Securing Your CRM, Accounting and Business Management Systems

One of the biggest challenges organizations now face is adequately securing the data held in their CRM, Accounting and Business management systems. And securing these means protecting the software, hardware and networks they run on.

There are a number of ways an organization can be attacked; traditionally the main methods of sabotage were viruses and emails. These methods of attack are still prevalent and they have increased in terms of technicality. Viruses for example can now spread worldwide within a number of hours and can have devastating effects on a business’s profitability.

The threat posed from emails has also changed significantly. For most individuals, receiving Spam is now part of the daily routine. However, aside from unsolicited emails being annoying, spam can be offensive, fraudulent and dangerous. In addition, it also takes up valuable space on an organizations server which can prevent business critical information getting through.

Most organizations are aware of the risks which are posed by external sources and have processes in place to protect against them. Internal threats on the other hand are often not adequately protected against. This may be because organizations are either not aware of them, or do not know how to secure their systems against them.

Internal threats are a result of the developments in portable storage and personal devices such as iPods, USB drives and mobile phones. These devices have made it easier than ever for an employee to copy large amounts data from your CRM or Accounting system and either take it with them when they leave a company or sell it to competitors. It doesn’t have to be deliberate either – data can be lost or mislaid by accident so have the potential to fall into the wrong hands. There are some high profile news stories about this, including cases of confidential information being lost or stolen, such as this BBC news item.

Losing data, either deliberately or accidentally, is called Data Leakage. It is something which has the potential to have a substantial negative impact on organizations profitability and needs to be prevented. According to recent research, 59% of people who have lost their job recently have admitted to taking data with them when they left.

With so many varying types of threats facing organizations and so many different products to protect against them, it can become difficult to understand what you are protected against and which product best suits your organizations requirements. Often organizations think they have all the protection they need, but in actual fact they are only protected against one type of threat leaving them wide open to attack. What certainly has become evident is that all organizations need to have processes in place to protect against every type of threat.

So what do you need to protect your CRM, Accounts or Business Management system? There are a variety of different security products available, including:

Full security, anti-virus and firewalls
Anti-Virus software will typically protect your organization from viruses, Trojans, spyware and adware. Anti-Virus software is often easy to use and quick to set up.

Anti-spam
Anti-Spam software is designed to reduce the number of unsolicited emails which an organisation receives. Typically anti-spam software will feature not one, but two anti-spam engines to give administrators a high capture rate.

Back-up, system continuity and maintenance solutions
Back-up solutions provide organizations with a method of automatically archiving emails. This therefore frees up space on a business’s server to allow business critical information through. Back-up systems usually have a search tool where employees can search for a specific document.

Data Leakage protection
This provides administrators with a way to actively manage user access and allow them to log the activity of all portable storage devices.

Your organizations CRM and Accounting systems are an invaluable source of data and they contain all the information which potential attackers need to have devastating effects on profitability. Subsequently comprehensive protection is vital. You need to secure your systems from both internal, as well as external threats – taking a holistic approach and using a variety of different techniques and products available. Once in place, keep your security up to date all the time – it’s important that whoever implements you security will provide on-going maintenance and support. ┬áIf in any doubt, contact a security specialist to assess which security product, or combination of products, are right for your organization.

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