RPA Technical Insights, Part 16: Why Efficiency Goes Hand-in-hand with Security

David BrainBlog

This is part 16 of a 22 part blog series by the leading experts at Symphony Ventures. It addresses how to choose the right RPA tools for your business needs. Drawing from our global team’s extensive knowledge in automation consulting, implementation, and managed services across a range of diverse industries, we’ve drilled into the technical criteria to consider when selecting which RPA software best enables your company’s digital operation strategy.

Read part 15, Three Ways Encryption Can Augment Your Business Automation

One scope of RPA security is limiting fraudulent activity or misuse of the automation from within the team. Any user that is able to configure your business automation carries a risk, whether it is the exploitation of security flaws or simply careless mistakes. Even tools like encryption cannot fully protect from direct-access attacks. To prevent this type of security flaw, RPA tools provide the means to limit user action based on roles. Role-based access allows an organization to segregate duties across an RPA team, restricting any actions by role. This blog will detail how this increases security, while also bolstering administrative efficiency.

How Does Role-based Access Work?

Role-based access often involves a built-in authentication system that can be configured by the administrator. Users will have to log in to interact with the automation, and can be restricted based on security protocol. For example, a developer who configures the automation can be blocked from releasing the configured changes into the live environment until they are fully approved. When internal permissions are secured, not only are the risks of fraudulent activity mitigated but unapproved changes can also be caught in their tracks.

Role-based Environment Access

Coupled with using an RPA tools built-in abilities to assist with segregation of duties, it is also important that the same level of thought is given to the environment that is being utilized.  The biggest risk to business could be inadvertently providing access to sensitive data to someone who is not authorized to see it (developer). It is essential that environments are created and managed via user access to ensure you can validate what is being accessed and by whom, whether that be a process or a person.

The Benefits of Active Directory Integration

Roles and permissions can be assigned with the help of active directory integration, a functionality that centralizes team credentials for management. Managers can create and restrict user role identities to fit with your company’s policies. When properly configured, it reduces the overhead in ensuring the correct security policy and role-based access rights are deployed across an organization.

Compared to the use of third party platforms, active directory integration in an RPA tool directly controls the permissions of user accounts. Therefore, when properly implemented, restricted actions will be confined to those who log in with permitted credentials. Among enterprise-level RPA tools, this also means that specific components within processes can be secured, allowing for a high degree of customization. With the capabilities of personnel management and restrictions tied into one, look out for active directory capabilities in securing your automation.

Summary

Role-based access is an essential component to securing an automation before and during deployment. It ensures that the right people get access to the right components and minimizes internal security risks. Active directory integration, the function used to directly carry out role assignment tasks, is very beneficial to have in an RPA tool. It enables an administrator to configure and enforce user access. When complemented by other security measures like encryption, your automation will be both externally and internally secured.

Be sure not to miss part 17 of RPA Technical Insights, where we explain how activity logging can bolster system security.

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