SAAS is an extremely convenient model to use, and many people, including you, may have benefitted from it. However, whenever you are working on something on the internet, there are security concerns that you should be wary of.
As SAAS brings about an innovative way to go about software, it brings with it a host of security risks and challenges that have to be worked through. SAAS has also sparked a debate; Who is really responsible for security. Some may argue that it is the service provider, while some claim it’s the customer.
Regardless of who is responsible, you should always be aware of any risk that you are taking. Therefore, if you are planning on using SAAS, then you should be aware of the challenges and potential dangers so that you can plan ahead and decide how to tackle them.
Let’s take a look at some SAAS security risks that you may want to discuss with the SAAS provider.
Recently, there have been many concerns about the online purchase of SAAS tools and subscriptions and their usage. These concerns arise due to the lack of knowledge about their security. Information security analysts and others in the field believe that your privacy might be at risk when you purchase SAAS applications. Here are some of the risks associated with SAAS.
Data Access Risk
When you use SAAS applications for your business, you use the internet to access the application. Usually, these applications contain crucial and sensitive business information that is vulnerable online. There is a huge risk of cybercriminals breaking into the cloud server, hacking it, and gaining access to your data. They can then use the data or sell it for money.
Therefore, it is always worthwhile to know about the design of access control systems and figure out whether or not network security issues like lack of monitoring or deficient patching can arise.
The best way to avoid important information getting into the hands of cyber criminals is to use the app for free first. When you do so, you will be able to estimate how much of your data will be hosted on the cloud server. Then you can decide whether or not the security risk is worth it.
SAAS products often have layers upon layers of complexity to ensure that they do their job as efficiently as possible. However, with the increase of layers of complexity, the chances for misconfiguration are also increased. Even the smallest configuration error can affect the cloud infrastructure and render it partly or fully unavailable.
Therefore, when opting for a SAAS ensure that it is not overly complicated so as to reduce configuration issues, which may cause larger problems such as being unable to use the application or your information getting locked in to the cloud server just because a misconfiguration occurred.
With the growing market, everyone has to have the best of the best software to compete with one another. There are many services and SAAS software available, but since the market is competitive, it is difficult to find a provider that provides both, security and stability alongside the software.
It often happens that a security provider shuts down because it can no longer compete with the market and have no other option. However, this can be a cause of serious concern for your business because you will have to shift your data and be faced with how portable your data really is.
However, this issue can be avoided if you take the time to read the policy of your provider beforehand. That way, you can be cautious as to how much data you transfer to the cloud server.
SAAS providers are not always transparent about how they go about their cyber security. They will always assure you that your data is safe and end the conversation there. However, you need to guarantee that your data is actually safe.
It is better that you do not take their words at face value because they want as many customers as possible, so they will claim that your data is secure. However, this lack of transparency can also cause distrust among the customers.
Some SAAS providers also claim that this secrecy is what keeps their services safe. If they were to broadcast how they go about their security, hackers and cybercriminals will know the system and how to break into it.
Privacy and Data Breach
A data breach is the most common type of security threat that you should be aware of. When there is a data breach, your data and personal information are exposed to an unauthorized third party. This party may steal your data and attempt to use it or sell it.
If there is a data breach within your SAAS software, it can also expose details about your customers to a third party, which may put them in a vulnerable position, and your business might not be seen as trustworthy.
However, it is not always a third party that can cause a privacy and data breach. Insider threats can also be the cause. These arise within the organization when an employee gains access to information they should not have access to.
Loss of Control Over Data
When you are using SAAS software, once you upload your data onto the software, you essentially lose control over the data. Since the provider is in charge of the application, the data is entrusted to the. However, if some issue were to arise and the server crashed, there is nothing you can do about it except wait.
This loss of control over data may see, negative overall. However, it does take some burden off you as you don’t have to personally configure, maintain, upgrade, or manage your cybersecurity. It is all in the hands of the provider.
The control you have over your data also depends on the level of customizability the provider offers. Usually, it is limited, and the storage of the data is completely in the hands of the provider. Thus, if there is a loss, you are not at fault but will have to deal with the consequences.
Some Solutions To Overcome Security Risks
Even though there may be security risks associated with SAAS, there are some solutions that you could adopt to ensure that these risks do not affect your business and you can counter them easily.
Risk assessment is identifying exactly where to store data and what technological assets are used to store the data. Furthermore, assuring that the data is stored securely. You can also carry out security audits regularly. These audits can help identify any security risks, and you can deal with them promptly.
All of your applications must be safe because SAAS applications are often stacked, and a security breach in one can cause others to be compromised as well. Therefore, no SAAS application should be ignored, and all of them should be checked and made sure that they all comply with security standards. Furthermore, your applications should also be monitored for any unnatural behavior as it can be a cause of concern or a security breach.
To prevent security mishaps, all your employees must know the signs of a lapse of security and how to respond to it. Therefore, it would be in the best interest of your business that you launch security awareness campaigns.
When your employees are aware of the risks and security mishaps in the cloud, they can help prevent breaches. Furthermore, they can also avoid becoming a point of entry for security threats. In this way, you can greatly reduce security risks such as leaks of confidential data, phishing scams, engineering attacks, and more.
Sometimes SAAS providers themselves offer security training. However, it would be better for you to offer training yourself before you allow the employees to use the application. In this manner, they would be aware of all the risks before they start using the application and will be cautious from the start.
Third-Party Risk Management
Third-party risk management is a crucial part of security for your SAAS application. There should be strict limitations to what tools the employees can connect to through their APIs. You should ensure that there is a process in place that regulates the API connections with the SAAS applications in use.
Furthermore, the permission to API access and connections should be limited and only granted to those who can perform due diligence on third-party suppliers before they embark on a connection.
Managing your data and its security is of utmost importance. You can’t let personal and sensitive information of your business fall into the wrong hands as it can be greatly misused. Privacy is extremely hard to maintain on the internet, and as SAAS applications are hosted on cloud servers, there are certain security risks related to using SAAS.
However, if you are aware of the risks and take action beforehand to prevent such mishaps, then you need not be worried about them. Knowing and preparing cyber security management beforehand can save you a lot of trouble and have your mind at ease.