If there is one thing that all businesses need to take seriously in the current day and age, it is cybersecurity. It does not matter whether you run a retail clothing store or you offer marketing advice to nationwide firms, you need to make sure that data security is at the top of your list of priorities.
SaaS companies are certainly no different, especially when you consider that these businesses offer a service that is based online.
However, you may feel like you do not know where to begin when it comes to handling the security side of your business. If this is the case, don’t panic, as we have got you covered. Below, we are going to take you through some of the most effective ways of ensuring SaaS data security at your business.
What is SaaS data security?
SaaS security is a term used to describe all of the processes involved in securing user privacy and data privacy in cloud-based applications.
Security is imperative across all businesses and applications today, yet this is even more so the case when you consider the large quantities of sensitive data that can be accessed via virtually any device by a mass of different users. This, therefore, poses a greater risk when dealing with sensitive information.
The difficulty is that the security landscape is changing all of the time, with new threats coming to the fore. This is why you need to make sure that you have a robust plan in place for dealing with all security issues, new and old.
Some of the different areas that you need to consider when it comes to SaaS security include data breaches and privacy, disaster recovery, storage, complying with the regulations that are in place, misconfigurations, and also access management.
The importance of SaaS data security
SaaS data security is critical, not only with regards to securing all of your applications and ensuring that they operate effectively, but also when it comes to public opinion and promoting your brand.
They say that it can take years to build trust yet only a matter of seconds to destroy it. If your business was to suffer a data breach, would customers still trust you and use your service?
We have seen many businesses close their doors after suffering a data breach, as they are incredibly difficult to come back from. This is why it is imperative to put all of the steps in place to make sure your SaaS business is not the next victim.
What are the most effective ways of ensuring SaaS data security?
Now that you have a better understanding of the SaaS data security landscape, let’s take a look at some of the steps you can take to ensure this at your business:
- Maintain a record of your processing activities
There is only one place to begin when it comes to SaaS data security, and this is with RoPA. RoPA (a requirement in the GDPR) stands for a Record of your Processing Activities. This is something that you are required to do by law.
You should consider this a snapshot of all of your data processing practices. It is a single document, which outlines all of the data processing activities your business carries out. Some examples include the likes of marketing, HR, or third-party activities that process personal data.
Not only is this important because it is required in line with GDPR, but it is also helpful for businesses when it comes to self-auditing. If you maintain and understand all of your data processing activities, you will be in the best position to put techniques in place to safeguard data.
After all, you cannot mitigate risks if you don’t first know where they are, right?
- Set up authentication protocols and demand a strong password
One of the most important steps to take in order to minimize the chance of a data breach is to implement access controls that are effective. The first port of call in this regard is a strong password.
Whenever someone creates an account, you need to make sure they set a strong and effective password, which should be a mixture of upper and lower case, as well as numbers and special characters. Do not allow people to set passwords that are easily recognizable words.
Next, make sure that passwords are not the only thing you are relying on in order to permit someone access to their account. Multi-factor authentication means that more than one step needs to be completed in order for someone to be permitted entry.
There are plenty of other options you can use here, including getting the individual to input a code that has been sent to their mobile phone or face verification. It all depends on the sort of software you provide and the type of people that are going to be using it.
- Educate your customers and your employees
Education is key when it comes to data security. You need to do everything in your power to make sure that anyone using your software has the knowledge to do so in a safe manner.
Did you know that 94 percent of organizations have experienced some type of insider data breach? While a percentage of these may have been due to malicious employees, the vast majority have happened because workers have taken actions unintentionally that have resulted in a breach.
If they were trained in data security, such an incident may never have happened.
The trouble is that a lot of businesses are simply concerned with the cost and resources involved in training. However, it is important to look at it from the other side and consider how much money you would lose if you were to be the victim of a data breach.
Furthermore, you also need to make sure that you are educating your customers at the same time. Gartner has predicted that customers will be responsible for a massive 95 percent of cloud security failures.
Whether you are pushing vital updates to current customers or onboarding new ones, make sure that you actively reach out to them to let them know how their actions impact security.
An increasing number of SaaS businesses are moving to an infrastructure that is entirely based on the cloud. The vast majority of customers do not understand the implications of this move. This is why it is imperative to inform your consumers of how they can keep their data protected to lower the chance of a security breach.
- Continuously monitor users and their roles
In addition to the points that we have mentioned so far, it is also important to make sure you continue to monitor segregation of duties (SOD) violations.
SaaS applications are created with seeded roles. However, as time goes on, these roles and the users can end up getting muddled up. This results in SOD violations, and it can be a true headache from a compliance standpoint.
To prevent SOD violations, you need to make sure that you are committed to continuously monitoring users and their roles.
Take a look at some of these use cases where Stefanini helped companies with cybersecurity concerns.
- Hire a cybersecurity firm
If you are struggling with SaaS data security, the best thing to do is hire a cybersecurity firm with experience in this area. Security is not an easy field to get to grips with. At the same time, you cannot afford to cut any corners, as this could result in your business being the victim of a data breach, which could cost you thousands of dollars, or even millions!
A reputable cybersecurity firm will be able to carry out a vulnerability assessment and they can even offer services like penetration testing. If you have never heard of the latter before, this is a form of ethical hacking. It basically means that someone with good intentions will hack into your system before someone with bad intentions does so. This will alert you to any vulnerabilities within your software so that you can make the required changes.
When you are looking for a worthy cybersecurity firm, there are a lot of different factors that need to be considered. Of course, you want a company with a good reputation and plenty of experience in the industry.
In terms of experience, do not only look for a business that has plenty of years in their locker but make sure that they also have plenty of experience when it comes to working with SaaS companies.
Want more cybersecurity in the workplace tips? Check this out.
Do not cut corners when it comes to SaaS data security
One thing you should never do is cut corners when it comes to SaaS data security. You need to make sure that your business stays on top of all things security-related.
This means that security should never be a one-time thing. It needs to be continuously re-addressed so that you can keep reaping the benefits of a safe and protected environment for yourself and your customers.
About the author: Kerry Harrison is an experienced freelance writer, with over 11 years of experience and a First Class Hons Degree in Multimedia Journalism. She understands the importance of cybersecurity in today’s society and helps companies such as Osano to reach broader audiences. In her spare time, she enjoys watching sports, from horse racing to Formula 1.
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