How to Minimize the Cloud Security Risks for SaaS Application
May 31, 2019
Software as a Service (SaaS) has grown to become the world’s most popular software delivery model and is showing no sign of slowing down. Most modern businesses want to work with a set of applications that don’t require them to have their own storage, backups, and server rooms on site.
As a SaaS provider, you need to store plenty of sensitive data for both information and customer related as well. In this complex world that seems to see new cyber attacks and data breaches every week, all SaaS apps and businesses must take measures to keep their internal as well as customer data safe and secure.
As security technologies are changing fast and hackers inventing new ideas, how can SaaS companies keep up?
SaaS is literally taking over the cloud computing market. So, it is no surprise to find that the global public cloud service market is projected to grow to more than $200 billion in 2019, up from $175.8 billion in 2018, according to Gartner.
For medium-size organizations, SaaS is primarily a hassle-free and cost-effective alternative that offers new possibilities, flexible costs, as well as easy maintenance and deployment.
In case, if you have been running with a limited budget there are still many free and open-source tools are available to execute your security strategy. Now before we get into the best practices for securing SaaS application, let’s discuss the security challenges.
Security Challenges for SaaS:
Today, enterprises are focusing on data and business processes like records, pricing information, transactions, etc. If your SaaS provider is leveraging a public cloud computing service, all the data is possibly being stored with other SaaS applications.
So here’s the list of 9 common SaaS security challenges;
- Data access risk
- Lack of transparency
- Identity theft
- Uncertainty of your data location
- Paying upfront and long-term
- Not sure what you agreed to
- How your data is actually secured
- No direct control over your own data
Study says, “By 2021, 27% of corporate data traffic will bypass perimeter security, up from 10% today.”
Data stored in SaaS application needs careful analysis of the security controls and processes in each platform for efficient protection. However, as the huge number of SaaS apps are being used, SaaS App Security is what needed the most.
Securing SaaS Applications:
Cloud-based SaaS security is more manageable. Cloud-based security makes it easier for you to manage 4 major components of securing SaaS applications like; visibility, control, threat protection, and data governance.
The following key security elements should be carefully considered as an integral part of the SaaS application development and deployment process:
- SaaS Deployment Model:
Today, product leaders are rushing to meet the market release deadlines. That’s why product security often takes a backseat. The SaaS security challenges vary according to the deployment model by the vendors. SaaS vendors may choose to deploy the solution either by using a public cloud vendor or host it themselves. Dedicated public cloud providers help to build secure SaaS solutions by implementing infrastructure services that help in ensuring security.
- Data Security:
To ensure a high level of security, all interaction with servers must happen over SSL termination. In a traditional on-premise application deployment model, the sensitive data of each enterprise continues to reside within the enterprise boundary and is subject to its physical, logical and personnel security and access control policies. However, in the SaaS model, the enterprise data is stored outside the enterprise boundary, at the SaaS vendor end.
Consequently, the SaaS vendor must adopt additional security checks to ensure data security and prevent breaches due to security vulnerabilities in the application or through malicious users. This involves the use of strong encryption techniques for data security and fine-grained authorization to control access to data.
- Network Security:
In a SaaS deployment model, sensitive data is obtained from the enterprises, processed by the SaaS application and stored at the SaaS vendor end. All data flow over the network needs to be secured in order to prevent leakage of sensitive information.
- Data Backup:
The SaaS vendor needs to ensure that all sensitive enterprise data is regularly backed up to help quick recovery in case of failures. In the case of cloud vendors, the data is not encrypted automatically. The users need to separately encrypt their data and backups so that it cannot be accessed or tampered with by unauthorized parties.
The major benefits offered by the SaaS model, such as improved operational efficiency and reduced costs are reason enough to adopt this powerful model. However, to overcome your fear about SaaS application security, ensure the vendor you go with. These measures will help identify any security issues upfront and ensure the safety of your data.