Ten actions that reduce the risk of ransomware attacks on your ERP

Ransomware is a major problem for today’s businesses.  Your entire business can stop unless you can substitute pencil and paper for a while.  Relatively few businesses actually pay the ransom but a single hacker can collect millions of dollars from the few who do pay.  What should we all do?

1. Education

Most commonly, ransomware attacks when someone opens a file that might seem innocuous but secretly contains the virus.  The next most common path is through infected websites.  Everyone on your team must understand these methods.  Your ERP users are the first line of defense.

2. Anti-virus software

Your network and every device connected to ERP in your business should have good anti-virus software installed which is kept active and up-to-date.  New malware shows up every day and the top AV software providers work just as hard to provide protection for you.

3. Backup your data and software

Back up regularly.  Keep a copy of your data offsite and unconnected to your network so it is unlikely to be infected.  Use new media for the backup to prevent false security.  Backups have been standard security for years but too often, we are too busy.  If you do catch the virus, a dependable backup will get you back in business quickly.

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4. Ensure you’re running the latest version

Microsoft, Mozilla, and other companies improve their offerings daily.  Your ERP is also part of the solution.  In 2016, SAP made changes to the GUI interface on desktops that removed security risks.  All ERP systems do the same, and keeping your software up-to-date will also remove backdoor entry options for ransomware.

5. Cloud data storage

Major providers of cloud data storage use the newest and most secure protocols available. If workable for your company, consider migrating your data to the cloud.

6. Protect your smartphones

Ransomware can infect mobile devices too.  We live in the era of BYOD and when your device is infected, the virus can move to your ERP if connected.

7. Use VPNs for any connection

A virtual private network (VPN) adds another layer of protection to help secure connections.  That VPN provides a secure, encrypted path to your ERP through the VPN provider’s network and helps keep your ERP and its data safe.

8. Global problem requires a global solution

Your business has multiple locations. Protect them all, particularly those small offices in a faraway part of the world.  That infection can enter your network from anywhere.

9. Communication

Tell your people what protections exist and how they are important components of that protection system.

10. Executive staff

Look at mahogany row too as a possible threat.  They must follow the same security protocols.  A virus doesn’t care how much the ERP user makes.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at customerteam@erpfocus.com.

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Tom Miller

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