In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, many companies have adjusted how they do business. As they shift to remote work and establish new policies, some companies find these changes to be challenging undertakings. Many turn to tools like robotic process automation (RPA software) to help make these adjustments.
Like any other major shift, this widespread RPA adoption comes with a few concerns. Not all companies turning to RPA know how to handle the cybersecurity needs that go with it. It’s become evident that many businesses lack the necessary anti-hacking training.
RPA adoption has been growing since before the coronavirus pandemic. The global RPA market grew from $800 million to $2.9 billion between 2017 and 2019 alone. Estimates before the outbreak suggested it could reach $10.4 billion by 2023, and the virus has sped adoption rates.
As companies grapple with fewer employees and confusing times, the idea of automation becomes more appealing. Most businesses are going through significant changes, and RPA offers a chance to make these transitions smoother. For example, organizations can let an RPA system handle routine data entry so that employees can focus on more critical work.
There’s a lot of chaos and confusion going around because of the pandemic. As a result, it can be tough for employees to stay focused or productive. RPA adoption lessens the workload for these workers, allowing them to continue producing quality work.
This rise in RPA adoption highlights a few issues in companies’ cybersecurity practices. It’s not that RPA is more vulnerable than other solutions, but new users may not be familiar with how to secure it. The increased need for efficiency and automation leads to businesses turning to RPA without considering its security.
Knowledge Capital Partners found that a third of RPA adopters had trouble integrating it, mostly due to poor management. Organizations that jumped on the opportunity of RPA without forming a detailed strategy for implementation faced higher risks. When companies rush to RPA without considering how to use it safely, they endanger themselves.
RPA is most effective in highly-regulated industries, the same sectors where cybersecurity is critical. When a business allocates crucial tasks to an automated system, they need to ensure it’s secure. If these companies are to use RPA effectively, they need to refine their cybersecurity practices.
One of the most critical cybersecurity factors with RPA is limiting access to the system. According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report, 34% of data breaches involve company insiders. Companies need to restrict access to RPA systems to prevent any internal breaches, whether intentional or not.
Automation can serve as a helpful solution to this issue. By automating password generation and access windows, companies can ensure they have exclusive, secure access to their RPA. RPA adopters should monitor these systems closely. Just because they’re autonomous doesn’t mean they will run perfectly all the time, especially unattended. Using both alert features and human managers, companies should monitor RPA systems to make sure they remain secure.
All users should go through cybersecurity training to understand how to use RPA safely. Staying up-to-date on security protocols and risks will help companies avoid breaches resulting from user error. By revamping their security efforts, businesses can go through with RPA adoption without worry.
The confusion of the coronavirus pandemic has created a tempting opportunity for cybercriminals. Companies may be more vulnerable to cyberattacks in their uncertain, changing state. All businesses must continue to take cybersecurity seriously.
RPA adoption can help businesses reduce stress and increase efficiency amid the chaos. As long as these adopters take the necessary steps to manage it securely, RPA may help them survive the pandemic.
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Kayla Matthews is a technology and cybersecurity writer, and the owner of ProductivityBytes.com. To learn more about Kayla and her recent projects, visit her About Me page.
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(SecurityAffairs – RPA software, hacking)