The biggest challenge in cloud-based enterprise software like the Microsoft Dynamics has always been its security. With on-premise deployment, Dynamics provides an end-to-end service where many people are logging in and accessing information at various points of time. Given its wide reach throughout an organization, the concerns are extremely valid.
On its part Microsoft has repeatedly assured users of top-of-the-line security protocols and a commitment towards creating a safe and secure space. But with customization, much of the security measures have to be taken at user end. Microsoft has published a number of documents, and informative articles on how Microsoft dynamics AX development can be made more secure. Yet, some concerns still remain.
The Human Element
Although many of us assume that data theft is usually carried out hackers, in most cases this is not the truth. While hackers do attack big organizations, it is not as frequent as the fear has grown to be. In the real world, most data breaches occur do to people working within the organization. It could be an error in writing code, an accidental error or even a deliberate act.
For instance, in 2014 Facebook accidentally released 6 million profiles. In 2015 190 million records were lost from the US Voter Database due to a configuration problem. The point is that human errors can and do happen. This can lead to millions lost in data loss and can, in some cases, also expose the organization to embarrassment. It also increases the fears of the average user of such leaks and exposures.
Ensuring security in such condition can be achieved by strictly controlling access through tools like multi factor authentication or biometric scans. But here’s the problem: elaborate systems usually end up taking too much time and effort, discouraging users. What we need is a balance where the system can create a security cover without hampering the functionality.
As mentioned above, one of the biggest threats to system security comes from information access. As organizations upload almost all their data into the Dynamic, unbridled access to information is just asking for trouble. The only way to counter this is by strictly cordoning the information making sure that unrestricted access to information is extremely limited.
Dynamics CRM ensures this by assigning security roles to records or entries. This function regulates the access to data, ensuring that retrieval of sensitive data is tightly controlled. The roles are assigned according to functions such as records, marketing, sales, service, service management, business management, custom entities and customization. The segregation ensures that each person can access their required data without exposing other critical areas.
There are number of instances when employees are working offline. With fluctuating internet connections in most parts of India, this is a necessity, especially for onsite employees. But it again brings up the question of accessibility. The more a person can access, download and store information on offsite channels, the more vulnerable we are to dishonest propagation of information.
CRM mobile as well as Outlook are major culprits here. Both are used extensively offline for various purposes. The online data is downloaded through Azure cloud and stored in SQL database. The data is often downloaded to the mobile database. For security this access must be regulated. Downloading of data or adding to it can be assigned according to security role. In addition, the scope of available data must also be clarified.
The segregation of roles and access accordingly can pose one challenge: the collaboration we ned in making any organization successful. What happens when employee X needs more information than he has access to? For instance, when as a sales representative he also needs account records of a particular client?
We have two options here: team access or access sharing. In the first case we can form a team of sales and records so that the sales employee has access to records for some time. In the other case, a sales employee can temporary share her access to make information available. Ultimately, every organization must work out its collaborative approach.
Assigning roles has proven to be the most effective way of preventing any data breach. It and limits information access without hampering individual or team functioning.
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Microsoft Dynamics AX development environment includes Best Practice Tools which check the code for best practices and generate the error, warning, and information messages according to severity. Microsoft Dynamics AX for ERP ecosystem is more popular.