The digital transformation age is here, and organizations are constantly looking to the latest and greatest technologies for ways to improve effectiveness by automating tasks and reporting. However, more technology has generated greater risks and expanded the cybersecurity landscape across the world. To keep up, cyber teams have increased their workforces and extended business hours to ensure that their organizations’ environment is protected and secured. So, why not use digital transformation technology to enhance your company’s cybersecurity posture?
One technology which has become increasingly accepted within the cyber domain is Robotics Process Automation (RPA). RPA is a solution that organizations can implement to eliminate repetitive and predictable tasks from an employee’s workload, freeing up their capacity for more critical thinking and continued innovation. However, a common misconception is that there is too much friction between automated processes and the threat of increased risk so that RPA and cybersecurity cannot compliment and benefit each other. On the contrary, there are multiple opportunities to increase efficiency within daily cybersecurity processes if the teams collaborate early and often.
RPA Benefits for Cybersecurity Processes
While the RPA platform should be incorporated into existing cybersecurity and governance processes, it can also be leveraged as a tool to strengthen an organization’s security posture.
Less Human Access to Sensitive Data
Each human interaction with sensitive data can increase cyber risk due to non-compliance, insider threats, or risk of accidental misuse. By allowing cleared program personnel to oversee the automations that manipulate this data, RPA can reduce interaction and decrease the amount of staff requiring access. For example, bots can process onboarding documentation and invoices and upload the information into HR and financial systems directly from the original source. This type of automation removes human touch points and processes sensitive data directly to secured databases, reducing the opportunity for local copies of data on individual computers.
Reduction in Response Time
RPA, combined with the latest advancements in artificial intelligence, can create a hyper-automation solution in response to external or internal system threats. Bots can be developed based on specific requirements, criteria, and/ or previously known threat vectors to act on alerts and incidents reported by an organization’s Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tool. The bot can generate additional email notifications, update dashboards with extensive warnings, or even neutralize a threat based on pre-defined processes. Because bots can monitor this information 24/7 without breaks, this add-on to current security operation center processes can reduce response times at all hours.
The layering of new systems increases the complexity for cybersecurity teams to manage privileges, rights, and access to data. RPA can assist with periodic access recertifications (or “access reviews”) by consolidating and formatting source data from a greater number of systems, thus reducing the reliance on sampling and the risk of human error. Additionally, bots can be used to facilitate the sending of user entitlements to managers for review.
Connecting Your RPA Program with Your Security Team
As RPA continues to grow within organizations, it is recommended for cyber and RPA teams to review operations together to understand how automation can be layered into processes to mitigate potential organizational risks. If leveraged appropriately, RPA programs can enhance the overall cyber and risk posture through a collaborative process design, development, review, and eventual deployment.
Interested in learning more about how to grow and scale your organization’s RPA program?
Download our guidebook about establishing a Robotic Operating Center of Excellence for an insight on why a COE matters, the steps and key considerations necessary to establishing a world-class program, and how to maximize your business value.