How to protect ERP data when access to corporate networks is both ubiquitous and for sale on the dark web

With the current pandemic, remote working has become a new norm for the majority of the workplace. With this new way of doing things, networks may be vulnerable to malicious acts in software viruses and especially information gathering in the dark web. Piyush Pandey shares an article on how to protect your enterprise resource planning (ERP) data in these conditions. Ensuring ERP data security, privacy and compliance can no longer rely solely on network threat monitoring. It requires layed identity defense to limit access to and within mission-critical appliances.

Here are some ways to protect your ERP data from being sold to networks in the dark web:

Start with securing your crown jewel ERP systems. “Organizations looking to accelerate their data security maturity can choose to lock down access across their ERP systems for a “quick win.” According to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 67 percent of 2019 data breaches arose from credential theft, social engineering attacks, or errors that enabled malicious actors to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data.”

Continuously monitor privileged user activity and behavior. “With Attribute-based access controls (ABAC), organizations can set fine-grained access controls that mitigate risks. Privileged users, such as system administrators, need superuser access to do their jobs. While ABAC provides some level of control that can limit the data they access, their job functions require them to add users, delete payees and engage in other potentially risky activities across the ERP ecosystem.”

Creating layered defense at the identity perimeter to strengthen data security. “By establishing dynamic, attribute-based controls, companies can more precisely define access to ERP resources. Data masking or hiding sensitive information not necessary to the job function creates an additional security layer. Users not only are limited in their access but by masking the data, the access granted eliminates excess access risks associated with visibility of unnecessary, sensitive data. An organization’s payroll manager may not need to see employees’ account information to process the payments. Thus, limiting access and masking data create a double layer of defense.

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Europe’s Largest Retail Floral Supplier Modernizes ERP Environment to Stay Ahead of Competition

Dutch Flower Group (DFG), the world’s largest flower and plants trader, has selected Infor CloudSuite M3 for its subsidiaries Bloom – Green Partners, Van Dijk Flora, Superflora and JZ Flowers to help automate business processes to improve the use of resources and increase efficiency. With the need of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to help further automate operations and finance, Infor was the best fit for the Dutch Flower Group to meet their needs. “After a thorough analysis, we selected Infor because of their proven industry-specific solution and great fit with the team,” said Michel van Hout, CIO at Dutch Flower Group. Per the press release, with Infor CloudSuite M3, Dutch Flower Group is investing in its future by enhancing its backend technology to better meet the growing needs of its industry and customers.


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De Menken Keuken Selects Infor M3 ERP Solution to Support Growth and Boost Future Goals

De Menken Keuken has selected Infor M3 ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution to support growth, increase efficiency and help provide business continuity. De Menken Keuken produces a wide range of salads, sauces and meat products for retail, catering and hospitality customers. This is done mainly under private label. Its portfolio includes the Albert Heijn supermarket brand Saladespecialiteiten, carpaccio from de Vleeschmeesters, and a selection of tapenades and hummus spreads. Per the press release, By standardizing with Infor M3, De Menken Keuken can migrate from its existing IBM AS/400 solution to a modern, innovative, and industry-specific system that can help them navigate challenges while helping control costs, reduce manual work and boost efficiency.


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Don’t Make These 15 Common Mistakes When Building Your Company’s ERP

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are the ideal tools to help a company run more smoothly. ERP systems can integrate all the important business processes including HR, sales, marketing, finance and supply chain. This readily accessible tool can save time and money, but only if implemented and used correctly. To help you on your journey to building an ideal ERP, be sure to avoid these 15 mistakes noted by the members of Forbes Technology Council.

  1. Over-Customization
  2. Making Technology-Out Decisions
  3. Not Incorporating Automation And Data Analytics
  4. Failing To Capture Historical Institutional Knowledge
  5. Not Aligning Business Needs And Operational Goals
  6. Only Viewing ERP As An Asset Management Tool
  7. Ignoring Opportunities To Re-Engineer Business Processes As You Build
  8. Trying To Fit Your Business To The ERP
  9. Straying Too Far From Your Core Functionality
  10. Over-Dependence On ERP
  11. Failing To Define Workflow Processes For Each Department
  12. Not Testing Your Proof Of Concept First
  13. Overlooking Data Governance
  14. Underestimating The Required Time And Resources
  15. Excluding End-Users From The Decision-Making Process


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Tips For Managing A Successful Remote ERP Implementation

With this current pandemic urging people to stay home, online shopping has become more of a demand. This may be a good thing at first, but businesses have either shut down, changed courses or forced to find alternative means to operate. Shipping, logistics and supply chain management are more important than ever to maintain. Jay Deakins, Founder and CEO of Deacom, shares an article on Forbes some tips for managing a successful enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation remotely.

Understand Your Team’s Bandwidth. “Every company is different, and only your team can determine if now is the right moment to upgrade your ERP software. It will require an initial investment of dollars, time and resources, but done right, it will streamline all of your operations, from formulation and product development through production, shipping, warehousing, sales and accounting.”

Embrace Technology For Improved Efficiency. Deakins says of his team, “Though our team traditionally managed about 80% of an ERP implementation remotely, until recently, we still sent team members to be on-site at a customer’s facility for three critical events: the project kickoff, the conference room pilot and the go-live launch. We are now conducting the entire process remotely using tools such as GoToMeeting and webcam-enabled tablets, and we have been pleased to discover a few unexpected benefits from this transition.”

Pandemic or not, an ERP implementation is a major undertaking for your entire team, but its return on investment is worthwile. With the help of technology and a strong and motivated team, there’s no reason that you cannot achieve a smooth and successful remote ERP launch.


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Altaïr Group to Deploy Infor M3 for International Growth

Infor recently announced that Altaïr Group, a French chemical group composed of six leading companies in the field of cleaning products, fabric softeners, insecticides and repair pastes and putties, has decided to deploy the enterprise resource planning (ERP) application, Infor M3. It will become the standard system for managing processes and sharing information between the group’s various entities. Per the press release, Altaïr Group has entrusted Infor to support the deployment of the M3 solution and outsourcing the IT servers and setting up a data centre in Lille, France, to serve the various entities of the group. This will help centralize information, improve communication between subsidiaries and share best practices. Infor M3 will help manage operations related to purchases/sales, production (manufacturing of chemical formulas and packaging), logistics, quality control and finance.


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Simple Trends That Will Continue to Drive ERP

Darren Roos shares an article at about the impact that enterprise resource planning (ERP) has for organizations. When paired up with other strong technological players such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), open APIs and the cloud, ERP systems can be so powerful. Roos shares the following trends and their impact on ERP.

APIs Open for Business
“Open APIs allow a wide range of client-side functions to be integrated into systems easily and quickly. They allow development to happen at pace because there are no hidden complexities, and they permit inbound and outbound connections to the digital core with the greatest possible flexibility and speed.”

Success in the Cloud
“Only by going fully cloud can organizations really reap the benefits. In doing this organizations will allow themselves to take full advantage of the AI and open API trends already noted.”

At Your Service
“Expect the term ‘servitization’ to become much more widely known as the business approach it describes takes a firm hold. Traditionally, manufacturers make ‘goods’ which are sold to customers by intermediaries. That is changing, and manufacturers are moving closer to their customers.”


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Tanguy Materials Chooses Infor CloudSuite Distribution Enterprise to Rationalise its Management Systems

Infor recently announced that French building materials company Tanguy Materials has chosen to implement Infor CloudSuite Distribution Enterprise to equip itself with the right tools to accelerate the digitalization of its services and meet the challenges and opportunities of a constantly evolving market. Tanguy Materials is a family-owned group that has been developing in the trade and production of building materials industry for three generations (since 1925). About 30 years ago, the group extended its scope and reorganized itself around 17 subsidiaries. Today, it has more than 950 employees for a turnover in 2019 of more than 250 million euros. Per the press release, Tanguy’s goal was to harmonize and centralize three enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and the 70 user interfaces around a single, modern and scalable management system. Infor has a proven track record of successfu deployments in other market players, including Tanguy’s competitors. On a functional level, the solution was a good fit for the company’s issues such as inventory management, supply chain management and pricing. The cloud option offers real advantages in terms of flexibility and scalability on demand, while respecting the company’s needs and financial capacities.


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What to consider when converting to a new ERP for Open POs

Many people are moving from one ERP to another.  There are many pieces to an Open PO that need to be considered.

  1. How much history do you need to bring over to your new system? How often do you clean up your open POs in your current system?  Do you need all of your open POs or only certain ones – for example, only those for active vendors.
  2. Cleaning up your old POs – closing out old POs that probably will never be finished at this point is a great idea before starting the conversion process.
  3. Locations – how will you deal with locations in your current ERP that will not be in your new ERP? Is there a default location that can be used to process the conversion? A memo or user field can be used to store the original information.
  4. What about inactive requesters – how will you address these? Providing a default or generic requester when the old ones won’t be in the new system is a good way to handle this.  A memo or user field can be used to store the original information.
  5. Vendors – what about open POs for vendors who are inactive in your current system. Are you going to be converting those?  The vendor will need to be added to your new system if the answer is yes.
  6. Make sure to have the most current chart of accounts and cost center mapping.


Six ways to lift ERP Lockdown and avoid innovation recession

One of the greatest challenges for businesses during this lockdown is managing the trade-offs between risk and reward. In the same way that we will learn to live with COVID-19 by adjusting our day to day lives, Owen Pettiford believes the same can be done with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to get the right balance between control and innovation.  In his Diginomica article, Pettiford shares six ways you can start to lift your ERP Lockdown:

Knowledge of ERP End to End Processes. Critical to opening the lockdown of any system is knowledge about how that system runs. Organisations who want flexibility and innovation must reclaim this knowledge and manage it in house.

Flexible Run Contracts. Running ERP systems is a commodity task and one that is commonly outsourced. These outsourcing arrangements come with legal contracts that have definitions of the services to be provided and cannot be defined in the wrong way or it can encourage a “no change” mentality to ensure that Service Levels are maintained.

Knowledge of New Capabilities. One of the interesting features of IT in general is the continuous stream of new capabilities that evolve. Each one follows a hype curve and delivers different value to different industries. Having a team looking at these capabilities and the ones your ERP vendor is baking into your system is key to making sure you catch and exploit each of these waves.

Elastic Infrastructure. The processing capacity of systems has increase many times over, but often ERP systems are locked into infrastructure that was sized and designed years ago. Understanding the modern capabilities to expand and reduce capacity is key to removing “performance” as a lockdown reason.

Tools that provide automation and managed access. Instead of keeping systems safe from overload by locking them down the most flexible ERP solutions now implement real-time monitoring and automation strategies that allow software to flex capacity and throttle demand to agreed SLAs. These solutions mean that the system can be open and guarded at the same time.

DevOps Approach. The catch is that successful DevOps is built on top of the other 5 capabilities listed above as without them DevOps will not deliver its benefits.


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