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Oops I did it again: Placing blame on ERP data security failures

by Mark Polino
Director of Client Services, Fastpath, Integrated Business Group

Last week there was story about a newly hired junior developer who managed to accidently delete their company's production database. The developer was setting up their environment and instead of entering a URL/User Name/Password specific to them, they used the example in the documentation which was tied to production. This overwrote the production database with test data. Apparently, the backups weren't restoring either. The junior developer was fired. You can read more of the story here.

Don't think that this can only happen with developers. I've seen plenty of cases where users with excessive ERP access accidently deleted data. Wiping out something like vendors or receivable data can ruin a career. There are lots of lessons here. A few that stand out for me are:

  • Access matters. When thinking about security, companies can't be one dimensional. Focusing solely on compliance or fraud prevention isn't enough. Excessive user access is still way too common in organizations. New users simply shouldn't be able to delete or damage data. Ultimately, organizations have a responsibility to understand and control their ERP system.
  • Backups matter. Untested backups are like everything else that people collect. They might be worth something someday, but until you check, assume they are worthless. We've previously covered using backups to update test environments. This is a great, low-risk way to make sure that backups work.
  • Documentation matters. How companies explain tasks is important. If users need to perform SQL commands or follow a series of complex steps to perform a task, the risk of error increases significantly. This should be obvious, ...

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About Mark Polino

Mark Polino is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a former Microsoft MVP (2007-2018) for Business Solutions. He is the author or coauthor of 5 books related to Microsoft Dynamics GP.  Mark also maintains the Dynamics GP focused website He speaks and writes regularly about ERP related topics. Mark has been a controller and CFO for a division of a publicly traded company and he has  worked as a consultant implementing ERP solutions. Mark holds additional certifications including Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) , Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Dynamics Credentialed Professional for Dynamics GP 2015 (Core Install and Core Financials), Xero Certified. He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Central Florida and an MBA from Rollins College. Mark lives with his family in Florida.

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