Managing BYOD And ERP Security
As the practice of allowing employees to ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) to work is gaining popularity among organizations worldwide, there’s no denying the fact that the trend is here to stay. This means that networks and data are open to handheld mobile smart devices and laptops. While BYOD benefits are typically billed as something that offers significant flexibility and convenience to employees, it does provide a host advantages for businesses as well.
BYOD has the potential to improve productivity and lower operational costs, besides making employees happy. And happy employees are good for business. The challenges that come with BYOD, however, must be taken seriously. BYOD requires careful handling to avoid security risks and loss of data creating new security and management challenges for IT. What happens if a device is lost or stolen? How is data secured on these smart devices? Is there a way to prevent unauthorized access?
Many businesses — big and small — rely on ERP applications to manage their business processes. It becomes even more necessary then to plan appropriately to ensure that ERP security is not compromised by a poorly thought out BYOD policy.
Challenges you may face when you open your ERP platform for use on personal devices.
Security: If your ERP platform is designed solely for the PC environment, it can open up ‘Pandora’s box’ in terms of security issues when your employees log into ERP applications on their smartphones and tablets. These mobile devices bring with them a lot of diversity in the form of different operating systems and web browsers. For instance, in your workplace environment, you probably use Internet Explorer to run a legacy software, and all PCs run on MS Windows. But most mobile devices either run on iOS or Android, and your employees will have different browser preferences. As a result, the security protocols in place to protect your database are not likely to work optimally with these devices. The issue of limited security on personal devices arising from the fact that they operate on other networks outside the firewall must also be considered.
Management: Managing different personal devices can create an operating nightmare. Ideally, each of these devices should be loaded with relevant software and backed by IT support and administration for software updates.
Storage: Storing business information on personal devices is obviously not the right decision, considering the risk of the device getting compromised. Clear policies surrounding storage protocols can help mitigate the risks arising from potential breaches to security arising out of storage.
Overcome these security challenges by modernizing your ERP platform
Does your ERP platform meet modern standards of security? If it doesn’t, you need to upgrade accordingly to fully support the function. Most BYOD policies are backed by the cloud, which means that even if a device is compromised (lost or stolen), data can be remotely erased.
At a basic level, a cloud-based ERP platform with web-based applications will solve almost all security concerns related to BYOD practice. These platforms allow employees to access ERP applications from almost any device, irrespective of the operating system and browser. Even better are ERP platforms with applications designed specifically for mobile devices, which further improve security and user experience.
When your ERP functions are either running entirely on the cloud, or have cloud-based back-ups, sensitive business data is not stored locally, but in a central server that’s secured by your IT department. If a device were to become compromised, you can rest easy knowing that all information is encrypted and you can remotely lock the application or erase all data. Consider those benefits and how it fits into your existing infrastructure before you define your BYOD policy.
For more information on how PSI ERP can help you with your BYOD policy, please get in touch with us at 1-866-277-4447 or firstname.lastname@example.org.