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RPA introduces new and added risks to the business. It is opening a new expanse for hackers and attackers to access information illegally and create havoc. The most important and challenging problem is ensuring that the confidential data does not get misused via the privileges attributed to software robots or those that develop the robots’ workflows.

  • Key areas of risk are Data Security and Access Security. 
  • To prevent a standard methodology is to separate access and data. Another crucial area is documented management of login credentials.
  • Encryption is a must-have requirement to mitigate risk.
  • Other methods are scheduling work and tasks, a planned and clear desk policy, and protection against malware and Trojans.

Robotic Process Automation is assuming priority in businesses for gaining a competitive edge by acquiring error-free and accurate automated processes delivered promptly. Accordingly, a lot of investment is taking place in the RPA space. Such preferred implementation and fast-paced activities bring their own set of risks to the businesses.

Most of the data involved in RPA are confidential and essential. A huge chunk of attention must be given to ensure that no security failures are resulting in data leaks that let the business go down.

Mitigation of upcoming Cyber Threats

Cyberattack is one such threat coming into the forefront with the changes in digital technology due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The lockdown and office closures have moved data transmission to and fro employee residences in the work from home scenario, which is here to stay. As such, the planners and implementers should be aware of the changed situation and prepare a set of questions designed around every process stage’s security aspect, along with the questionnaire for workflow automation. 

Every touchpoint is to be viewed from the security perspective, visualizing how such touchpoints could be breach opportunities for fraudsters and cyber attackers. A significant risk factor is employee fraud. Even with the ultimate automation level, it is essential to give individual employees access privileges to some relevant stages to maintain accuracy and functional integrity. If one or more of them become corrupt, the business gets into considerable danger.

Establishing a Governance Framework

Governance is an essential aspect of RPA security. Governance warrants building the right strategy for RPA within company policies and monitoring compliance requirements. A framework should get established with roles and responsibilities for securing robotic actions. Business users and bot creators are to be aware of the security requirements regarding software and product security. In addition to the awareness, sophisticated tools for security analysis and monitoring may be procured.

The vital mainstream areas of risk that become a path blocker in RPA implementation are Data Security and Access Security. In the real-time world of automation, data security deals with preventing un-accessed users from taking the data processed by the software robots. Simply put, the goal behind data security is to ensure that privacy is maintained and that both personal and corporate data are protected. In this regard, access security is linked to data security.While avoiding such risks, a standard methodology is prepared to segregate access and data.

Another crucial mitigating factor is the documented management of login credentials. This is best managed with automated generation of login and other access script’s audit trail. These audit trails are to be designed without any option to delete them so that anyone committing deliberate fraud should not be in a position to erase the evidence.

Creating Detailed Audit Trails

Extensive audit logs that track and record every action the robots and the users operate within the automation will get generated. These audit trails empower one to create swifter and cleaner audit reports and ensure that one can backtrack the steps that led to a specific problem, be it a mistake in the robot’s performance, malicious code, or another abuse of an employee.

Workforce needs privileged access and credentials to connect to target systems and other applications, such as CRM, financial systems, supply chain, logistics systems, and email. When these privileged credentials are left unsecured, they can become vulnerable to be targeted, credential-based cyber-attacks.

Since robots can, in turn, be generated automatically, the number deployed within an organization may grow rapidly and sometimes may frequently change, compounding security risks. The privileged account credentials that robotic scripts use can dramatically amplify the hazard if they are saved insecurely. The dangers are even increased if companies install Remote Desktop Applications robots, usually recognized as “unattended RPA,” using shared credentials.  This will increase during and post-pandemic.With tons of cloud activity around, security teams got to apply equivalent policies used for on-premises applications and infrastructure to the cloud.

Data Encryption

Yet another essential measure is encryption, so encryption may be applied end to end so that plain data is not anywhere visible in the process chain.Then, an organization can take steps in areas of physical access, such as- Only people with genuine credentials should be in the data room. There may be no entry controls in privileged regions.Even employee seating can have segregation planned and implemented. The business should look for acquiring third-party security software and systems such as cybersecurity, malware protection, etc. Identity and access are risk areas. It is vital to spend enough time to plan and implement user access privileges, segregation of duties, process chains, and related fields.

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