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Chapter 3

Your RPA Security Checklist for a Robust Digital Workforce

Intelligent automation (IA) and robotic process automation (RPA) are useful and cost-effective technologies that automate repetitive tasks and end-to-end processes. But like any new system, they should be handled with care. This is especially imperative for organizations in heavily regulated industries or those handling sensitive data, such as financial services and human resources (HR).

Cybersecurity is top of mind, especially when it comes to automation. So, let’s see how you can ensure your IA or RPA security – or hop to the bottom of the page and reference our IA/RPA security checklist to find out where you’re at!

RPA Security

What Is RPA Security?

RPA deals with a lot of critical and confidential business data, from transferring files, processing payroll and creating purchase orders – and organizations need to ensure their employees, customers and vendors are all protected from both digital and human errors.

IA or RPA security refers to the measures and practices put in place to protect the integrity and confidentiality of data in processes within RPA systems.

What are the concerns for RPA security?

Digital workers are smart, but they’re not invincible. They require good security measures. And while digitized documents can save businesses a lot of costs, they can also add another layer of risk to your projects. Consider what cybersecurity protocols you have protecting your documentation and processes.

Organizations wanting to adopt IA or RPA systems should address the following security concerns:

  • Audit logs: These track your digital workers’ health and whether they’re running efficiently. If a digital worker stops performing, the audit log will help identify why and if there are any outstanding security concerns.
  • Authorized access management: If human users are involved in a process, stipulate their access roles. Ensure accountability for bot actions by setting and continuously reviewing RPA scripts. Only give them access to the required data and assign a special identity to every RPA bot and process.
  • Attended versus unattended bots: Consider if you want your RPA to include a human-in-the-loop (HITL) triggering activities and approving final actions, or if your RPA software bots will run without interference.
  • Testing and development: Continuously monitor your digital workers or RPA bots to ensure they’re performing as coded. Inadequate testing and development could lead to issues, so make sure you’re aware of these before your automations go live.

How Do You Mitigate RPA Security Concerns?

Like any program in a network, there’s the risk of an attack – a risk that’s tenfold if you haven’t considered any sort of security principles or framework during implementation. Automating a process doesn’t automatically make it more secure. Automation reduces human error and improves accuracy, but access, control and contingencies must all be considered.

What are the best practices for RPA security?

Establish a governance structure or security framework before your RPA implementation. This framework will include regular risk analysis, process audits, user roles, etc. Once you have this structure in place, find a secure automation solution that can integrate seamlessly into your operations.

What are the best controls to implement for RPA security?

Here are some of the best security controls you should consider inside your IA/RPA framework:

  • Choose the right automations: When identifying the best candidates for automation, utilize tools that can help you measure the current and potential RPA security risks and any complexities within a process.
  • Set roles and responsibilities: Ensure your employees know their security responsibilities, including their access to your automation’s environment, logging and monitoring systems. Consider establishing a Center of Excellence (CoE) team of people within your business to maintain governance.
  • Develop an operating model: Establish a strategic plan for your automation program that aligns with your business goals and any strict security measures. An operating model can help you determine exactly how processes are performed and any contingencies, should there be failures.
  • Use a password vault: A centralized password vault allows your automation teams to store their passwords in one place to prevent data breaches or lost access.
  • Limit access: Set up guardrails for your digital workers so they can only access the apps and databases they need to, limited to the information they require to execute their tasks.
  • Secure deployment: Set up layers of security controls when deploying your automation. These can include network-based firewalls, intrusion detection, anti-malware and external log servers.
  • Encrypt data in use: Protect against unauthorized access to confidential data by ensuring sensitive information isn’t shown on-screen or stored by digital workers, locking the machine where the digital worker is running, setting a time limit to terminate an automation and setting centralized control for all remote operations.
  • Mandate security training: All of your development and operations teams should receive the proper security training so they understand the risks and best practices associated with IA/RPA security. Alongside this, set up change management processes to see that all changes to your workflows are carefully managed and documented to prevent unintentional security issues.
  • Regularly review logs: If there’s a failure in your automated process’ security, regular auditing by your IT or security teams will ensure they suspend or terminate suspicious sessions quickly. Most IA and RPA tools generate a complete audit log of their actions to simplify this process.
  • Continuously monitor: Automation is an ongoing process, and so is maintaining its security. Ensure you have a risk management strategy in place and you’re adapting it as automations, business processes and regulations change.
  • Implement disaster recovery: Develop and test plans for disaster recovery and business continuity to ensure your RPA systems can quickly recover from any unexpected incidents.

Compliance risks happen because of poor RPA governance, but operational risks occur when an organization doesn’t set up controls to support business continuity, security and scalability. You must consider both when establishing your IA/RPA security measures.

Our IA & RPA Security Solutions

There are a lot of automation software solutions out there, so it can be challenging to find the IA or RPA tools that align with your business needs. SS&C Blue Prism security, privacy and compliance come first with our robust digital workforce.

Here, we’ve outlined some of the ways SS&C Blue Prism is helping businesses with secure automation:

  • An operating model: SS&C | Blue Prism® Robotic Operating Model™ (ROM2) is a methodology for securely and successfully launching a digital workforce. It guides you step-by-step through planning, launching, maintaining and growing your intelligent automation.
  • A management tool: SS&C | Blue Prism® Chorus business process management (BPM) can automate processes, manage cases, interact between channels and provide analytics on ongoing processes. Chorus enforces compliance by automatically checking quality, setting up role-based workspaces and allowing users to monitor work in one place.

Security measures such as access control, data encryption, identity authentication and digital worker monitoring can help your organization mitigate risks and realize the many benefits of intelligent automation.

IA/RPA Security Checklist

Let’s see if your automation program’s up to snuff — how many can you tick off?

  • An operating model or framework
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Central password vault
  • Login credentials for individual digital workers
  • Limited user access
  • Auditing capabilities
  • Wipe data from unused digital workers
  • Monitor automations continuously


About the Author

Alexis Veenendaal

Alexis Veenendaal is an Associate Content Writer and Editor at SS&C Blue Prism. She’ll tell you all the cool tips and tricks for implementing intelligent automation into your workplace. She has lived and worked internationally as a professional writer and designer for nearly a decade after graduating from the University of Lethbridge for English Literature. Her personal pursuits include authoring books and digital cartography.

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Next: Chapter 4

RPA Testing: How To Perfect Processing and Data Extraction

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