This flu season has been a tough one for everyone. Many people ended up out of the office and in bed for many weeks. Even after recovery, it takes quite a while to get back into pre-flu shape. As I was going through some absences it occurred to me that, just as the flu virus attacks the human body, there are worms and other viruses that attack our business systems. A lot of the hacking you hear about these days may start with just a small worm or virus. And just as we as humans often don’t find it necessary to go for the flu shot or to take our vitamins, we often neglect our systems as well.
In recent times, we have found that there are an infinite amount of worms and viruses out there and that we have many customers who have had their systems attacked. Although no data was stolen or compromised, systems that run ERP investments often end up with data corruptions and it takes a lot of time to recover and return to optimum health.
A while back I wrote about how one should measure technology, and I distinguished between what the user sees, what the server processes and how data is stored. We should never forget that all of these aspects are rendered through systems that are connected to the outside world. Much like how the human body becomes more susceptible to infection when we go to the grocery store or go out to watch a movie – business systems experience the same increased susceptibility when interaction with the outside world increases. There is an obvious link between the amount of interaction with the outside world and the extent of risk. Therefore, the more traffic our business systems absorb, the more our software investment is in danger of being compromised.
I am by no means a cyber-security expert but I do believe that our largest investment risk, outside of people leaving us, is our systems and by default our software and data on these systems.
We know that cyber flu is here and we know that every day we are more at risk. In the past we were most at risk on our servers connected to the outside world. As we change to thinking more about what we want to see, when we want to see it and on devices of our choice, the risk extends to the user device. This is a nightmare for administrators who constantly have to worry about the next threat. Don’t be lulled into inaction by a false sense of security.
Protect your systems and protect your ERP investments. Whether we allow mobile access, web access or desktop access, we must take action. It takes a long time to be cured and even longer to be at full strength.
The time has come that we should get our flu shot regularly.