Setting a place for cybersecurity, RPA, and AI at our dining table WFH offices, IT News, ET CIO
Rajiv Ahuja, President of Startek.By-Rajiv Ahuja
When we were sent home at the beginning of the pandemic to work in the relative comfort of our dining table offices, the expectation arose that cybersecurity would be a given – as ubiquitous as the toasting frames on our tables or cups of coffee on our laptops. Given our connected world, it’s all too easy to assume that any business is already firmly in control of cybersecurity protocols and can quickly move security and IT to remote work settings. The reality for BPMs was a little different. WFH has been a transition from environments with better control and off-the-shelf equipment and software to an increasingly diverse environment in which our employees now manage banking and e-commerce transactions from home.
Work-from-home (WFH) environments have made us aware of data and cybersecurity issues and are far more independent when it comes to securing our devices, customer information and home networks. In a hyper-connected world, this heightened awareness underscores how we have become extensions of our digital businesses, and this has important data security implications for businesses. WFH environments require even more vigilance and proactive measures from the company. They include offline and online communication to support a virtual work environment in which employees balance customer privacy, data security and operational risk. Even if companies want to create a better digital customer experience, they also need to determine how their teams managing fraud prevention, security and product development can best align. Once they do, they can design controls like authentication and create comfortable, humane, and secure experiences.
BPMs were the first to anticipate this new normal by assessing how their workforce, customers, supply chain, partners, and other stakeholders would work together to appropriately embed and embed security through design. At Startek, our core was the strategic decision to protect our assets through more accuracy and transparency in two key areas: cyber resilience and cyber risk. This decision is particularly important for our healthcare, e-commerce and financial services industries as these are the sectors in which personal and highly sensitive data is collected and used.
Apart from consolidating assets, BPMs must demonstrate system and security compliance SOPs, e.g. These include blocking files and downloads on desktops, disabling print screen options, and accessing USB ports, all of which must be centrally controlled. They would also need to support and integrate a variety of communication channels (voice, email, video, messaging, etc.) and empower their specialists with multiple skills through the use of these channels.
Two of the tools used to ensure the required security are Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Critical to a digital age, they act as a shield that increases efficiency, reduces time detection and incident response, and minimizes the risk of inbound attacks.
By working with cybersecurity, RPA and AI create protection against potentially hostile users. RPAs can be programmed to run analysis faster than a human doing the same activity. For example, if an employee clicks on a suspicious link in a virtual WFH environment, an RPA selects the most relevant data bits and deactivates or blocks data access remotely within seconds. For customers who want a higher level of restraint, AI-enabled applications can closely monitor browsing details, face and posture detection, and whether the customer service specialist brings a device near the system. In this case, the system triggers a warning that leads to closer monitoring of the actions. AI – which inherently learns rather than being programmed – creates a larger, more dynamic framework for current cyber threats that allows analysts to respond better and faster than ever before.
When fully implemented, RPA and AI-enabled models may not unexpectedly create tension with the rigor of existing cybersecurity operating models. As an industry, solving these conflicts requires lateral thinking from the heads of digital or CIOs, and solutions must move across value chains. To remove potential obstacles, it is necessary to apply quantitative risk analysis to decision-making, create secure value chains for companies and enable operating platforms to deal with the latest innovations.
Intelligent process automation and management – a human-assisted digital solution that combines the functions of data security, RPA, and AI – further strengthens the hand of a BPM from a cybersecurity and customer perspective.
In an evolving phase of development and implementation, Intelligent Process Automation and Management (IPAM) also includes platforms, cybersecurity, cloud-enabled processing and generation of natural AI-AI as well as cognitive agents or “bots”. IPAM can result in a 30 to 35 percent improvement in efficiency, a 50 to 60 percent reduction in process time, and a three-digit ROI.
It’s the next generation – cybersecurity maturation. The aggressive digital transformation by the BPM industry has impacted its partners, many of whom in turn have begun transforming their skills using quantitative risk analysis for decision making, building cybersecurity into their business value chain, and enabling new technologies to enable operating platforms that support RPA and Combine AI.
(The author is President at Startek)
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