The intelligent automation market is on its growth trajectory. Enterprises are recognizing the benefits of combining quality with efficiency using this technology. The use of RPA and AI with other cognitive technologies in intelligent automation allows enterprises to transform operations, reduce errors, and elevate productivity.
Along with these benefits, intelligent automation enhances decision-making by automating routine tasks and learning from large enterprise data sets. However, those who want to leverage intelligent automation need to approach it strategically and ensure that they account for one critical aspect – Security.
The Importance of Security in Intelligent Automation
Intelligent automation systems add agility and speed to routine and mundane tasks that are often effort-intensive and error-prone due to manual intervention. This type of advanced automation relies heavily on data and connects to sensitive parts of the enterprise. As such, security is one of the most strategic considerations when looking at adopting intelligent automation.
Airtight security of intelligent automation systems also becomes important as the threat landscape becomes more sophisticated. Whether it is malware or the use of AI for stealthier, attack methods have been on the incline. Reports show that intrusion attempts are on the rise and there were a staggering 3.7 trillion overall intrusion attempts in the first half of 2023.
Given these concerns, it becomes imperative for enterprises looking at intelligent automation to ensure that their systems can detect threats faster and reduce incident response times. At the same time, it is essential to create a security architecture that considers all the touchpoints that automation touches across the enterprise.
Guide on Securing Automated Workflows
It is essential to build intelligent automation systems that:
- Minimize exposure to security risks and incidents.
- Ensure proactive risk management.
- Navigate regulatory compliance.
- Offer strong and resilient security controls.
Some of the key considerations to build secure intelligent automation workflows:
Keep a Data Focus
Data, data, and even more data – Intelligent Automation systems need and access a lot of data for AI models to work and deliver outstanding results. This cannot happen in the presence of silos, making it imperative for enterprises to work on building an interconnected data ecosystem.
While doing so, enterprises should adhere to all data privacy norms and maintain the integrity and confidentiality of business-critical processes and sensitive data. Guardrails must protect data at rest in transit and during its use in the individual system by ensuring end-to-end data protection.
Data management and de-identification procedure pseudonymization, encrypting local credentials, industry-standard encryption technologies, etc. are some important consideration areas.
Access and Authentication Controls
Robust, fine-grained access controls and multi-layer authentication become essential for driving up security in intelligent automation. Having proper security controls in place ensures that external attacks through bots and other ways of unauthorized access can be plugged in confidently.
Creating distinct roles within the basic architecture and primary functions of the automation platform, restricted access to content based on authorization for troubleshooting, embedded credential vaults, etc. augment the security of automated workflows. Building multiple options for managing user authentication also helps to boost security.
Enterprises need to choose the right security technologies for secure automated workflows. Intelligent automation employs modern, cutting-edge technologies that touch multiple endpoints. As such, technology considerations have to account for the security needs of the industry, domain, and business needs that the process touches.
For example, security considerations in healthcare and the BFSI sector have certain specific considerations. The technology choices have to ensure that the security protocols address industry-specific data security needs when modernizing their technology.
Evaluating the security architecture is also important when making the functional design for selected processes and sub-processes for intelligent automation. The process architecture has to ensure that the data traveling across the cloud and the edge are robust and scalable while being secure to balance loads and ensure continuous availability.
Enterprises must remember that new vulnerabilities are emerging almost every day. Hence, building security operations around automated workflows is not a one-time event. Thorough security design reviews and separation of duties and multi-layer controls are important considerations to ensure reliable, scalable, efficient, secure, and compliant software development pipelines.
Building robust threat modeling capabilities, ongoing penetration testing, spot checks, etc. ensure security in automated processes. Building controls for robust incident monitoring and notification must also include proactive disaster recovery to make security management easier and more proactive.
Evaluating systems and processes to ensure adherence to industry standards and regulatory needs also bolsters the security posture. Establishing security practices that verify new applications or solutions to scale businesses is essential. Security protocols and practices should be designed in such a way that any additions to processes ensure enterprise-level security and quality compliance.
Industries such as healthcare, for example, have to meet compliance standards like HIPPA, FISMA, etc. Similarly, the BFSI sector has its separate compliance standards. As such, enterprises have to ensure that the right security controls are used in the most sensitive use cases and the information security plans to protect sensitive data.
Taking account of every aspect of the enterprise that a process touches and adopting a systematic approach to implement intelligent automation ensures better security and builds greater threat resilience. It is important to remember that security intelligence has to expand at the same rate that threats do. Taking a proactive stand towards security and taking all the necessary steps to build it into the process infrastructure, as such, becomes critical to secure the automated workflows and the business.