Cyber Security isn’t Always Built in with SaaS Security Solutions

Model for Enterprises and SaaS is a Preferred Software Providers

The days of buying software at a premium and installing it on systems using an exe file are gone. Most organizations have moved to a SaaS (Software as a Service) model, assuming it comes with a SaaS security package. SaaS solutions are hosted on the cloud, and consumed online through a web browser by paying a subscription.

For example, today all retail and enterprise consumers use Microsoft 365 on the cloud. Their documents save automatically to OneDrive, and they do their work via a desktop app. According to Gartner, spending on public cloud services is likely to grow 23.1% in 2021 to total $332.3 billion. Also, software as a service (SaaS) is likely to reach $117.7 billion in 2021.

The SaaS approach makes using an application easier, with none of the infrastructure related hassles. These solutions offer extremely low cost and flexible payments, or the choice of discontinuing at any time. Businesses also benefit from agility as they can adopt new service providers. This allows them to scale up and scale down easily, and focus on their core competency.

As companies across the globe embrace a digital mode of working, SaaS is emerging as the preferred solution. Enterprises adopt a range of SaaS solutions to manage and streamline their operations, such as Google, Salesforce, Slack, DropBox etc.

Who is Responsible for CyberSecurity with SaaS?

Given the extreme convenience of SaaS models, it’s easy for companies to be lulled into a false sense of security. However, they need to ask – who is responsible for data and cybersecurity while using SaaS based solutions? When you save your files on Google, what kind of security measures is Google taking to protect your data? While Microsoft performs some backups of Office 365 servers, the enterprise is responsible to keep data safe in the cloud.

SaaS security

SaaS – software as a service – and iPaaS – integration platform as a service concept linear illustration. Clients using SaaS for different purposes – files storage, statistics, analysis, cloud computing.

When companies adopt SaaS applications using cloud, they assume that the security aspect is handled by the cloud service provider. This is a waving red flag, since the liability and accountability of data breaches lies with both the SaaS provider and the company. This can pose a great risk to the company and its customers, leaving data vulnerable.

Cyber attackers exploit this blind spot. And SaaS solutions may have to face the consequences of fines due to non-compliance, reputation damage or financial losses. 

Consider Security Aspects from the Start, rather than an Afterthought

SaaS companies need to understand the security aspects right from the start. Rather than building the solution first and then considering security aspects. They need to approach the security aspect in the architecture itself, considering various criterias such as application and data security, identity and access management as well as compliance and governance.

Most companies may be familiar with security measures in setting up infrastructure on cloud. However, there are chances of misconfiguration when deploying an application on the cloud. For example, if confidential data is hosted inadvertently on a public subnet, it is easily available to hackers. Therefore, while hosting an application on the cloud, organizations need to consider deploying the critical resources in a private subnet instead of public subnet.

Decision makers including leaders and product developers must be aware of the security aspects related to a SaaS solution. With increasing awareness of data protection and cyber security, this is becoming a prerequisite for business. Enterprises or customers using SaaS based services enquire about the precautions taken in developing the solution. They also enquire about the measures in place to protect their data before they decide to use the service.

Availability of data 24/7 is a critical factor, as businesses rely on SaaS providers. In case of any data loss, the SaaS provider must have measures to restore the operations to avoid downtime. Ready availability of compliance audit reports is also important for customers to assess the security maturity of the SaaS provider.

SaaS-based Security Assessment Solutions must hold themselves to Higher Standards

Interestingly, SaaS-based solutions exist to evaluate SaaS products and various forms of applications for security related aspects. As can be imagined, the standards for these security solutions must themselves be at the highest levels. These security solutions themselves have the job of pointing out vulnerabilities. Therefore, they must have stringent measures in place to meet compliance requirements, and ensure data protection during the process.

Entersoft’s API Critique is one such example, an advanced API Penetration Testing Solution delivered in SaaS mode to clients. Entersoft considers security of the full stack of the solution architecture. This ensures that the client using the service is assured of complete cyber security. At the infrastructure levels, the security is provided by the cloud provider, in this case AWS (Amazon Web Services).  At the platform, data and application levels the security is handled by Entersoft. For customers however, they do not worry about all these components. It is the responsibility of the company to provide complete information and data security throughout the interaction.

For this reason, another related product of Entersoft is Vulnerability Management Systems (VMS). VMS plays an active role in managing the vulnerability lifecycle of customer’s applications in a collaborative approach. This B2B SaaS solution is offered as part of our Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) service offerings to manage the vulnerability lifecycle. It also enables effective calibration with various parameters and checklists such as the OWASP top 10.