5 Ways to Prevent Security Risks with Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Over the past few years, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has become a popular business technology due to its ability to automate repetitive and high-volume tasks, which in turn, reduces manual effort, eliminates human error and improves productivity levels.
RPA business automation also allows businesses to monitor operational processes, as all actions of the robotic process can be recorded, analysed and optimised over time.
Of course, the most critical benefit of RPA is that it reduces the time required to complete menial tasks, while also making procedures far more efficient, reducing employee frustration. Companies often find that this increases job satisfaction while reducing stress and other related issues such as absenteeism.
It’s not surprising. Helping your staff remove tedious tasks so they can focus on what they enjoy is always going to help them feel more fulfilled every day.
Automation is transforming business
With all of these business benefits, RPA is being adopted successfully across many different industries.
An RPA study conducted by Gartner showed that nearly 80% of leaders in the finance industry alone have already implemented or are planning to implement RPA in the near future.
This shows how automation is transforming the way industries are conducting business, reshaping the workforce and redefining jobs. However, despite driving profitability and productivity, RPA also can come with potential threats that can cost your business if you’re not prepared.
So, to help you gain all the benefits and sidestep the issues, we’ve prepared this quick article.
Potential RPA security concerns
While robotic process automation has been proven to offer a long list of smart solutions to businesses by reclaiming their time back from repetitive and mundane tasks, it does bring along with it some potential cybersecurity challenges which can cause harm to your business if left unchecked.
- A need to maintain audit logs – These are important to track bot health and effectiveness. For instance, if a bot stops working, the audit log helps identify the underlying reason, whether it is improper use by an employee or malicious code from an external threat actor.
- A need for supervision – Bots need to be monitored at various levels to ensure they do not cause errors, which can then lead to problems.
- Data misuse – For some processes like payroll management and file transfer, bots require access to private information such as the passwords, addresses, credit card numbers, and so on, of employees, clients and vendors. The challenge here is ensuring that all corporate and personal data remains confidential and is not misused.
- Potential cybersecurity exposure – The automation involved in RPA creates several layers such as the web, APIs and data exchange that can be potentially vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
- Unsecure frameworks – The use of RPA frameworks may also expose organisations to malicious intent from external parties if not adequately protected.
However, don’t stress – remember forewarned is forearmed.
Fortunately, there are several ways to mitigate these RPA security risks that we’ll discuss below. That way, you can experience all of the business benefits without any worries.
5 ways to prevent security risks when implementing RPA
The following are steps you can take to reduce your Robotic Process Automation security risks.
- Segregating access
With this, each team member’s activities and access are restricted to an assigned role, which keeps any errors or fraudulent activity under control. For example, you may implement a protocol where no change can pass into the live environment without the approval of a specific person. All users, processes and people must then use login credentials to gain access which leaves a paper trail and only specific authorised users may reach sensitive data in the system.
- Centralising team credentials for management
This provides an internal control centre for login credentials by tracking the activities performed by robotic processes – allowing better and more direct transparency over potentially troublesome actions.
- Making sure the RPA platform generates accurate and consistent logs
If an RPA system has an issue, the first thing a management team need to do is look over logs to investigate. RPA logging should be routed to a different device where it is safely processed and rigorously protected so that proper investigations can take place.
Security managers therefore must ensure that the RPA tool generates an accurate, system-generated log that has no loopholes which may obstruct any investigation.
- Implementing robust change management
A structured change management process is crucial to ensuring the accountability and auditing of RPA implementation. This should define who is responsible for executing changes, assessing risk, reviewing performance, providing approvals, running backups of prior versions and sending notifications to the user community.
- Encrypting your data
Data encryption is an added yet highly important extra layer of securing your data from external malicious attacks. It means that, if data or IP were to be stolen, that the cyber intruders are less likely to be able to use it.
The plus side: RPA also reduces risks previously existent in business operations
As a paradox, while RPA can have these security risks, once you address them with the 5 steps above, robotic process automation can actually improve your business’ overall security in other ways.
That’s because RPA lowers security-related concerns by reducing mistakes, double-handling, accidental sharing of information with unauthorised parties, internal malicious intent and more. In other words, by eliminating manual work, automation minimises security risks at a macro level.
For example, it’s harder to manipulate invoicing and accounts when the invoicing system is all automated by strict codes and protocols.
Experience the benefit of RPA business automation without the security risks
RPA not only takes your efficiency to the next level, but also allows you to focus on value-adding tasks, profit-generating activities and overall customer satisfaction.
So long as you prepare and address potential security risks during the implementation process and monitor its ongoing effectiveness, then all potential risks can be easily managed – especially if you have a trusted and reliable expert partner in automation like CiGen by your side.
Harness the true power of automation with CiGen On Demand
Our team of RPA specialists are here to ensure you reap all of the rewards of business automation, while we address all of the potential risks.
At CiGen, we even provide an affordable automation service to small and medium-sized businesses through our CiGen On Demand subscription solution, making it even easier for your business to harness the true power of automation and earn back your valuable time.
Contact us today for more information on how we can help your business to succeed through robotic process automation.