Companies Face Growing Data Security Challenges in an Increasingly Mobile Environment

As our interconnectedness grows, the need to protect and share data becomes increasingly challenging, highlighting the importance of having an ERP system.

South Africans’ devices are progressively mobile, which means so is their data. But companies are discovering that increased mobility can mean less effective firewalls and other forms of information protection, and an upsurge in data threat levels.

Companies have to secure entire ecosystems of connected devices to tackle this challenge, but while every effort can be made to ensure that data is secure, businesses should never assume that it is. While there is no one-stop, “secure-all” solution, there are ways to effectively mitigate the risk with the help of a trusted technology partner.

As our interconnectedness continues to grow, the need to protect and share data will become increasingly challenging, making the importance of an ERP system such as SAP Business One even more significant.

Says Warwick Hopcroft, sales director and spokesperson for Seidor, Africa’s fastest-growing SAP Business One partner: “In this day and age, not only is it essential that the entire data lifecycle within an organisation is secured; data also needs to be monitored and controlled wherever it is, even when sharing is done on an ad hoc basis from a variety of devices.”

Hopcroft goes on to explain that it is vital that data is protected from the moment it is shared, transformed, uploaded and downloaded. “In addition, the data owner must be able to retrieve or restrict data when they need to,” he adds.

So, what is the key to securing data in a mobile, connected world?

Hopcroft outlines three important tactics for businesses to implement. “Regular updates, which mean an environment of constant improvement; permissions control to ensure companies are on top of who sees what data; and finally, reporting, which shows full traceability of data access.”

Regular updates

Because of the dynamic nature of both software and network security, regular patch releases to address programming errors and new malware developments are required. These updates also improve on previous processes in the system and can add functionality not present in native versions.

Permissions control

A good ERP system will give a user complete control over who has access to accounts, functions and processes. This ensures that unnecessary access to sensitive business and customer information is prevented. Explains Hopcroft: “SAP Business One allows you to assign permissions to users. The point of entry can be sentried with a clear Segregation of Duties (SOD), enabling you to establish levels of accessibility and making it easier for you to monitor the interaction. Tiered user roles that limit access to specific operators create another level of security. The system can assign each person a set of access permissions related to their job function, ensuring that data is secure at all times.”

Full traceability reporting

This ensures accurate internal reporting as well as the maintenance of data through a single unified system. Internal reporting is supported by segmented user access, restricting unauthorised personnel or outsiders from gaining access and entry to the data. The real-time nature of an ERP means that data managers can be informed immediately of unauthorised data access, minimising its impact.

“While data security is becoming increasingly important, it remains a journey without a destination, which is why a high-quality ERP system is vital. A good system will keep data safe, allowing businesses to stay focused on growing their business and managing customer relationships,” concludes Hopcroft.