Privileged Account Security Is Critical with ERP Systems


Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are the heart of a business, facilitating the flow of data across operational functions. These systems support back-office transactional activities such as accounting, production, inventory control and order management, and provide decision-makers with critical information that can help improve organizational performance.

Wouldn’t a hacker love to get into your ERP system? A rogue insider could cause serious harm to your organization…

ERP systems are subject to the same security threats as other business-critical applications, with a heavier emphasis on privileged access risks. A hacker with stolen credentials or a malicious insider could set up a fake vendor account and start processing payments — just as one example. Privileged credentials for ERP systems are regularly sought out by attackers because they provide access to sensitive information and business-critical assets.

But because ERP systems are accessed by a sizable portion of users across the organization, it can be difficult to maintain strict controls over accounts, credentials and roles. In many cases, ERP systems are also used by third-party vendors and contractors, whose accounts should be subject to even greater controls than those of employees.

Unfortunately, many organizations lack effective processes for provisioning, changing and de-provisioning user accounts. In some cases, managers who are tasked with approving access rights may not fully understand the level of rights they are granting. Automated systems can help, but automation tied to Active Directory or human resources systems can leave gaps due to missing information. For example, contractors and temporary employees may not be adequately tracked by these systems.

A related challenge is user access reviews. Organizations should regularly assess user privileges to ensure they align with current job responsibilities. Ideally, organizations should also perform more detailed reviews of roles to ensure least-privilege access is enforced at a granular level. Access should be analyzed not only from within the ERP system but across integrated applications and platforms that could provide a “back door” into sensitive areas. The credentials that enable other applications to interface with the ERP system can also be an area of significant risk.

CyberArk’s Privileged Access Security solution can help organizations implement and maintain more stringent controls over privileged accounts. Identity Governance Applications such as RSA Secure ID G&L, Omada, and Oracle OIG can help organizations to enforce and automate User and Privilege Access reviews.

This robust platforms enables organizations to:

  • Manage and secure credentials. Organizations can strengthen their overall security posture and improve operational efficiencies by onboarding accounts into CyberArk’s encrypted centralized repository. With CyberArk they can also automate password rotation and enable multi-layered privilege access security throughout the ERP stack – from the application layer to databases, operating systems and servers.
  • Reduce privileged access security risk. Organizations can quickly detect and halt suspicious activity by monitoring privileged user activity. CyberArk complements security controls within the ERP system by managing, protecting and controlling the use of privileged accounts. CyberArk provides a consistent approach to reducing privileged access security risk across the entire enterprise for high-value applications and infrastructure.
  • Ensure Access Certification. Organization can automate certification processes based on roles, privileges and entitlements. This will ensure alignment of privileges with roles that are assigned to users and provide a quantitative risk assessment that can occure due to improper privileges and roles.
  • Meet compliance requirements. Organizations can easily demonstrate compliance with internal enterprise policies and various industry regulations – including SOX, PCI DSS, GDPR and more – with complete visibility into privileged account controls and activity records.

Clango’s team of CyberArk and Identity Management consultants and engineers can assess your current security controls, identify gaps and recommend processes for protecting your ERP system. Let us help you leverage a Privileged Access Security solution to strengthen ERP security by reducing privileged access risk.


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