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10 RPA Security Best Practices for Both Design and Development

Defog your RPA security strategy for both design and development in a comprehensive 10-point list.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an effective technology that simplifies and standardizes various process-oriented operations. It is gaining popularity worldwide with its presence in almost every industry. RPA software robots significantly increase productivity, quality, data correctness, and compliance when appropriately used, freeing human workers to concentrate on more strategic and rewarding tasks.

This new digital workforce needs privileged access and credentials to connect to target systems and other applications, such as financial systems, ERP, CRM, supply chain and logistics systems, and even email, to conduct automated functional activities. These privileged credentials can be exposed to focused, credential-based cyber attacks if they are left exposed.

This is why you must implement practices combining automation with enforced security standards that may help secure RPA investments. And to make this implementation secure and prosperous, we have covered them in detail in this detailed article.

Sources of RPA-related concerns

Before using the software, a thorough familiarity with Robotic Process Automation(RPA) is essential. One of the most important things to remember when it comes to RPA security is whether a large portion of the threats presented with RPA result from carelessness and lack of supervision.

Integrating RPA bots into an organizational structure without sufficient planning and control will likely cause more turmoil than a strategic method. Many CIOs and other IT executives need to be made aware that implementing RPA would not improve their company’s security. The situation will likely worsen if existing security flaws are not fixed first.

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10 RPA Security Best Practices for Both Design and Development

As more companies implement robotic process automation, several security considerations must be addressed during the design and development phases.

RPA Security Best Practices for Both Design and Development

1. Ensure Accountability for Bot Actions

Most RPA implementations are done to cut costs and minimize the expense of completing mundane, repetitive operations. However, most businesses needed to distinguish between bot operators and bot identities. Therefore there was no accountability for the acts of the bots.

You must provide responsibility for bot behaviours to maintain the RPA project’s strict and safe security. Every RPA bot and process is given a unique identity to do this. Additionally, adding two-factor human-to-system authentication to password and username authentication can help to secure your RPA project.

2. RPA Security Framework

Regular risk evaluations and audits of RPA processing operations are required as part of a governance framework for robotic process automation. Employees responsible for RPA must understand their security obligations, which include controlling access to the environment for robotic process automation, tracking and overseeing its activities, and other duties.

It is also necessary to have a security requirement checklist for robotic process automation technology in place and clearly defined responsibilities for conducting frequent evaluations of the RPA’s information security compliance.

3. Make Use of the Principle of Least Privilege

Applying the principle of least privilege means giving your bot access to only the data and systems it needs.

Limiting the number of applications or databases that software robots may access reduces the damage in the event of an attack. This is especially important in the event of a cyberattack to stop hackers from installing spyware and other malware and launching many programs on a client’s PC.

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4. Defense-in-Depth Theory

Defense in depth is a multi-layered method of software protection. This necessitates employing various measures to guard the bot’s resources against assault.

Assets like files may require multiple passes through various stages of data authentication and input verification before being transmitted to any output terminal or displayed on the screen.

5. Safe-Fail

Designing industrial systems to fail safely is standard in security and control systems. There are sometimes fail-safes built into machines and locks on doors that unlock in the event of a power outage or other catastrophic incident, such as a fire.

The concept of failing securely is used in software development. To that end, bot failures must never compromise any application assets’ confidentiality, integrity, or availability.

6. Review and Validate RPA Scripts Regularly

RPA robot construction and upkeep have to be ongoing processes. To address risks identified by flagged events and exception reports, a Robotic Operations Center should offer continuous monitoring and run the automation through appropriate revisions once robots are in production.

It is essential to follow cyber-security best practices while securing the credentials of RPA administrators, track and isolate any events, and stop or halt suspicious sessions right away to minimize security risks. Make a risk mechanism that evaluates each script individually and the overall RPA installation. Regularly check for errors in the business logic of RPA scripts and validate them.

7. Maintain and Protect Log Integrity

Your IT and security personnel must review your logs if RPA security fails. Organizations and businesses generally save robotic process automation logs to a different system to safeguard their security and forensic integrity. The RPA tools provide the whole log file produced by the system, and as a member of the IT or Security team, you should make sure that it is devoid of illogical data that might skew the inquiry.

Knowing what the bot is doing is necessary for managing security concerns in RPA. To track activities and aid in determining the reasons for an event, each bot linked to the network must keep thorough audit logs. The logs must also be frequently examined to look for suspicious activity, odd system behavior, or misuse of privileged accounts. The logs should also be independently inspected to ensure that the RPA is operating as planned.

8. Keeping Jobs Separate

Most of the time, developers make bots with too many features because they want the bot to be able to do “everything.” From a cybersecurity point of view, this means that if the bot is hacked, “everything” could be at risk.

By creating fewer individual bots, each assigned a specific task, you can separate tasks and make your bots work better. Bots that are smaller are also easier to check and keep safe.

9. Effectively Fixing & Addressing Security Flaws

When fixing software vulnerabilities, it’s common for developers to believe they’re all done when, in fact, they’ve only solved part of the problem or even introduced additional vulnerabilities in the process of trying to repair the original problem. When addressing bot-related issues, check that your solutions stay intact.

Developers working on bots would incorporate static scans into their SDLC, do regular security review processes, and attend secure coding workshops to reduce the likelihood of regressions and insufficient fixes.

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10. Avoid relying on service providers.

One of the bots’ most appealing qualities is their adaptability, which allows them to work with a wide range of services and even more data inputs. To put it bluntly, you can’t assume that any of the services the bot uses to obtain or analyze data are trustworthy and include only “safe” information.

Because of this, additional security rules and data validation are developed to ensure the bot will effectively handle the malicious scripts from APIs and services.

Final Thoughts

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the next big step in your efforts to undergo digital transformation. RPA is quickly gaining popularity and is now recognized as a crucial component of efforts to implement digital transformation. Like every network program, there is always a chance of attack, especially if essential security concepts must be considered during development. Poor RPA solution design can also result in significant security measures being violated and the exposure of sensitive information to unreliable parties.

With an external, independent aid that provides RPA and Automation services is the most effective and secure approach to guarantee successful digital transformation. Zuci can successfully integrate RPA software within your company and safeguard your RPA against any security issues. The most extraordinary RPA technology professionals are simply a phone call or message away if you require an RPA consulting.

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Janaha Vivek

I write about fintech, data, and everything around it | Assistant Marketing Manager @ Zuci Systems.

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