Netsuite 101_
NetSuite 101: NetSuite Security Basics

There’s no denying that data security has become the linchpin for organizational success over the course of the past decade. From client records to payment details, intellectual property, business plans and more, the data held at most companies these days is a tempting target for cybercriminals and its filtration could cause significant financial damage. Oracle NetSuite, a leading cloud-based ERP solution, is at the forefront of providing powerful tools that bring together finance, customer relations, human resources, e-commerce, manufacturing, and supply chain all in one place, which is great for organizations, but can be a security minefield. This article delves into the essentials of NetSuite security, outlining the key steps for bolstering your business’s data protection. 

Understanding NetSuite's Security Features

NetSuite’s comprehensive security framework offers a multitude of features to fortify your data. From role-based access control to data encryption, audit trails, multi-factor authentication (MFA), IP-based restrictions, and automated updates, NetSuite provides robust security mechanisms to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your data. 

Role-Based Access Control

Role-based access control (RBAC) in NetSuite involves defining user roles with distinct permissions based on their job responsibilities. This ensures that users have access only to necessary data and system functionalities, thus minimizing the risk of unauthorized access. A regular review of user roles aligns with any organizational changes and ensures that your access control remains dynamic and secure. 

Data Encryption

NetSuite’s native security features guarantee end-to-end data protection by leveraging industry-standard encryption algorithms. This feature ensures that sensitive data remains secure and unreadable, even if intercepted by unauthorized individuals, during transit as well as at rest.

Audit Trails

The audit trail feature in NetSuite is instrumental in maintaining a detailed log of user activities, including data access, modifications, and deletions. Regularly reviewing these logs can help in early detection and rectification of any suspicious behaviour. It can also help with a post-mortem investigation in the unfortunate event of a successful attack or data breach. 

Multi-Factor Authentication

To add an extra layer of security, NetSuite supports Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). MFA is an industry gold standard security measure that requires users to provide multiple forms of identification before accessing the system, thereby significantly minimizing the chances of unauthorized access. Besides having MFA in place for company platforms, businesses should also consider recommending their employees use MFA on personal accounts such as social media, which can be trawled by cybercriminals in search of data that can be used to crack passwords or carry out phishing attacks. 

IP-Based Restrictions

Another useful NetSuite security feature allows administrators to define IP address restrictions, ensuring that system access is granted only to trusted networks or specific geographic locations. Although it isn’t fool-proof, this feature significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized intrusion by restricting access from known threat areas and preventing employees from accessing sensitive data from unauthorized locations. 

Automatic Updates and Patches

Not just with NetSuite, but with all software, one of the ground rules of information security is staying updated with the latest security patches and system updates. Software manufacturers and their teams of developers are constantly looking for potential vulnerabilities in their systems that can be remedied before they become an issue. Running outdated versions of a program can leave you open to attacks through areas that have already been patched. For its part, NetSuite provides the option to automate updates (something we’d highly recommend), thereby reducing the risk of security gaps. 

Ensuring Data Security During Migration

Data migration is an integral part of NetSuite implementation, and it involves the critical task of transferring data from legacy systems to the new ERP platform. During this process, sensitive data is vulnerable to breaches and leaks, and it is crucial to reinforce data security during migration through data privacy impact assessments (DPIAs), encryption of data in transit, validation of data integrity, and restriction of access to data migration tools. This is another area where specialist support services are recommended, so you can be sure that nothing is overlooked at such a critical step in your NetSuite setup. 

Employee Training: Strengthening the Weakest Link

Human error is a common (if not the most common) cause of data breaches. Weak passwords, a lack of software knowledge, gullibility, and more are all easily solved errors that have cost companies in the past. As such, when setting up NetSuite at your company for the first time (and then periodically after that) comprehensive employee training and awareness programs are essential to reinforce data security best practices and educate staff about potential risks and consequences. Alongside software-specific training, regular cybersecurity training sessions should be conducted, and a security-conscious culture should be fostered throughout the organization. 

Emphasising Regulatory Compliance

Alongside data security, regulatory compliance holds paramount importance during NetSuite implementation. Organizations across industries are subject to various data protection laws and regulations. Non-compliance can lead to severe penalties, reputational damage, and legal liabilities. Hence, ensuring that your data security measures are in line with relevant industry regulations is vital, and support in this area can be provided by specialist NetSuite consulting services such as those provided by Vursor

Regular Security Audits and Penetration Testing

To ensure the ongoing effectiveness of data security measures, regular security audits and penetration testing should be conducted either in-house or by third-party specialists. A security audit will assess the overall security posture of your NetSuite implementation and identify areas for improvement. Penetration testing, meanwhile, simulates real-world cyber-attacks to identify potential vulnerabilities and weaknesses in both your NetSuite setup and IT systems as a whole. 

Data Backups and Disaster Recovery

Data backups and disaster recovery planning are vital components of data security. In the event of a cyber-attack, system failure, or natural disaster, data backups ensure that critical information can be recovered and restored, thereby minimizing downtime and data loss. Perhaps the strongest argument for data backup is to defend against ransomware, as the cybercriminals’ position is significantly weakened if they can’t control the entirety of your data in a single attack.

Secure Network Connections

Ensuring secure network connections to NetSuite is key to preventing unauthorized access and data interception. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), and Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) are some of the measures that can be implemented to ensure secure data transmission. It’s vital to configure your company’s internet access to block access to untrustworthy sites and as such avoid your NetSuite platform being infiltrated by a phishing scam. 

System Customization: A Balanced Approach

While system customization can enhance the functionality of NetSuite, over-customizing can introduce security risks and complicate future updates. A balanced approach should be taken, leveraging the robust functionality provided by NetSuite without excessive customization. Once again, specialist consulting services are a great shoulder to lean on in this area. Vursor’s NetSuite specialists can help you judge what customizations you need and which ones you can do without, therefore helping you avoid a potential security risk further down the road.

Collaborating with Security Experts

Implementing and maintaining robust data security measures can be complex, requiring specialised expertise in cybersecurity. Collaboration with security experts or partnering with managed security service providers (MSSPs) can significantly enhance an organization’s security capabilities. Given the sheer amount of sensitive data that is stored on your NetSuite platform, adding an extra level of security such as this should be a no-brainer for companies of any size.

In conclusion

Securing your data when using NetSuite is a journey, not a destination. By implementing these NetSuite security best practices, you can establish a robust foundation to protect your business data. Regular reassessment and updating of your security measures are crucial to keep pace with evolving threats and ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your data. Vursor’s NetSuite consulting specialists are there to guide you through this process seamlessly - get in touch to find out how we can help.