6 SaaS Governance Best Practices To Keep Your Data Secure

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February 18, 2024
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SaaS governance is crucial for keeping your company’s data safe amidst the growing SaaS adoption. Security Magazine reports that hackers launch around 2,200 cyber attacks daily, striking every 39 seconds.

Also, over 81% of companies face SaaS data exposure, with an average of 157,000 sensitive records at risk. That's a potential loss of $28 million due to data breaches.

What must you do to shield your company’s data? Strong governance practices. You can keep your SaaS environments secure if you implement adequate controls, monitor usage, and encrypt sensitive data.

You must also educate your team on security measures and keep them updated with the latest standards. But it is more than that.

Don't wait for a breach to occur. Learn the six SaaS governance best practices for securing your data. With these, you will safeguard your valuable information.

The Growing Importance of SaaS Governance in Organizations

A robust SaaS governance will improve your organization's overall performance, increase efficiency, and reduce risk. Below are the reasons why it is of growing importance:

Improved Data Management

SaaS governance is vital for your organization because it enhances data management. Effective governance practices allow you to organize, store, and use data efficiently.

This means your data is accessible when needed, reducing the risk of confusion or loss.

You will maintain data integrity, consistency, and accuracy by implementing clear management policies and procedures, facilitating better decision-making, and improving overall operational efficiency.

Ensured Compliance with Regulations

A SaaS governance strategy is essential to ensure compliance with regulations. Adhering to regulatory requirements and industry standards will avoid legal repercussions and protect your organization's reputation.

Proper governance measures allow you to monitor and enforce compliance across all aspects of your SaaS usage, from data privacy to security protocols.

This builds trust with customers and stakeholders and mitigates the risk of penalties or fines associated with non-compliance.

Increased Security

SaaS governance plays a crucial role in enhancing security within your organization. By implementing robust security measures such as access controls, encryption, and regular monitoring, you safeguard your data against cyber threats and unauthorized access.

This minimizes the risk of security breaches and protects sensitive information from theft or misuse. Proper governance practices can also promptly identify and address security vulnerabilities, ensuring your data's confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

Optimized Cost

SaaS governance helps optimize costs by ensuring efficient use of resources and eliminating unnecessary expenses.

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You will identify and eliminate redundant or underused services by carefully managing your SaaS subscriptions and usage.

This allows you to streamline your expenses and allocate resources more effectively, maximizing the value derived from your SaaS investments.

With proper governance measures, you can track and control your SaaS spending, reducing overall operational costs and improving financial sustainability.

Efficient Vendor Management

SaaS governance facilitates efficient vendor management by establishing clear policies and standards for vendor selection, monitoring, and performance evaluation.

By implementing governance practices, you ensure that your SaaS providers meet your organization's needs and standards.

This enhances collaboration, reduces the risks associated with third-party dependencies, and maximizes the value derived from your SaaS partnerships.

With proper governance measures, you will build stronger relationships with service providers, negotiate favorable terms, and achieve better outcomes for your organization.

6 SaaS Governance Best Practices

Below are the six essential SaaS governance best practices:

1. Get Completed Visibility and Manage Your SaaS landscape

Complete visibility and key management lead to a clear understanding and control of your organization's SaaS stack.

This includes everything from SaaS applications to hardware devices. By achieving complete visibility, you can effectively monitor and manage your tech stack to ensure it meets your needs and operates smoothly.

To accomplish this, you need tools like CloudEagle and processes that allow you to track and monitor all aspects of your tech stack.

This includes identifying all the software applications and services being used, understanding their functionality and purpose, and monitoring their performance and consumption.

With this visibility, you will quickly identify any inefficiencies, shadow IT or redundancies in your tech stack and take action to address them. You can also ensure that all applications are up-to-date and secure, reducing the risk of cybersecurity breaches or compatibility issues.

2. Streamline User Access Management

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Streamlining user access lifecycle management helps ensure the right people have access to the right things at the right times. This involves two key strategies: role-based access control (RBAC) and strong authentication measures to bolster your SaaS security posture management.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) Strategies

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RBAC assigns specific roles to users based on their job responsibilities. Each role comes with specific permissions and restrictions.

For example, a manager might access sensitive financial data, while a regular employee might only access basic company resources.

By defining roles and permissions clearly, you can ensure that users only have access to the resources they need to do their jobs effectively.

Implement Strong Authentication Measures

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Strong authentication measures help verify the identity of users before granting them access to sensitive information or systems.

This can include requiring users to use multi-factor authentication and provide multiple forms of identification, such as a password and a fingerprint scan.

Implementing these measures can reduce the risk of unauthorized access and protect your organization's sensitive data from cyber threats.

3. Encrypt Your Data

Encrypting your data means scrambling it into a code only you and authorized parties can understand.

This adds a layer of security, making it much harder for hackers or unauthorized people to access sensitive information. There are two main ways to encrypt your data:

Utilize End-To-End Encryption for Data in Transit

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When data is "in transit," it's moving between different locations, like when you send an email or upload a file to the cloud.

End-to-end encryption ensures your data is encrypted from when it leaves your device until it reaches its destination.

This ensures that even if someone intercepts your data while traveling across the internet, they won't be able to decipher it without the encryption key.

Employ Encryption for Data at Rest

Data "at rest" is stored on your computer or a server. Encrypting data at rest means that even if someone gains physical access to your device or server, they won't be able to read the data without the encryption key.

This protects your data from being accessed if your device is lost or stolen or someone gains unauthorized access to your server.

4. Vendor Risk Management

Vendor risk management involves evaluating and controlling the potential security risks of using third-party vendors, mainly for SaaS solutions. Here's what you need to know:

Assess and Monitor the Security Practices of SaaS Vendors

Before partnering with a SaaS vendor, you should assess their security practices to ensure they align with your standards.

This includes evaluating how they protect data, manage access controls, and respond to security incidents. Regular monitoring ensures the vendor meets your security requirements over time.

By staying vigilant, you can promptly identify and address any security issues, minimizing the risk to your organization.

Clearly Define Security Responsibilities in Vendor Contracts

When entering into contracts with SaaS vendors, clearly defining each party's security responsibilities is crucial.

This includes specifying who is responsible for implementing security measures, monitoring for threats, and responding to security incidents.

Clearly outlining these responsibilities helps ensure accountability and reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings or disputes.

Also, including clauses related to security and data breaches will outline the steps the vendor should take in such events, helping to protect your organization's data and interests.

5. Rationalize Your SaaS Portfolio

Rationalizing your SaaS portfolio means examining all the apps your organization uses and deciding which ones are essential and which can be eliminated or replaced. Here's what you need to do:

Evaluate your SaaS apps. Start by evaluating all the SaaS apps your organization currently uses. Determine their purpose, functionality, and frequency of use.

Identify any redundant or underutilized applications that may be costing you money without providing significant value.

Determine essential apps. Next, identify the essential SaaS apps for your organization's operations. These tools are critical for carrying out your day-to-day tasks and achieving your business goals.

Prioritize these applications and ensure they are properly supported and optimized for maximum efficiency.

Eliminate or replace unnecessary apps. If you've identified redundant or underutilized apps, consider eliminating them or finding alternatives that better meet your needs.

This could involve consolidating similar applications into one platform or replacing outdated tools with more modern and efficient solutions.

6. Compliance and Training

Compliance and training are essential for ensuring your organization's data and operations security. Here's what you need to know:

Understand and comply with relevant data privacy regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA. Adherence to customer data privacy regulations, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), HIPAA, and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), is crucial.

These regulations govern how organizations collect, process, and protect personal data. By complying with these regulations, you will avoid legal penalties and maintain the trust of your customers.

Regularly train your employees on secure SaaS usage practices and data security awareness. Educate them on how to use SaaS apps securely, recognize potential security threats, and respond appropriately to security incidents.

Regular training sessions ensure your employees stay up-to-date on the latest security protocols and best practices.

Foster a culture of security within your organization by emphasizing the importance of data security and privacy.

Encourage open communication about security concerns and provide resources and support to help employees adhere to security protocols.

Fostering a security culture will empower employees to take ownership of data security and contribute to protecting your organization's data.

CloudEagle - Your Go-To Platform for SaaS Governance

CloudEagle is a comprehensive SaaS management and procurement platform with a robust SaaS governance module, providing the needed features to manage your SaaS stack effectively. Here's how it can help:

Complete Visibility

CloudEagle gives you a clear view of your SaaS stack. You can quickly see which ones you're using or not, which helps you make better decisions about which apps to keep and which to remove.

Image of CloudEagle's application visibility module

User Access Management

You manage who gets into your apps with CloudEagle. You decide who can use what, so there's less chance of someone getting into places they shouldn't.

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This keeps your data safer and ensures everyone has the right access to do their job well. Plus, it's easy to change permissions whenever you need to with CloudEagle.

Vendor Research

With CloudEagle, you can research SaaS vendors easily. You get all the information you need to choose the best ones for your business.

Image of CloudEagle's vendor research module

You can see each vendor's offers and compare them to find the right fit. This helps you make smart decisions and avoid any surprises down the road. CloudEagle makes cloud service provider research simple and stress-free.

Risk Mitigation

CloudEagle helps you lower the risk of data problems by implementing strong security measures to protect your information. These measures include data encryption and monitoring for unusual activity.

With CloudEagle, you will feel confident that your data is safe and secure. It's like having a shield to protect your business from potential risks and threats.

Collaborative Governance

CloudEagle encourages teamwork when managing your SaaS portfolio. It brings people from different parts of your organization together to work on governance.

Everyone can share their ideas and expertise to ensure your apps run smoothly. With CloudEagle, you have a collaborative approach to governance that helps your business thrive.

Continuous Improvement

With CloudEagle, you're always getting better at managing your SaaS stack. They constantly find ways to improve your SaaS portfolio.

This could mean updating your processes or adopting new technologies. By making these improvements, they are making sure your apps are running as smoothly as possible.

With CloudEagle, you're on a journey of continuous improvement that helps your business grow and succeed.

CloudEagle supports you in achieving optimal SaaS governance, leading to better data management, compliance, cost optimization, and risk mitigation.


Implementing these SaaS governance practices is crucial for safeguarding your data and ensuring the efficiency of your operations.

By streamlining user access, encrypting data, managing vendors, and prioritizing compliance and training, you will minimize risks and maximize the benefits of SaaS apps. Act to protect your organization's sensitive information and maintain regulatory compliance.

Consider booking a demo with CloudEagle, the leading SaaS procurement and management platform, to streamline your SaaS processes and enhance data security. Don't wait - prioritize SaaS governance today for a safer and more efficient future.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you ensure data security in SaaS?

Ensure data security in SaaS by implementing encryption for data both in transit and at rest, enforcing strong access controls, and regularly monitoring threats.

2. What is SaaS governance?

SaaS governance involves managing and controlling the usage of Software as a Service (SaaS) apps to ensure an organization's compliance, security, and efficiency.

3. Who is responsible for data security in SaaS?

In SaaS, the SaaS provider and the organization using the service share responsibility for data security, with the organization having ultimate accountability.

Written by
Joel Platini
Content Writer and Marketer, CloudEagle
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