • Auditing and monitoring

That said, you also must play a role in ensuring security, compliance, privacy, and data protection with a proactive security plan, including engaging specialists to ensure ongoing protection.

How to Maintain Security After ERP Implementation

The success and integrity of your business rely heavily on your technology infrastructure. Any security breach can result in significant harm to you and your customers.

To establish a robust security program, focus on technology and processes. Regular assessments minimize risks, as well as offer an opportunity to enhance policies and procedures to counter emerging threats.

IT audits are comprehensive evaluations that dig deep into your operations to identify practices and system configurations that pose a risk.

This includes evaluating servers, workstations, routers, and firewalls with the goal of identifying vulnerabilities and fortifying the walls around your sensitive information. The policies, procedures, and operational practices governing the configuration, management, and operation of systems are equally significant.

While certain organizations undergo routine audits for compliance or regulatory purposes (such as GLBA, HIPAA, or PCI DSS audits), we recommend that all companies include an annual IT audit as an integral part of their overall information security program.

Here are the key steps:

  1. Pre-Audit Preparation

This stage includes:

Defining audit objectives and scope: Clearly establishing the goals and boundaries of the audit helps focus efforts and ensures a comprehensive evaluation.

Gathering necessary documentation and information: Obtaining relevant documents such as IT policies, procedures, system configurations, and network diagrams provides crucial insights for the audit.

  1. Conducting the Audit

The actual audit involves a detailed examination of the IT infrastructure, systems and controls. This stage includes:

Assessing IT infrastructure and systems: Reviewing hardware, software, network components, and data storage to evaluate their adequacy, reliability, and performance.

Evaluating security controls and vulnerabilities: Analyzing security measures such as access controls, encryption, authentication, and intrusion detection to identify potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

Reviewing policies and procedures: Examining IT governance, security policies, change management procedures, and incident response plans to ensure compliance and effectiveness.

  1. Audit Findings and Recommendations

Once the audit fieldwork is completed, the auditor analyzes the findings and develops recommendations to address issues. This stage involves:

Identifying strengths and weaknesses: Assessing the effectiveness of controls and highlighting areas where the organization excels or falls short.

Reporting on compliance issues: Documenting any non-compliance with regulatory requirements, industry standards, or internal policies.

Suggesting improvements and best practices: Providing actionable recommendations to enhance IT security, operational efficiency, and risk management.

A regular IT audit can help you proactively manage IT risks, ensure compliance, and safeguard your valuable digital assets. Regular IT audits contribute to the continuous improvement and resilience of an organization’s IT infrastructure.

What’s in Your Post-Implementation Security Plan?

So, how can you ensure security?

Perform penetration testing and vulnerability assessments

Regularly conduct penetration testing and vulnerability scanning to identify weaknesses in your ERP system’s security defenses. Engage qualified professionals to simulate attacks and test the system’s resilience. These tests help uncover vulnerabilities that can be addressed before they are exploited by malicious actors.

Establish incident response and recovery plans

Develop an incident response plan that outlines steps to be taken in case of a security breach. Clearly define roles, responsibilities and communication channels for reporting and responding to security incidents promptly. Additionally, establish a robust backup and recovery strategy to ensure business continuity in case of a security incident or system failure.

Provide ongoing security awareness training

Educate employees about the importance of ERP security and their role in maintaining a secure environment. Conduct regular security awareness training sessions to familiarize employees with best practices, such as password hygiene, identifying phishing attempts, and reporting security incidents. This will help create a security-conscious culture within your organization.

Collaborate with ERP vendors and experts

Engage with your ERP partner to leverage their expertise and support in implementing secure solutions. Seek guidance from ERP security experts and consultants who can provide valuable insights and recommendations tailored to your organization’s needs.

How Sikich Can Help Keep Your Systems Secure

Security assessments are generally most effective when conducted by qualified professionals with expertise in IT auditing methodologies, industry best practices, and relevant regulations.

Our security team at Sikich offers a comprehensive range of third-party audit services tailored to meet your specific needs, including:

  • Internet architecture
  • Firewall and router rule sets
  • Intrusion detection and prevention
  • Configuration management and security patching
  • Network and system documentation
  • Critical servers and workstations
  • Anti-virus system
  • User accounts and access rights
  • Security event logging
  • Backup processes
  • Physical security measures
  • Vendor management
  • Separation of duties
  • Incident response planning
  • Information security policies
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity

We conduct hands-on security testing, review your existing documentation, and engage in interviews with key personnel to gain a comprehensive understanding of your organization’s practices from multiple perspectives. We document each finding and recommend actions to address the vulnerabilities.

Ultimately, our services are customized to your organization—taking into account your individual risk assessment—to ensure long-term success and protect against evolving threats in the dynamic digital landscape.

To learn how we can help, contact our team now.

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication may contain certain content generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) language model. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.


Join 14,000+ business executives and decision makers

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Latest Insights

About The Author