How SaaS Management Solutions Reduce Security Risks

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min read time
July 24, 2023
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The adoption of SaaS applications has skyrocketed across critical organizational tasks. Whether it is sales and marketing, communication, collaboration, or project management, SaaS is everywhere!

They have become integral to streamlining day-to-day operations and improving efficiency across industries.

However, as SaaS adoption continues to grow, so does the concern for security risks. The sensitive nature of data stored and accessed within these applications amplifies the potential risks associated with SaaS usage.

Cyber attackers view SaaS apps as attractive targets to gain unauthorized access to valuable information. Fortunately, there are SaaS management solutions that mitigate these security risks.

This blog will help you explore the potential of SaaS Management Solutions to reduce the security threats associated with SaaS usage.

SaaS Security Risks - A Quick Intro

SaaS security relates to the safety and privacy of data accessed by software-as-a-service apps. It is a broader concept, including encryption, authentication, and access control for SaaS applications.

SaaS security encompasses a set of policies, procedures, and practices designed to protect and safeguard the data within SaaS solutions.

As businesses increasingly rely on cloud-based applications to manage and store sensitive information, ensuring availability, integrity, and confidentiality assumes high priority.

If you want to explore more, here is our informative article on SaaS security risks.

Using a SaaS Management Solution to Reduce Security Risks

In this section, we will discuss how SMPs eliminate SaaS security risks.

Application visibility to prevent shadow IT and third-party risks

Image explaining shadow IT

Shadow IT poses a serious security threat to your SaaS portfolio. Some of these include a lack of control over applications, loss of sensitive data, security breaches, and increased expenses with unverified spending and automated renewals.

To effectively address the risks associated with shadow IT, enterprises must prioritize complete visibility into the applications purchased and used by their employees.

Using a SaaS management platform will ensure that all resources are obtained through approved channels. You also get a comprehensive view of the organization's SaaS stack.

Here's how SaaS Management solutions help you mitigate shadow IT and third-party risks:

  • Quickly identifies and manages instances of shadow IT.
  • Sends proactive alerts when users are purchasing sanctioned applications.
  • Centralizes the procurement process to prevent shadow IT.

Streamline deprovisioning to prevent unauthorized access

Unauthorized access to systems is a serious threat. User provisioning and deprovisioning practices are core to the security of data-driven applications.

You cannot overlook employee onboarding and offboarding processes. According to Verizon's report, 80% of data breaches are due to weak or compromised credentials. This is why proper user deprovisioning is essential.

Deprovisioning involves deactivating user accounts, revoking permissions, and eliminating user data from all applications.

Typically performed when an employee leaves the company or when access is no longer necessary, deprovisioning plays a vital role in maintaining security and minimizing risks.

Organizations can prevent unwanted access by executing a systematic deprovisioning strategy and significantly reducing the risk of compromised credentials.

Image of CloudEagle deprovisioning workflows

CloudEagle's auto-provisioning and deprovisioning workflows will enable you to automate this process, or your team will have to visit each application to grant and revoke access, wasting too much time.

Provide role-based user access (RBAC)

RBAC is a powerful access control mechanism that ensures users have appropriate access privileges based on their organizational roles and responsibilities.

Role-based access control (RBAC) and group-based access licenses provide effective access management. When aligned with these principles, user provisioning becomes a key component in ensuring appropriate access privileges across the organization.

In RBAC, access rights are not directly assigned to individual users; instead, they are assigned to roles. A role is a collection of permissions or privileges that define a user's actions within a system. Users are then assigned to one or more roles based on their job functions or responsibilities.

Image of CloudEagle user provisioning modules

Automated user provisioning through SaaS management platforms such as CloudEagle enables easy integration with SSO and HRIS systems to identify apps, users, and their access controls.

Such platforms play a crucial role in simplifying user provisioning, enabling efficient management and control of access.

Real-time unauthorized access and threat detection

Real-time unauthorized access and threat detection are critical aspects of SaaS application security. By integrating real-time threat detection mechanisms, these security breaches can be effectively prevented.

SaaS management platforms can integrate with SSO systems and directly integrate with applications through APIs. This makes it easier for platforms like CloudEagle to spot uncertainties in logins and shadow IT threats.

For instance, CloudEagle integrates with Single Sign-On (SSO) systems, which act as a centralized authentication hub for multiple applications. They can receive real-time data and insights about user logins and access attempts.

SMPs identify any anomalies or suspicious behavior in real-time, send instant alerts to the admin, and enable the team to mitigate the risks effectively.

Identify and verify compliance certifications of vendors

A Hacker News study found that 84% of companies use breached SaaS applications. SaaS vendor identification and verification are of utmost importance in mitigating security threats. You cannot hand over access to critical data without verifying vendor applications.

Verifying the vendor's track record, uptime guarantees, and service level agreements (SLAs) helps ensure that they can meet your business requirements and minimize disruptions.

Image showing native integrations

SaaS applications often need to integrate with existing systems or scale to accommodate your organization's growth. Evaluating the vendor's integration capabilities, APIs, and scalability options helps determine whether the SaaS solution aligns with your technical infrastructure and future needs.

SaaS vendor management platforms like CloudEagle help you reduce risks with appropriate vendor management capabilities.

CloudEagle can effectively handle the entire lifecycle of vendor management, from identifying vendors, assessing them, and submitting RFPs to negotiating, signing, managing contracts, and providing renewal guidance.

Streamline the procurement process to prevent shadow IT

Gartner found that shadow IT accounts for 30% to 40% of IT spending in enterprises.

As discussed earlier, the challenges of shadow IT arise when employees avail themselves of alternative apps or solutions without involving IT departments or adhering to established procurement processes.

Shadow IT can lead to a plethora of SaaS security risks. Streamlining the procurement process with the help of SaaS procurement software could prevent such risks.

Streamlining enables organizations to establish a standardized, controlled, and efficient approach to software procurement. Businesses can ensure that only authorized requisitions are procured by routing all requests through the platform.

With a complete platform like CloudEagle, procurement managers can create a centralized system to control the SaaS buying process better. The CloudEagle procurement workflow supports these features:

  • Complete procurement workflows
  • Customizable intake request forms for various purchases
  • Instant request-approval notifications
  • Vendor research and management
  • Price benchmarking data
  • Assisted buying experts
  • Pre-negotiated vendor discounts.

Centralize your sensitive documents to prevent loss of contracts

Last but not least, centralize document management to avoid security risks. SaaS contracts are essential documents that can lead to severe liability issues or lawsuits if not appropriately managed.

Dispersed documents, inconsistent access permissions, version control issues, and the potential for data breaches are the most common challenges. Managing SaaS contracts is vital to ensuring compliance, understanding contractual obligations, and optimizing SaaS vendor relationships.

CloudEagle's contract management capabilities can help prevent massive losses. Bulk uploading features, secure document storage, and single-point access control enables a swift and centralized document management process.

Closing thoughts

Safeguarding sensitive data, preventing unauthorized access, and maintaining compliance with industry standards is vital for modern organizations.

Take proactive steps to protect your SaaS environment and explore the full potential of SaaS management platforms to secure your organization's future.

Leverage a SaaS management solution like CloudEagle to keep your SaaS stack secure and prevent unauthorized access and security breaches.

An organization with a history of security breaches will not look good on PR, so act now and get a quick demo from our experts to keep your SaaS stack secure.

Written by
Anam Qamar
Product Marketing Manager
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