Robotic process automation (RPA) is a powerful technology that streamlines and standardizes many process-oriented tasks. It is gaining traction around the globe and is now widely viewed as a core component of digital transformation initiatives. Applied to the right processes, RPA software robots can significantly improve productivity, quality, and the accuracy of data and compliance, while empowering human workers to focus on more strategic and fulfilling work. RPA is risky. RPA bots handle sensitive data, moving it across systems from one process to another. If the data is not secured, it can be exposed and can cost organizations millions of dollars. Without proper security measures in place, the sensitive data, such as RPA bot credentials or customer data that RPA handles, can be exposed to attackers. Proper governance and security frameworks are essential to mitigating these risks. Protecting software robot privileged credentials and access should follow the same security standards used for human users and applications, such as enforcing the principle of least privilege. However, there are a few implementation tweaks specific to RPA technology and the robot lifecycle that need to be implemented as well. Some are listed below.
Security Best Practices for RPA
The best practices of RPA Security are listed below:
Role-based Access Control:
Define roles and access permissions based on the user roles and responsibilities to ensure secure access to the RPA environment.
RPA Security Framework:
It’s essential to regulate Robotic Process Automation’s security issues with a set of specialized controls.
As part of its governance structure, regular risk analysis and audits of its processing activities are necessary. Employees on the responsibility of it must be clear about their security responsibilities, which include managing access to its environment, logging and monitoring its operations, and so on. There should be defined duties for conducting regular assessments of the RPA’s information security compliance and a security requirement checklist for the Robotic process automation technologies in place.
Avoid using hard-coded access rights:
All hard-coded access permissions in robot scripts must be replaced with API calls, with each request linking directly to the necessary access rights stored in a central repository. This adds another layer of protection, making an attack less likely.
Use the ‘least privilege’ principle.
The ‘least privilege’ approach dictates that the robot’s access to other apps and databases be limited to what is necessary to execute tasks. Damage in the case of an attack is minimized by restricting the number of apps or databases to which software robots have access. This is especially critical in the event of a cyber-attack to prevent hackers from running numerous apps on a client machine and to grant local administrator rights to install spyware and other malware.
Log’s integrity should be maintained.
If Robotic Process Automation security fails, our logs need to be examined and reviewed by our IT and security teams. Its logging is typically saved to a separate system by organizations and companies to protect their safety and forensic integrity.
The RPA tools give the complete log file generated by the system, which is log-free of incoherent data that could mislead the investigation, and as an IT or Security team member, this thing should be ensured.
Securely enable RPA development.
The development of Robotic systems is a continuous process. It cannot be a one-time event and must evolve to address weaknesses and threats. Usually, the Robotic Process Automation scripts are completed at the priority to complete the deployment at an increased pace, due to which the security is postponed.
An active conversation should be done between the Security Team and the RPA team. All the risk strategy includes both Robotic Process Automation implementation and individual scripts. Specific attention should be given to the business logic flaws, and the scripts’ review and testing should be done correctly.
Conduct a thorough risk assessment.
Start by identifying potential risks associated with our RPA implementation, such as data breaches, system crashes, or unauthorized access. Assess the likelihood and impact of each risk, and then develop a plan to mitigate them.
Follow compliance regulations.
Ensure that our RPA implementation adheres to all applicable regulatory requirements, such as GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI-DSS.
Secure Password Management
To prevent unauthorized access, use strong and unique passwords and enforce password policies. To protect against data breaches, use encryption to secure sensitive data while at rest and in transit.
Educate employees on RPA security best practices, such as strong password management, phishing prevention, and safe browsing habits.
By implementing and following these best practices, we can ensure the security and compliance of our RPA implementation, reducing the risk of potential threats and protecting sensitive data.
About the author :
Deepthy V and Ravisankar P K are both software engineers specializing in Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Deepthy’s seasoned expertise compliments Ravisankar’s fresh insights, creating a balanced perspective in their collaborative article, showcasing FoundingMinds‘ commitment to diverse talent.