SaaS (Software as a Service) security refers to the policies and procedures put in place to safeguard the information and software hosted by a SaaS provider. Typically, this entails steps like data backup and recovery, encryption, authentication, access controls, and network security.
The loss of data may swiftly destroy a company. Even when the business has put in place strong safeguards to lessen the likelihood of data loss, they have long-lasting reputational, regulatory, and financial consequences. Companies must be prepared to face the consequences of data loss, which can be severe. Reputational damage is one of the most serious outcomes of a data breach, as customers may lose trust in the company and its services. This can lead to a decrease in revenue, as customers may be hesitant to purchase from the company or use its services. It can also lead to a decrease in customer loyalty, as customers may no longer feel secure in the company's ability to protect their data. Additionally, the company may suffer from a loss of trust from its customers, as they may feel that the company has not taken the necessary steps to protect their data. This could lead to a decrease in customer retention and an overall decrease in customer satisfaction.
According to IBM's 2022 study, recovering from such events can cost up to 4.35 million dollars in just 2 years, and the cost keeps going higher over time. Healthcare providers alone in the US can incur damages from data breaches of up to $9.4 million per event. Other organizations may experience even greater losses.
Most firms assume that attacks on their own systems directly cause data breaches. What happens, though, if the target is a cloud-hosted SaaS platform? This post will show you how to regulate and lessen this risk.
Data leaks and SaaS data hosting
For companies of all sizes, SaaS solutions offer significant benefits. They increase flexibility, are infinitely scalable, and do not require the maintenance expenses related to on-premise software. However, you become dependent on their security when you entrust third-party services with your data.
Cloud Data Breaches are more Frequent
SaaS organizations are prime targets for assaults because a successful infiltration could give up information from numerous enterprises, including your own. Given the vast volume of services storing petabytes of data, it is hardly unexpected that attackers are focusing more of their attention on managed SaaS platforms than on campaigns against particular companies.
If you want to be secure, select service providers who have a history of security and compliance. There is no guarantee that this will keep you safe, though, as the aforementioned incidents demonstrate, even reliable SaaS companies can run into trouble.
Simple protections are rarely used.
Attackers may use SaaS companies' coding weaknesses to commit breaches. Such attacks can be prevented, though, by fully employing the current defenses.
4,468 SaaS user accounts without multifactor authentication (MFA) choices were discovered among the survey sample of 717 businesses, according to the Varonis report. Moreover, just 55% of users with administrator privileges were protected. These accounts are susceptible to hacks that use easy techniques like credential stuffing.
SaaS data loss can be avoided by starting with the simplest security elements. Time-based one-time passwords (TOTP) and other MFA requirements reduce risk by thwarting attacks before they reach the target system. Activating MFA can thwart 99.9% of compromise attempts, according to a 2019 Microsoft study. You might further increase your safety by regularly training staff members on security best practices, like how to spot suspicious phishing emails and keep equipment updated.
Bear in mind the sprawl: maintaining multiservice permissions can be challenging
Having hundreds of SaaS accounts will significantly increase your attack surface. It is laborious and error-prone to need all accounts to be properly protected and granted the appropriate rights. A hacker might gain access to your SaaS data with just one token from an overprivileged user.
In order to reduce this risk, search for SaaS services that work with well-known identity and authorization systems that conform to single sign-on (SSO), Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), and System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM) recommendations. By unifying user and rights management across apps, these controls make it simpler to identify who has access to certain sorts of data.
Minimizing risks to your cloud and SaaS data
You may lessen the risks of data loss by anticipatorily assessing the threats you face and putting in place the tools and procedures that enable recovery. Even though you have no control over what happens to data once it leaves your SaaS provider in a breach, you can still build up a protective layer in case it is lost or destroyed due to a cyberattack or malfunction.
Regular Backups is Your Best Ally
Many people assume that SaaS suppliers provide good data security. Every trustworthy system already constantly stores snapshot backups and replicates data in real-time. The service shouldn't be relied upon, though, as backups might be viewed and altered by a hacker with access to the SaaS infrastructure.
In addition, it can be difficult for service providers to retrieve only one account's worth of data. SaaS services frequently operate under the shared accountability model, which assigns responsibility for data security to both the supplier and you, the customer. To fulfill its duties and aid in restoration following large incidents, the supplier creates platform-level backups. However, they frequently fail to use these backups to retrieve exactly the data associated with your account.
You should also back up your own data so you can restore it in the event of mistakes like accidental deletions, for which the provider might not be able to provide assistance. If your business relies on Jira cloud data, Shopify theme code, or GitHub issues to function, you should routinely make your own copies. Even if you never use them, they will be very important if there is a breach or a mistake made by a person. Furthermore, you'll be protected in the event that the service experiences a protracted outage or finds that its own backups are useless.
Take Advantage of Standalone Backup Services
The SaaS services' APIs, for instance, can be used to create backups. You may design software that periodically automatically retrieves new data and stores it in a location under your control. Utilizing these ad hoc downloads during restoration, however, can be challenging. You will need to manually import the data from your SaaS accounts once more, which is usually a time-consuming process.
Instead, look for standalone applications that can interact with your SaaS services and automate the creation and restoration of backups. This hands-off technique allows for easy data reversal when necessary. It lessens your reliance on the SaaS provider's infrastructure as well.
For well-known SaaS solutions, Ottomatik offers scheduled and urgent backups. Time-consuming manual export is replaced with quick daily backup processes that are kept in your cloud storage. If there is a data loss, Ottomatik can quickly restore SaaS accounts from storage. It enables for both fine-grained recovery of certain data types, such as files, items, and tickets, and complete account-level restoration.
Implement Disaster Recovery Plans with SaaS Platforms
Your disaster recovery plan needs to include SaaS solutions. Whatever the reason for the data loss—service interruption, human error, or criminal hack—you need to follow a clear protocol. This promotes attention and prevents disorientation during the recuperation process.
Regularly practice your recovery strategy to make sure you can respond promptly to circumstances. Test your backups frequently to make sure they are working properly and to find out how long it typically takes to recover; after that, you may change your strategy in light of your findings. If your data is lost, you'll be ready to take swift action by either recovering it or transferring it to another provider.
SaaS data breaches tragically occur frequently. The financial expenses to the affected organizations also rise as these instances do year after year. Making modest increases in your resilience will help you deal with the threat:
Activate security measures like multi-factor authentication (MFA): Although it is still underused, this is a powerful barrier against a range of speculative and opportunistic attacks.
Centrally manage users and permissions: You may reduce the chance of error by selecting a single identity provider and SaaS applications that communicate with it. To avoid losing or exposing tokens with excessive privileges to an attacker, permission settings should only be made once.
The more services there are, the bigger the attack surface. The hazard you face grows each time you sign up for a new SaaS application. You can find alternatives by spotting problems early on and developing clear criteria to utilize when selecting vendors. By requesting administrator authorization before utilizing a new program, end users can be dissuaded from adopting risky consumer-grade platforms to carry out job tasks.
In case of an emergency, make a backup of your SaaS data. Assume the worst and be ready for it to happen. You will probably have a data breach occurrence, which is unfortunate because most important firms have. If you incorporate SaaS services into your disaster recovery plans, you'll be better equipped to handle platform failures or hacker demands on your data.
Ottomatik may be used right away to begin protecting your critical SaaS data. You can avoid data loss, recover from errors quickly, and complete restorations in a matter of minutes by automating backups for the third-party platforms you depend on. Try Ottomatik for free without the need for a credit card for 14 days.