The Ultimate Guide to SaaS Security

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The Ultimate Guide to SaaS Security


Vaishnavi Shah

Published November 15, 2022

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SaaS products took the business world by storm, and after the pandemic, they became critical drivers for digital transformation across industries. These applications made everything easier for businesses‒ from data storage to sending automated communications, there is nothing these applications can not accomplish. They provided enterprises with a valuable infrastructure at lower costs.

However, not all SaaS products are built the same. 

Some lack vital security features that make businesses vulnerable to malicious cyber attacks. Research shows that 51% of businesses are ill-equipped to respond to a cyber attack. 

This requires vendors and enterprises to remain vigilant and implement the best SaaS security practices for better protection of sensitive data. In this guide, we will discuss SaaS security fundamentals and how to secure SaaS applications to prevent data breaches and accelerate fraud detection. 

What is SaaS Security?

In a nutshell, SaaS security is the practice of managing, monitoring, and safeguarding data saved on the SaaS architecture from cyber attacks. Most people think that it is the responsibility of the vendor. But in reality, it is a shared responsibility where IT leaders and vendors collaborate to ensure the privacy and security of customer data. 

While the vendor assumes the responsibility of securing the infrastructure, network, and storage, IT leaders are responsible for data governance and managing user access. As organizations increase the adoption of SaaS applications to scale their operations, they are becoming more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. And this calls for better collaboration between vendors, businesses, and customers to practice SaaS security management. 

Let’s review some facts that emphasize the importance of SaaS security:

  • According to IBM, data breaches on private cloud platforms can cost organizations a staggering $4.24 million in damages. And data breach costs surged dramatically to 13% from 2020 to 2022.
  • The average time it takes for businesses to resolve data breaches and mitigate risks is 80 days. 

Top SaaS security issues that enterprises faced in 2022

As fears about security continue to rise in the SaaS world, organizations are doing everything they can to create a safe and protected environment for distributed teams. Here are some of the most common SaaS security issues organizations have faced recently: 

  1. Data vulnerabilities

Recent reports have found that organizations take an average of 287 days to detect data breaches. And this can be because they use multiple third-party extensions. When these third-party extensions are not built securely, they can create data vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit easily. 

Moreover, with remote work culture gaining momentum, most organizations face increasing data vulnerabilities due to distributed teams creating and saving sensitive files on the cloud and forgetting to encrypt them or allocating improper user access. 

  1. Employees not having proper knowledge about SaaS security

Reports have shown that mid-sized enterprises use more than 100 SaaS applications daily. These applications have complex controls and system configurations that require continuous adjustments for proper data management. When employees are not educated about the functionalities of these applications, it can result in inconsistent settings and loss of transparency, creating security risks. 

Another research found that 95% of cloud security failures happen because of customers. So organizations and cloud providers must educate employees on how to use security settings on SaaS applications more efficiently. 

  1. Not having an incident response plan ready

We talked about the importance of collaboration between vendors, businesses, and customers. Yet it remains the biggest SaaS security issue for most enterprises, especially during cyber attacks. 

Due to improper communication and lack of protocols, you can lose millions at the time of data breaches. Research shows that organizations with detailed incident response plans can save up to $2.66 million in data breach costs. This is why you should focus more on collaboration and data governance policies. 

Best SaaS security practices you should implement now!

Let’s review some of the best SaaS security practices gleaned from research papers, our ongoing projects, and industry publications. 

  1. Apply identification and access management system: Wrong data access or manipulation of application settings should be prevented at all costs. With proper identification and data access system, you can control who you are granting access to critical files. Role-based permissions will grant employees access to files they need and nothing more. This will also limit outsiders from breaking into your SaaS security system. 
  2. Integrate AI and Machine Learning for better fraud detection: Ask your SaaS vendor to integrate AI learning tools for better fraud detection. You can also install firewalls and malware scanners to get instant notifications about security threats. 
  3. Encrypt files: File encryption protects data at rest (in storage) and data in transit between the end user and the cloud or between cloud applications. You can ask your vendor to design an encryption system for files, making it difficult for hackers to break into the system. 

Trust us to build the most reliable and secure SaaS solution for your business!

Choosing the right cloud partner for your organization is a critical choice. They can either help you outperform your competition or drag you down. With ATC, you don’t have to worry about security or scalability. We have an experienced team of top developers and cloud experts who will design a robust SaaS solution that fits your needs. 

From real-time threat detection to rapid response to malicious attacks, our solutions will safeguard your data, and you will get complete support from our team at each step. Take a smarter and more adaptive cloud approach with ATC. Drop us your queries here, and we will reach out to you shortly. 

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