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3 Essential Capabilities You Need to Modernize Your ERP Security and Compliance

By David Vincent • October 29, 2021

The fundamental goal of information security has long been to effectively maintain confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Confidentiality ensures that information is only accessed by authorized personnel requiring such access to complete their job. Integrity involves protection from unauthorized modifications of data. Availability ensures that systems and data are available to be used when needed.

Organizations are faced with the constant challenge of safeguarding their ERP systems and data from internal and external threats. Mature IT departments know it is just a matter of time before the next threat will occur, and they take measures to be more proactive in their battle to identify, detect, prevent, respond, and recover from incidents. Summarized below are some of the ERP security and compliance improvements that do not come standard with ERPs but are essential for your organizations to adopt.

1. Adaptive Security for Faster Threat Detection and Response

Agility is the name of the game in today’s ERP security landscape. Being able to detect threats as they happen and quickly adapt your security is crucial to safeguarding the ERP application and data. However, getting there is a challenge for most organizations. Gartner’s recommended Adaptive Security model seeks to help organizations transform from the old static approach enabled by Role-Based Access Controls (RBAC) to a continuous monitoring and risk adaptive approach. Zero-Trust is an initial step on the roadmap to this Adaptive Security model, which promotes continuous monitoring and analysis as a starting point, enabling rapid detection of behavioral anomalies and permitting rapid responses to stop and resolve security incidents quickly.  

Furthermore, data masking is leveraged to enhance security and data loss prevention. Unfortunately, most ERPs still use the static RBAC. The Appsian Security Platform offers a more advanced Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC) security model that allows more combinations of preventative control capabilities using user attributes (e.g., username, ID, age, job title, job role, organization, department, security clearance, etc.), resource attributes (e.g., device IP address,), action attributes (e.g., read, change, delete, max dollar amounts, etc.) and environmental attributes (e.g., day, time, location,) to align to Gartner’s recommendation of an Adaptive Security model with dynamic security controls focused on prevention, detection, and response to anomalies and threats with Zero Trust, and data masking.  

2. Zero Trust Authentication at Access, Data, and Transaction Level 

While the terms authentication and authorization are often used interchangeably, they are separate processes used to control access to systems and data. Additionally, authentication and authorization are the first line of defense to prevent confidential data from falling into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, in most ERPs, the authentication and authorization check is performed only once. As a result, security providers have provided stronger control methods that should be a critical part of every organization’s overall security strategy. The use of a one-time login ID and password is no longer enough to safeguard systems and data. 

Organizations need to implement other security techniques like Zero Trust and multi-factor authentication. Zero Trust goes beyond the one-time authentication check with the login ID and password to enforce the principle of “never trust, always verify.” Many techniques can be utilized to implement Zero Trust. Appsian, for example, enables you to deploy multi-factor authentication during the login and then during an attempt to access a sensitive transaction and, if necessary, when the user attempts to access critical master data. Additionally, Appsian’s ABAC security model grants user permissions on a more granular level than RBAC using a series of specific attributes. The Appsian Security Platform helps organizations implement Zero Trust, multi-factor authentication, and the ABAC security model to enable more effective controls at the authentication, authorization, SoD, transaction, and master data level. 

3. Automated Policy Enforcement for Consistent Security and Compliance 

Traditionally, enforcing policies has typically been a manual process achieved through educating the user community regarding new policy requirements and periodically evaluating the effectiveness of the policy enforcement with a manual and reactive assessment. To overcome this challenge, organizations need to shift to an ABAC security model, sometimes referred to as a Policy-Based Access Control (PBAC) security model. This approach enables a more efficient and proactive way to automate and constantly enforce individual policy requirements within the access controls that can operate at the SoD, transaction, and maser data field level as a preventative control mechanism.  

Another benefit of automated and constant policy enforcement is the ability to improve the governance function. Using the Appsian Security Platform helps organizations implement policy-based authorization to simplify and strengthen automated policy enforcement and provides assurance of compliance to laws and regulations.  

Existing on-premise ERP applications are not equipped with the tools and capabilities necessary to defend against the modern threat landscape while meeting the mandatory compliance regulations. Appsian’s ERP-focused platform has been specifically designed to address these security concerns. Not only does it allow you to implement layered, adaptive security controls within your ERP applications, but it also enables audit teams to achieve and maintain compliance across your ERP ecosystem.  

Schedule a demo with our ERP experts to see the Appsian Security Platform in action.

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