Many organisations are embracing business process automation (BPA). The concept is often praised for the benefits it can bring to a company in terms of productivity, efficiency and flexibility. It’s true; BPA is multifaceted and offers a range of advantages when it is introduced. But one aspect that doesn’t get a lot of publicity is what it brings in terms of security.
There can be no doubt that cybersecurity has become an increasingly important issue for businesses across the world. Leaders are always looking for solutions that can provide greater levels of security, and BPA should not be overlooked.
Here we take a closer look at how BPA can make your company more secure, as well as considering some of the potential challenges it could create, and explaining how to solve them.
Cybercrime: a growing concern
Cybercrime has grown at an alarming rate in recent years. This has only increased over the Covid-19 pandemic; businesses are facing challenges that they never thought they would have to, alongside the increasing threat of cyberattacks.
Cybercriminals are increasingly sophisticated and are constantly adding and evolving their arsenal of tools and techniques. Businesses are struggling to keep up with their rate of change, and it can lead to organisations becoming vulnerable to attacks.
A weakness in the system
It is unfortunately the case that even if businesses are able to keep up with the demands of cybersecurity, they can be let down by a fundamental weakness: human error. Human error is considered to be a major factor in around 95% of cybersecurity breaches around the world.
This shows the great potential for BPA to eliminate or at least reduce the potential cybersecurity risks across your organisation. Typically, BPA takes repetitive, simple tasks that have to be performed regularly away from humans.
The security benefits
Taking these types of task away from human control can minimise the possibility of human error that result in a data breach. A good example of this can be seen in automated invoice processing.
One form of cybercrime tricks workers in accounts departments to redirect payments or invoices to a different account. Hackers compromise a genuine email address, then use that email to send an update to an invoice to someone in the accounts team.
If they believe the email is genuine, they might simply update the information and process the invoice. Whereas, if invoices are processed via BPA, there is no opportunity for a member of staff to be tricked.
BPA is also an important element in compliance. If human access to sensitive data can be restricted as it is all processed via BPA, this can help significantly with compliance.
If members of staff never have access to the data that cybercriminals would like to steal, it removes the reason to hack accounts or otherwise breach the system.
What are the challenges?
Of course, there are still security challenges that come with BPA – so it is important to understand how to mitigate the additional risk that BPA can create.
Firstly, it is clearly important to state that any software that is used as a part of your BPA must be kept patched and up-to-date to minimise the possibility that it could be hacked. Cybercriminals can exploit software that has not been patched or managed correctly.
Another issue to be aware of is password sharing. If automated tools require logins, too often businesses will simply use one account which many members of the team have access to and all login using the same credentials. This can be a nightmare from the perspective of insider attacks. You should ensure that each user has individual credentials.
Want to learn more?
If you are interested in learning more about how BPA can benefit not only your security but many areas of your business. Get in touch with the team at Document Options today.