4 min read
SaaS Security Risks and Concerns Every User Has to Know
It is no brainer that organizations are ditching the traditional premise software for a SaaS. This is for a good reason. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers offer better technology, reduce operational overhead, and offer decreased deployment time. Well, with every good technology comes risks. Engaging with SaaS providers poses a threat to your data, business continuity and can instigate cybersecurity issues. Let us take a peek at some SaaS risks and concerns that you should know.
Did you know making credit payments to your SaaS vendor puts your business at potential risk? With companies engaging and transacting remotely, identity theft is a risk you want to pay attention to. Investing in identity management software that erects a sturdy security wall and safeguards your passwords, names, credit cards, phone numbers, credentials, policies, and access is always a welcomed move. Once you have this sorted, it is only fair to expect your vendor to conduct due diligence. It is simple, do not transact if you cannot be guaranteed safety.
Tip: Ensure you do proper research on a service provider before making any payment.
Security is one of the issues that is born out of your agreement to use a SaaS provider. Keep in mind that there will be a lot of transactions, installations, and sharing that will happen once you sign that contract. While they are meant to benefit your business, they can also pose a risk if stringent measures are not implemented. Before receiving any software from your vendor, ensure that it is and you are also protected. Be on the lookout for SSL security before transacting. Secure Socket Layer or SSL is a security protocol that encrypts the communication between the web browser and the client-server. This encrypted information can be decrypted only by the intended recipient, keeping it safe from the prying eyes of hackers and sniffers. Find out if the vendor has one?
There are many SSL vendors in the market. A good example is the Comodo PositiveSSL or the RapidSSL that is popular among SaaS providers. They offer premium encryption at affordable prices. In other words, any good SaaS platform should have one! Knowing that your transactions are secure will avert risks to your business data.
Data access risk
Talking of business data, is it secured? How are your company’s crucial information and data stored? If you are leaving essential business information in the hands of a third party, then you might want to change that. As you might know, cybercriminals are on the lookout for any data they can get hold of. Bringing in SaaS Technology to your business is excellent, but as you do that, you might want to review and discuss the policies and procedures provided by your SaaS vendor. Ask questions such as
- Who owns the data once you sign the contract?
- How is the data segregated?
- Does the vendor have the necessary certifications for your industry?
- What happens in case of a security breach?
- How secure is your data when your contract ends?
These questions will spare you the trouble later. What’s more, you can take advantage of the free trials to get a hint of what you are signing yourself into.
Another risk and concern that you might face with your SaaS Vendor is the insider threat. The provider’s employee might abuse the inside knowledge. For example, an employee might decide to steal intellectual property, confidential trade information about your business and use it to profit themselves or blackmail your employees. All this can put your business in jeopardy. To prevent this, ensure that your contract with your vendor has provisions that capture elements of insider threat.
Did you know that cybercriminals use phishing emails to trick victims into delivering payloads using malicious attachments? Yes, they also harvest credentials via fake login pages and impersonation. Sadly, modern phishing has evolved, and users of Software-as –a- services are being targeted with increased frequency.
Online applications have become fundamental business tools, and SaaS services, including CRM, Human resources, collaboration tools, and sales management, are a major target. Phishers steal logins in SaaS sites because they yield financial and personal data, which can be leveraged to spear phishing. Ensure that the SaaS vendor has secured their site.
Imagine waking up one day, and you get a notification that your vendor is shutting down? While it might not be dramatic as it sounds, stability is a SaaS risk and concern that you should be prepared for. As you know, advances in technology mean more competition that other businesses might not keep up with.
If your vendor is one of those who might be thrown out because of completion, then you run a risk of data portability, and it means all the crucial information and money invested in bringing them in could go down the drain. To alleviate these worries, ensure that your contract addresses what happens to your data if the vendor might no longer be in service.
Poor access controls
Before going into business with a SaaS Vendor, you want to make sure that you conduct due diligence on their security and access controls. Protecting yourself against cybercriminals and not ensuring that the partner you hope to do business with is safeguarded is a waste of time. If your SaaS provider has poor security controls for its business, attackers could infiltrate their systems, and as a result, they could use the vendor to attack you. Additionally, if they do not keep sufficient access controls, an authorized user might breach their systems and attack you.
Have you ever paused to think about what happens to your data if your SaaS vendor fails for some reason? I am talking about physical disasters such as flooding and wildfires. Other than the physical disasters, there are cases of bankruptcy that can affect your vendor.
Sadly, this circumstance can put your business in jeopardy. Does your vendor provide a mission-critical service? If yes, you might want to run away. It also means that it is time to do so if you haven’t done a backup of your data. Have a local backup and an offsite option to be on the safe side
There are many benefits of investing in SaaS software. But as they say, there are two sides to a coin. As you enjoy the benefits of SaaS technology, you must be aware of the potential risks so that you can stay protected. So do a thorough cyber risk analysis before settling for a SaaS platform.
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