The preference for SaaS services by businesses throughout industries is only growing as today’s cybersecurity concerns demand protection from multiple sides. SaaS security provides the unique opportunity of outsourcing this responsibility for securing your applications, operating system, data centers, etc. As more and more businesses migrate from on-premise to cloud services, factors such as flexibility, scalability, cost optimization play an important role.
However, there are still aspects that must be considered from the firm’s perspective to ensure overall SaaS security. This will also allow you to meet regulatory compliance standards with your chosen SaaS service provider while modifying the best practices from the company’s side as well.
One source of knowledge is reading the news to discover which kind of security issues to target and test for. The API Security Testing is another source of information. APIs are becoming more valuable since they connect our most personal and sensitive data. Hundreds of extremely valuable endpoints may be exposed in today’s systems, making them very enticing to hackers. Before, during, and after production, ensuring the security of your APIs is becoming table stakes.
6 Steps to Ensuring SaaS Security
When proceeding with SaaS security, it’s always wise to step in with a list that gives you an overall view on what to look out for and create a checklist for the same. This will also help in choosing a third-party service provider through proper analysis of the services provided and the maintenance of the cloud infrastructure.
1. Control of Network
There is a need for adequate control over who can access certain instances on the network – security groups in charge of this can also issue micro-level limitations on jump servers and network access control lists (NACL). The virtual private cloud also has the option of placing an extra level of security that will assume the role of a firewall and control the incoming and outgoing traffic on the subnets.
2. Managing the Virtual Machine
The virtual machine also requires direct and frequent updates to remain on the top of infrastructural security. This implies that time and resources should be expended for detecting security vulnerabilities such as patches and loopholes suitable for the latest threats. A third-party SaaS provider will take up these responsibilities by using standardized VM images and other third-party softwares used within the application. By detecting these security issues, you’re able to reduce the time between a breach and the associated security patch as treatment.
3. Access Management
Maintaining access and the required permission levels for cloud deployment services is a crucial aspect of SaaS security. Your SaaS vendor should be able to set up a unified framework that deals with user authentication according to the business logic. User segregation should be done according to the access privileges each one is provided, depending on organizational role, data needs, systems accessible, and workflow requirements, regardless of the device used for access.
4. Protecting your Data
The most important responsibility of the SaaS service provider is the protection of data and the steps taken to prevent data leaks. Encryption of data, both in transit and at rest, is the most commonly taken step. Under this, clients have access to their encryption keys so that the cloud staff members don’t have access to decrypted personal data.
For data at rest, the service provider can build a hierarchy of client-side and server-side encryption for optimum security. The division of access will be according to the duty at different levels of the hierarchy accompanied by complete audit trails and customer control. All of these steps add to the complete security of every customer’s personally identifiable information (PII).
5. Protection of the Network Perimeter
This step is more applicable to firms maintaining their services on-premise, protecting the data flowing in and out of physical data center networks. For such perimeter protection, firewalls usually filter all traffic on the basis of a given set of rules such as type of traffic, allowed source or destination IP address. For most systems, firewalls function as the intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS)that monitors all incoming and outgoing traffic.
Besides outsourcing security, the scalability associated with SaaS infrastructure is one of the redeeming features for businesses. It allows them to increase the capacities of existing hardware and software with the addition of resources. Vertical scaling depends only on the size of the server and horizontal scaling lets you connect multiple hardware and software entities to function as a single logical unit.
However, scalability isn’t immediately available and the service provider should implement significant horizontal redundancy into the system to ensure continuing smooth operations. For efficient geographical distribution of proxy servers and other data centers, you can also use a content delivery/distribution network (CDN) along with a disaster recovery plan for data and services back-up.
These are a few features that need to be considered when implementing SaaS services and choosing a service provider for the same. SaaS security is the cost to be paid for the many benefits associated with the technology and adequate steps must be taken in accordance with the important aspects given above to implement overall protection. Managing sensitive information and ensuring that your clients’ needs are met will require the SaaS software to provide its best services along with regulatory compliance for continued customer loyalty.