SaaS is a method of software delivery. Here applications are hosted on a remote server by a service provider or vendor. The applications are made available to the users over a specific network. Customers need not purchase the software application; they simply rent it and pay the due usage-based subscription amount on a monthly or yearly basis. It proves its utility for businesses in several ways. The cost of purchasing and installations is eliminated. This is a significant help for small businesses that run tight on budget. Also, it saves a lot of time along with money.
of companies check their Software as a Service (SaaS) security configuration on a yearly basis.
of all organizations do not check their SaaS security configurations at all.
of users found a SaaS misconfiguration leading to a security incident last year.
of all SaaS application security concerns worldwide in 2019 were about service level agreements and liability terms for a data breach
Managing the traditional infrastructure is quite easy in comparison to managing SaaS products. Security concerns are eliminated with the help of simple measures like Web Application Pentesting etc. But in SaaS products, the security issues are different; let us have a close look at some of them.
Most often SaaS products have more layers of complexity added to their systems. Also, the SaaS environment operates in the public cloud space. All this makes misconfigurations a common threat in SaaS products. The risk of cloud misconfigurations arises when the SaaS provider or SaaS customer fails to comply with requirements to secure the cloud environment. Allowing unnecessary and unwanted permissions within the cloud environment is one example of such misconfiguration.
The SaaS service mechanism generates a lot of security risks originating from third parties. There are different levelsdiverse levels of such risks that might affect your organization’s information security. SaaS applications store your sensitive data including publicly identifiable information (PII) and other crucial information. As you know the storage space on the cloud is shared. Hence, your data is only as safe as the weakest partner in that storage space.
SaaS products are always susceptible to supply-chain attacks due to the involvement of many participants in the process. Cybercriminals target the vulnerabilities within the supply chain of an organization. These vulnerabilities arise due to poor security practices adopted by the vendors. By compromising source code, updating mechanisms, or building processes of your vendor’s software cybercriminals can get access to your organization’s sensitive data.
Although data breaches are a common security threat for every business and all aspects of IT systems and networks. Security breaches are prevalent on the clouds where security standards are weak.
Non-compliance with major regulatory and security compliances would also count as a key security concern for SaaS products. It is not only necessary for your organization to comply with security regulations. But your SaaS vendors also need to be compliant for the sake of your security.
Managing security risks in SaaS products is different from managing your regular infrastructure’s security. Here you do not apply the traditional measures like Web Application Pentesting and vulnerability assessments. The best practices to follow in order toto solve SaaS security issues are:
Adopting Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) enables you to have greater visibility over cloud security controls and security policies. You can use the following security measures to manage access and security controls across SaaS applications:
Even if you have security protocols in place, there are still slight chances of getting breached. Therefore, you always need to have a proactive incident response plan to counter in the event of a breach or attack.
Every business should frequently assess the security postures of SaaS vendors at all stages of the vendor lifecycle. You can prioritize the high-risk vendors by implementing a vendor tiering process.
Cybersecurity regulations and frameworks, like GDPR, ISO 27001, PCI DSS, NIST Cybersecurity Framework, and more help you to stay ahead of the threat actors. You must conduct regular assessments to see if all these compliances are in order.
Training and awareness of the staff handling the critical processes related to the SaaS products are necessary. It will help eliminate the element of human errors leading to security incidents.