To put it another way, security in the cloud refers to how cloud-based SaaS applications protect data. Personal customer information and sensitive business information are examples of data that can be protected in the cloud. It is the responsibility of both service providers and their customers to ensure the security of SaaS.
SaaS security is a critical component of effective SaaS management, which includes reducing unused licenses, eliminating shadow IT, and achieving high visibility to minimize security risks.
Organizations lose millions of dollars each year due to SaaS security vulnerabilities and data breaches. Cloud service risks are multiplying at an exponential rate.
Cloud computing flaws are the most common source of security problems and threats for SaaS applications. A third-party provider is used to protect the data of organizations that store it in the cloud and make it accessible via the Internet.
SaaS security vulnerabilities include:
- Misconfigurations: It is possible to expose computer resources to harmful activities if security setups are improper. According to the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), misconfigurations are the most common security vulnerability. To protect SaaS applications, make sure that any cloud-based tools are configured correctly and updated on a regular basis.
- Cross-site scripting: Injecting harmful code into web pages that end-users see is the goal of XSS attacks. It’s the second most frequent security issue, and it affects nearly every piece of software. The current versions of React JS and Ruby on Rails have built-in protection against cross-site scripting attacks.
- Inadequate monitoring and logging: Organizations often fail to implement or monitor electronic audit logs, which are critical for detecting illegal and harmful activities. You need to keep an eye on your logs and monitor your applications for signs of security breaches.
- Insider threats: It is possible for SaaS apps and the organizations that use them to be exposed by careless personnel or malicious insiders. If you utilize shared credentials and weak passwords to save your data in the cloud, you’re putting yourself at risk. Problems with SaaS security might develop when data is left open to all systems or shared outside.
- Compliance: A company’s failure to adhere to industry-specific security and auditing policies might result in fines or criminal charges. According to their industry and the type of data they store and process, many organizations face requirements like GDPR, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and SOX. In addition to requiring frequent audits and undertaking security testing, these standards include obligations for protecting data in the cloud. As a result, it is imperative that you keep an eye on your SaaS apps and offer sufficient logs and audit trails to ensure that sensitive data is protected.
- Identity theft: Online payment methods are often used by SaaS products, increasing the danger of identity theft. Data encryption in transit and at rest, as well as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), are all necessary for safeguarding credit card information as well as user identity.
To ensure the safety of your SaaS apps, consider the following recommendations.
There are a variety of ways to authenticate with a cloud service. Customer-managed identity providers are an option in some cases (i.e., OpenID Connect, Open Authorization, etc.). Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is supported by some services, enhancing security. There is a wide range of capabilities available from different sources.
It’s important to know what your cloud provider has to offer. Depending on your company’s requirements, you can then select the most appropriate authentication method. Choose an Active Directory Single Sign-On (AD SSO) SaaS provider if you can verify that your account and password policies are in line with your SaaS application usage.
Protect data in the cloud by encrypting it both during storage and transmission. Encryption is typically required for sensitive data, such as medical, financial, and personal information, in accordance with regulatory rules.
To begin, look into how SaaS resources are accessed and utilized by end-users. A good example of when collaboration controls come in handy is when external users are allowed access to shared files via a web link. Intentionally or unwittingly, authorized individuals can exchange secret files via team spaces, email, and cloud storage programs like Dropbox.
Analyse and compare different SaaS providers before deciding to use their services. Be aware of their security model and any additional measures they may offer to protect your personal information.
While most customers rely on their service providers to protect their data, according to a McAfee study, only 18% of SaaS providers offer MFA and only 10% encrypt data at rest. Each SaaS provider should be audited to ensure it conforms to data privacy and security standards and satisfies your company’s requirements in terms of data encryption, data segregation, and cyber protection.
Identify and monitor SaaS application usage on a regular basis and be on the lookout for unusual or suspicious activity. Automated tools and manual data collection are essential when using SaaS because it allows for rapid application deployment. Keep track of the services your company uses and the people who use them.
The level of security you need may not be guaranteed by SaaS providers in some instances. If your SaaS provider does not provide security controls natively, you can use a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) solution. The use of CASB tools can enhance the security model of the service provider. Consider your organization’s architecture when selecting a CASB tool deployment option (i.e., API or proxy-based).
Assess the security logs and data from CASBs provided by the service provider for all SaaS usage. As with any corporate program, make sure your security and IT teams are aware that SaaS solutions are strong tools that require a high level of protection. Ensure that SaaS apps are used safely by monitoring and implementing a risk management approach.
SSPM guarantees that SaaS applications are appropriately configured to safeguard them against compromise. A prominent SSPM solution from Managex constantly monitors SaaS applications to discover gaps between stated security policies and reality. real-time actions. SaaS assets allow you to automatically find and repair security risks in SaaS assets and automatically prioritize risks and misconfigurations by severity.