Software as a Service (SaaS) has become increasingly popular in recent years, offering businesses cloud-based applications and services. Since these services do not require any hardware, they are seen the right choice to simplify certain tasks.
With the rise of SaaS, however, comes a growing concern around security. Lots of businesses move their data to the cloud, and they become more vulnerable to cyber threats, making SaaS security a priority in terms of their security strategy.
SaaS security is the term that explains securing the data, applications, access, infrastructure that are hosted in the SaaS provider. This process involves everything from protecting the confidentiality and the integrity of the stored data and the users who access these applications from everywhere.
In this article, we’ll explain SaaS security, it’s components, best practices, and the risks involved with SaaS. Keep reading to use them without worrying about privacy and digital security.
What is SaaS Security?
SaaS security is all the operations and precautions taken to protect the applications and data of SaaS solutions from unauthorized access, deletion, and modification. The primary goal in this process is to protect the CIA (confidentiality, integrity, and the availability) of SaaS data.
SaaS security involves a wide range of measures that work together to achieve the goal. Some of the main types of SaaS security include the following:
This type involves the security of SaaS provider’s network infrastructure. It includes security services such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and usually Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). It is critical to the security of a SaaS since it is usually where all the data is stored.
Security of the application layer is also crucial since it means protecting the tool itself. This includes the coding practices followed by the developers, frequent pen-tests, and vulnerability checks.
SaaS applications store, transmit, and use significant amounts of data, and it needs to be protected from unauthorized access. In order to do that, data security measures usually include encryption, authentication, and data loss prevention (DLP).
It is important to keep in mind that SaaS security responsibility is shared equally between the provider and their clients. While the provider of the service is responsible to secure their own infrastructure and application, clients are also responsible to secure their users and control access to the tool they are using. Therefore, the essential point is that both parties do their part to keep overall security as high as possible.
Best Practices for SaaS Security
Monitor user activity
As we mentioned above, clients of SaaS tools also have responsibility to secure their end. Monitoring the user activity on these applications is the first step to do that. It can help detect unauthorized access attempts and suspicious behavior. The best way to monitor user activity is checking user logs, event management tools, and security information.
Train employees on SaaS Security
Whatever you do as a company, employees will always be the weakest link in SaaS security. One way to make them stronger against the threats to SaaS applications is through training employees. Providing regular security awareness sessions to employees will help them follow the latest practices they can follow to prevent digital threats.
Invest in online security solutions
SaaS security has its own practices and procedures, so it would be a mistake to look at it as traditional security structures. Since these applications are cloud-based and without perimeters, the way to protect authorized access and collaboration between coworkers should be handled differently.
A good way to do this is investing in SaaS security solutions. They offer features such as SaaS access governance, remote access security, and app visibility, which is just what you need.
Regularly backup data
Since SaaS security involves more than a single party, you will not always be able to prevent accidents. Natural disasters and other extreme situations can result in disruptions on the provider’s end, so it is important to have backup data at all times. Regularly backing up the information in your systems will let you continue your operations in dire times when your provider have disruptions.
Threats to SaaS Security
While SaaS applications offer great benefits, there are serious threats to them; which is why we need robust SaaS security. We gathered the common threats targeting SaaS applications so you know why you need to follow the practices above.
Malware and viruses can infect SaaS applications just like any other tool or device. These attacks usually cause data loss, data leaks, or the destruction of information on SaaS apps. Cybercriminals can also use malware to gain unauthorized access to the information stored in these tools.
Denial of Service (DoS) attacks
DoS attacks happen when malicious users intentionally overwhelm the servers or the network of a SaaS application, causing it to have downtime and fail to operate due to unexpected traffic. This will cause the SaaS to be unavailable to their users which can have a chain effect and affect your company as well.
Unauthorized access is when an attacker gains access to applications and sensitive data without permission. While there is a wide range of reasons and vulnerabilities that can result in unauthorized access, the most common ways are phishing attacks, stolen credentials, or data breaches.
Insufficient security controls
There are so many SaaS products on the market that you cannot always be sure about the security controls they use. If your SaaS provider have insufficient access control, lack of proper encryption or other vulnerabilities, it is possible that you’ll be a victim of all the attacks we mentioned above.
To mitigate threats to SaaS applications and keep your data, users, and the applications secure, it is important to weigh in on SaaS security. Although the first step will always be making sure your SaaS provider meet their requirements, you also need to keep in mind that you do have responsibilities as well.
In order to protect your resources safe while using SaaS applications, following the proven practices is a must. By working with your provider hand-in-hand, you can achieve a robust security posture in SaaS as well.