Until very recently, the most well-known type of cybersecurity applied by organizations were the in-house data centers and hardware-based security models. However, this trend is becoming more uncommon every passing day, because cloud computing is on the rise.
One of the beauties of cloud computing is the ability to protect and operate organizations without having to deploy hardware or maintain the system yourself; software-as-a-service (SaaS). You can easily protect these SaaS applications in exchange for subscription fees. Letâ€™s get to know SaaS security and see some of its challenges and best practices.
What is SaaS security?
SaaS security is basically the practice of having online protection (especially on private networks of organizations) for cloud services provided by SaaS security companies. By getting services from these companies, you pay a subscription fee to protect your SaaS apps, and this is the only thing you pay.
SaaS security can be considered as an umbrella term; the specific applications you use can vary depending on your needs. You can get cloud-based firewalls (FWaaS), Zero Trust, or a SASE architecture as a part of your SaaS security structure.
These services offer the same level of security as hardware-based security services, and they come with many additional advantages. The most obvious one is the lower costs; you donâ€™t run the security infrastructure, your provider does it for you. You also donâ€™t pay for any hardware as it is all operated on the cloud.
To sum up, you can think of SaaS security as a great and advanced way that brings protection to your SaaS services; it is cheaper, more accessible, and definitely more in tune with todayâ€™s time.
Best Practices for SaaS Security
SaaS security is definitely a new concept, not many people have a deep understanding of it. This is understandable as many people thought the best way to operate the business was on-premise services instead of the SaaS apps until recently. But we now have limitless apps on the cloud.
Thatâ€™s why you need to have a little SaaS security checklist before subscribing to any cloud-based security providers. So letâ€™s see the best practices for SaaS security before taking that huge step.
1-) Network control & granular security
One of the best practices of SaaS security is having increased visibility and full network control for network administrators; so you definitely need this. Some SaaS security vendors offer you the ability to segment your network of applications and control access however you want. If you have a diverse and varied network, this will definitely help you have granular security.
2-) Advanced authentication
Ensuring SaaS security probably means that you need to authenticate every user or application on your private network, this is especially important if you have remote users who work from anywhere.
Thatâ€™s why you need to utilize SaaS security to your advantage and make sure you are offered some advanced authentication services. The best and the most ideal ones would be SSO, 2FA, and biometrics.
3-) Data encryption
Having SaaS security means that your private network is operated and protected on the cloud, so you will definitely need to know the way your provider protects it. One of the best and proven ways is to encrypt all the data.
So, you want to make sure that your provider is encrypting all the communication between SaaS applications. Also keep in mind that there are several encryption measures, so the vendor should apply the suitable one for each SaaS.
One of the most important factors of having SaaS security services is the ability to scale up or down. It doesnâ€™t mean anything to have a SaaS security provider if they cannot guarantee scalability. After all, you use the cloud to be free from the restrictions of the hardware or data centers.
Thatâ€™s why we believe scalability is crucial for SaaS security. Make sure you can scale up or down as your organization grows bigger. You donâ€™t need to start from scratch every time there is a change in the number of applications you use or the employees you have.
Challenges of SaaS security
Of course, ensuring the security of SaaS applications does come with challenges. There will be some security issues, but they are not the things that you canâ€™t overcome. But weâ€™re here to tell you all, so letâ€™s give a look at the hardships of SaaS security.
1-) Compliance issues
Ensuring SaaS security also requires to comply with the regulations set by the authorities. When you acquire SaaS security from an online provider, you need to ask questions about how they can assure you will be compliant with the latest standards.
Remember that the big enterprises suffer a lot from compliance issues, and you need to be careful to protect every piece of data in all of the SaaS applications you use to run your business.
2-) Third-part risks
You are always working with third parties when you get help from SaaS apps to operate your company. This means that for every SaaS you use, you are sharing information, possibly personal data, with a completely different company.
Thatâ€™s why it is crucial to choose your SaaS providers carefully; make sure that they are well-known and they have proven themselves in their fields. You donâ€™t want to work with companies that have a bad record on data protection.
3-) Disaster recovery
Unprecedented things will happen and there is nothing you can do about that. What you can do is ask questions about the recovery plans of your SaaS providers in case of an emergency. If they have a solid recovery plan, they will be able to get your information back in a short time.
SaaS security is crucial, but it is also challenging as weâ€™ve just entered the age of SaaS domination on business operations. But luckily, there are great companies that offer SaaS security with the best practices available. The best thing you can do to protect the cloud services you use is to subscribe to a great security vendor.