How to Manage Security Risks in RPA - ByteScout
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How to Manage Security Risks in RPA

Data Security is often neglected in the modern-day world, where data is the new oil. Any company’s information once leaked may be prone to threats you can’t even imagine.

RPA and Security

Moreover, in the new generation of automation, which has helped a lot in minimizing the errors and speed up the process, security threats have reached another level. So, let’s explore how does the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) deal with security, or it doesn’t at all.

  1. Risks in an RPA organization
  2. Physical Safety of Data
  3. Electronic Safety of Data
  4. How to prevent RPA security risks?
  5. How RPA reduces risk present before automation?
  6. Conclusion

Risks in an RPA organization

When it comes to data risk in an automation environment, the significant risk is ensuring the safety of data and minimizing the risk of loss of data where major organizations follow a central database.

The risks can be divided into two parts:

Physical Safety of Data

Physical Safety of the data includes that the only set of information is lost. As a result of which the whole business may come to a standstill. A well-protected organization data which maintains privacy is essential for the proper working of the organization.

Electronic Safety of Data

The electronic safety of data must be ensured to prevent unauthorized changes in the data, incorrect input of data, and deletion of data. Also, the leakage of data to the competitors may lead to huge losses, which raises enormous doubt on the long term survival of the company.

Now, that we have divided all the significant risks into two categories, it is time to explore in detail scenario-based analysis of such risks.

  • Misuse of excessive access: We tend to put excessive access on bots in the name of automation, which leads to misuse of access and may harm the organization. If an attacker hacks into bots to gain the entrance, it may destroy the high-value data and hinder the essential business process of the organization.
  • Sensitive Data Leakage: If by any means sensitive data entered into a system database is accessible on the web, attackers may try to steal such confidential information and use it against the organization or the persons associated with the organization.
  • Denial of Service: Putting an excessive load on the bots to perform the operations may harm the functioning of the order if the available resources are inadequate for such activity.
  • Security vulnerabilities: If a vulnerability exists in an RPA which gives attackers access to the organization network and data is not encrypted, the attacker may misuse the data.

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How to prevent RPA security risks?

  1. Role-Based Access controlThis approach is used to restrict the system access to authorized users only. It is a policy-neutral access control mechanism where each member of the RPA team has activities confined to their role in the organization. For example, all users must enter login details to access only that much data which they are allowed to access based on their role in the organization. It may also be noted that proper security control must be set to recognize any unusual activity by the system, and RPA should stop it there and then.
  2. Governance- To give access based on the role, it is essential to establish a proper governance framework and clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the system. It is also necessary to build an appropriate security policy and ensure its compliance. This way, you can form a proper risk management organization which identifies the potential risks and mitigate them when needed.
  3. EncryptionOne of the essential features of security is encryption. Encryption means using a cipher code for standard text so that even if the hacker enters into the database, it cannot read such data or use it in any manner.
  4. Digital Identity- It is also necessary to improve the audibility and control over error-prone manual activities that mitigate risk and implement security controls to protect credentials during run-time of a session.
  5. Active Directory Integration- Active directory integration can be used by centralizing the credentials of the RPA team to track the activities of the RPA better and more direct control over actions by unknown parties. This integration increases the efficiency of operations and increases the security levels of RPA.
  6. Data Identification and protection- Monitoring Sensitive data processed by RPA to check that the usage policies comply and integrity checking of RPA. All the necessary data regulations must be complied with to use for RPA.
  7. Ensuring protection against malware and trojans
  8. Clear Desk Policy and working on scheduled tasks to enhance RPA security

How RPA reduces risk present before automation?

After implementing RPA in critical business operations of an organization, some of the security threats are now non-existent. RPA lowers the overall security risks by using various security tools like password management, privacy settings, and many more. RPA automates the security work to minimize any errors and reduce data redundancy. The automation works without any randomness or variability, ensuring security in each chunk of data.

An RPA system is free from human errors like biases and prejudices, which makes security more efficient. Automation helps in reducing the risk related to losing or misuse of data. The RPA system once triggered with a uniform security policy of the organization it ensures maximum compliance to policy.

The RPA can also be changed from time to time and adapt as per the business environment. This flexibility of operations in an RPA ensures scalability of process and help deals with any risks in the dynamic business environment. RPA ensures consistent work to make reliable data less risky to security threats.

Organizations are using RPA to:

  • Reduce time wastage to detect and respond to incidents, helping maintaining risk within the risk appetite.
  • Automating resource-intensive tasks and employing only good quality talent, helping organizations to manage operating costs.
  • Minimizing employee turnover by making jobs less challenging and allowing employees to focus on higher-value tasks.
  • Deploy security controls when exceptions are discovered in the compliance, resulting in a reduced attack surface.
  • Quick and intelligent decision making, resulting in high-quality and consistent outcomes.


Therefore, using RPA is extremely helpful in reducing the risk of human error in security risks. It helps in mitigating both data and access-security risks in such a dynamic environment. Applying RPA is essential in this global new era of data to ensure more stringent security measures and manage the overall risk within the entity’s risk appetite.

However, you may also note that you should implement the RPA very carefully. The more artificial intelligence we bring to bots, you tend to increase more security risks. If you leave RPA on itself to all security measures, it may harm the organization soon.

First of all, it is necessary to choose a stable RPA provider having proper and legitimate security measures. Role-based access, data protection, data encryption, and many other security tools must be used to ensure that the RPA can deal with significant security risks.

We started with how major organizations in today’s world often neglect data security and privacy. We end with how you can ensure that data security and privacy can be maintained using RPA.

However, it is also essential to make sure that security access is not excessive so that someone can quickly enter and harm the data of the organization. We still recommend organizations to implement automation to ensure consistent compliance of security policy and adapt as per the dynamic environment.


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