Oh, how wonderful our world would be if the bad didn’t always follow the good. But it does, and that’s why you’re here today. Going into your SaaS business, you knew it would bring heaps of good to your organization and your customers. But now you also know that there are heaps of new cybersecurity challenges you need to protect your business from.
But in new and ever-evolving industries, it can be confounding figuring out where to start. Especially since you may already get confused about who’s actually responsible for the SaaS security – the SaaS provider or the customer? Well, while people are more or less equally split on the issue, for the sake of this article we’ll say that the provider is the one responsible for keeping the cloud service (a.k.a. the SaaS) safe from breaches.
Most Often Seen Cybersecurity Risks Plaguing SaaS Businesses
Before we move on to moves for successfully mitigating cybersecurity risks, here are those risks most often mentioned in SaaS circles:
- The problem of unstructured data and its storage
- Data breaches
- Misconfiguration management
- Missing transparency and stability issues
- Unclear responsibilities
- Ransomware and malware
Now, let’s see how can you secure your business from the above mentioned challenges.
How to Mitigate SaaS Security Risks
Below are tips to get you started on proper SaaS cybersecurity. Use them to start crafting your security strategy with the help of your team.
But before we go into detail, here is a TL;DR rundown of tips for protecting your SaaS business:
- Strongly abide to security protocols
- Enlist the help of proven security helpdesk service provider that is available 24/7
- Implement thorough security strategies and wide spanning backup protocols
- Perform continuous monitoring
- Add intelligent layers of security to prevent unauthorized personnel accessing customer data
Without further ado, let’s look into some precise steps you can take to secure your business, grow it, and provide satisfactory services for your customers.
Comply With Regulations
If the software you’re offering does not come with compliance, then your credibility goes down the drain. Yes, following federal and state regulations is a hassle, but a mandatory one.
Here are some of the (fun) things you’d need to get familiar with:
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
- The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
- The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
What’s that faint sound we hear? It’s the sound of your soul leaving your body after just reading the list above. Don’t worry, that’s why your inhouse IT team, your administration team, and outsourced managed IT service providers are for – enlist their expertise, and you may just skip the pain of ensuring compliance.
To win your clients’ trust, you might need to prove your overall compliance and data protection with tools, processes, and capabilities. Perform internal regulatory audits to identify compliance gaps and compare compliance to industry standards and regulations.
Incorporate Proven Cloud Security Mechanisms
Things like the adoption of the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) gives you more control over cloud security policies. In comparison to conventional network security solutions, SASE is a new cloud security architecture that provides more sophisticated cloud data protection functionality.
By facilitating the least privilege principle and identity access management (IAM) tools like Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM) and multi-factor authentication, SASE architecture supports zero-trust network access (ZTNA).
SASE also makes it easier to use contemporary cloud security tools, to manage access control across SaaS applications. Here are some of those tools that could be of use for you:
- Firewall-as a-service (FWaaS)
- Secure Web Gateways (SWGs)
- Cloud Access Service Brokers (CASBs)
- Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)
Meticulously Determine Who Has Access and On Which Levels
Any given business is probably currently experiencing data loss or damage from departing employees! So the following routine and ongoing procedures should be included in your internal cybersecurity initiatives:
- Provide cybersecurity awareness and compliance training to new hires throughout onboarding.
- Regularly audit each employee and their corresponding access levels.
- Ensure that each data bucket has a distinct set of access credentials and authorized parties. Hold that in confidentiality.
- Determine who has privileged accounts — those with the authority to grant or revoke access — regularly.
- Set up alerts for data file downloads to external drives, portable drives, or external email addresses.
- Establish audit procedures for deactivating ex staff’ access credentials.
Perform Audit Trail Management
Store logs are useful because they key each and every activity. Additionally, such a thing offers visibility about a user, their IP address, the action taken, the date, and the time, as well as aids in identifying and resolving problems.
Furthermore, admins and super admins can view the activity to keep an eye on things, spot any unapproved access, and take quick action. All in all, there is space for administrators toimprove their ability to manage access.
Know your user roles and the access rights that come with them. Businesses can be better equipped to handle internal identity theft frauds by controlling access and continuously monitoring it.
Additionally, for improved defense against insider attacks, do the following:
- Provide users with tutorials and instruction manuals
- Implement role-based access
- Single sign-on
- Multi-factor authentication
SaaS (“Software as a Service”, if we’re not clearing that up too little too late) is not only paving the way for a revolution in the cloud service model – it’s the most dominant service delivery model these days.
So the competition is tight. And hackers and other cybercriminals are just lurking nearby, waiting for their chance to steal data – today’s most coveted currency. So make sure that you’re one of those SaaS businesses your customers can rely on. After all, customer trust and loyalty are quickly becoming the cheat sheet for succeeding in the cutthroat business of SaaS.
It is possible to have fantastic SaaS security checklists, outstanding risk assessment procedures, and savvy end users. But all your efforts will be for naught if you can’t adapt to the constantly shifting security landscape.