6 SaaS Security Best Practices to Keep Your Tech Stack Secure

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Calender
July 14, 2023
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How is your SaaS security holding up with all the applications in use? Is your IT team equipped to deal with the dangers of data breaches, unauthorized access, and other compliance issues?

As per a study by BetterCloud, companies estimate that 70% of the business apps they use today are SaaS-based, and by 2025, this number will grow to 85%.

As organizations rely more on cloud-based apps, best SaaS security practices have become vital to prevent risks to customer data and financial information stored in SaaS apps.

This article discusses six important SaaS security best practices you should follow in 2023 to keep your software portfolio secure. These measures can safeguard sensitive data and ensure regulatory compliance across all the apps in your organization.


Why should you pay attention to SaaS security?

According to BetterCloud, the top concern that IT professionals have about using SaaS is data security and protection against cybercrime.

The data carried by SaaS apps - ranging from financial information and client records to intellectual property - is invaluable and must be protected. Failures in security can lead to data breaches, financial losses, and reputational damage.

Companies can limit these risks with proper knowledge of the risks and apt security measures for their business.


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Exploring SaaS security risks

Unauthorized Access

Unauthorized personnel, including former employees, having access to SaaS apps could become the cause of data breaches as well as misuse of sensitive information. Best SaaS security practice is to deprovision them effectively to avoid these security lapses.

Shadow IT

Employees using unapproved SaaS apps without authorization from the IT team create security risks, data breaches, and increased app spends.

Poor Compliance and Regulation

Using non-compliant SaaS providers can result in compliance violations, legal consequences, and reputational damage.

Misconfiguration of the Cloud

Improper cloud system configuration could pose security risks. Even minor misconfigurations can have serious implications, compromising the security of your entire infrastructure.

Non-compliance

To ensure the security and privacy of client data, SaaS apps must pass security assessments and acquire compliance certifications. Using non-compliant apps can expose a company to substantial risks and regulatory consequences.

To better understand SaaS security risks and how to minimize them, please read our article on SaaS Security Risks.


6 SaaS security best practices to follow

1. Use a SaaS management platform for complete app visibility

A study by Resmo notes that only 26% of organizations have embraced automation for monitoring SaaS security.

Implementing a SaaS management platform helps you centralize and manage all your SaaS apps on a single dashboard. It gives a 360-degree overview of your SaaS environment, including application use, spend, user access, and security.


Image showing the cost of shadow IT


Constant surveillance helps you detect and manage possible vulnerabilities, unauthorized usage, and shadow IT within your firm. Streamlined SaaS application management gives you the total insight you need to make cost-optimization decisions and ensure that your business adheres to security guidelines and standards.

Using a SaaS management platform has become the go-to SaaS security strategy for organizations to prevent users from purchasing unsanctioned applications.

2. Enhance your authentication with SSO and 2FA

Integrating Single Sign-On (SSO) and Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) significantly reduces the risks of using weak or repeated passwords and unauthorized access to your SaaS applications.

SSO requires one-time authentication of users to enable access to multiple apps. 2FA provides an extra layer of protection by requiring users to provide additional verification, like a one-time password or biometric authentication.

3. Ensure that your vendors are compliant with security regulations

A Superoffice study claims that 60% of organizations believe that governance and compliance are their major concerns when dealing with cloud services.

Before implementing a SaaS app, assessing the vendor's security standards is critical. Check that they adhere to industry-standard security measures and laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 27001.

SaaS security practices example 1:


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Assess the vendor's security policies, data handling methods, and certifications to guarantee that your data will be safeguarded in accordance with your organization's security standards.

Do not sign a contract with a vendor lacking common SaaS compliance certifications like GDPR and SOC 2. You might end up losing valuable customer and financial data, leading to revenue loss.

4. Encrypt your data

Encryption is critical to ensuring the security of sensitive data handled or transmitted through SaaS applications.

As per Statista, 38 percent of businesses are specifically concerned about encrypting their organizations' data.

Encryption turns data into an unreadable format that can only be accessed by authorized individuals with the decryption key. Encrypting your data adds an extra layer of security, even if there is a breach.

SaaS security practices example 2:

Image illustrating how data encryption works

Ensure that your data is encrypted both during transit and at rest. The channels connected with SaaS apps often use Transport Layer Security (TLS) to safeguard data in transit. Some SaaS providers provide additional encryption features for data protection at rest.

Check each SaaS service to see whether data encryption is possible by default and, if so, activate it.

5. Prevent shadow IT with centralized procurement

G2 research shows that, by 2025, three in four people believe that shadow IT will be a bigger security issue at their companies.

Shadow IT is common in organizations with a disorganized procurement process. SaaS management platforms are now equipped with procurement workflows to automate the process and provide 100% transparency with real-time progress updates.

Implement a centralized procurement process and completely eradicate the risks of shadow IT.

6. Manage user access effectively

Security Magazine says 31% of former employees still have access to an organization's SaaS applications and other sensitive information.

Another report from TechRepublic reveals that around 20% of organizations experienced data breaches by ex-employees.

This indicates the need for a streamlined user access management system. Users should be provisioned appropriately for suitable applications and deprovisioned right after they leave your organization.

SaaS security practices 3:

Image showing CloudEagle's user provisioning feature

SaaS management platforms with user provisioning and deprovisioning modules can be integrated with your HRIS systems to collect user data, their access and permission levels in each application.

With a centralized access dashboard, you can easily provision the right apps to users when they join and revoke their access when they quit, preventing security breaches by former employees.


Why should you use CloudEagle for robust SaaS security management?

CloudEagle has perfected SaaS security management with its extensive features that cover the entire SaaS lifecycle, from procurement to user access and compliance management.


Image of CloudEagle's dashboard


Here's what makes CloudEagle a unique and powerful SaaS Security Management platform:

Complete Control and Visibility

CloudEagle simplifies SaaS management by delivering complete visibility into your SaaS app stack. The comprehensive system lets you centralize and manage all your SaaS apps from a single dashboard.

The platform integrates seamlessly with SSO, finance, and HRIS systems, ensuring that only authorized and approved apps are utilized, thereby preventing shadow IT and improving security and compliance.

Vendor Management and User Provisioning

CloudEagle enables you to manage vendors, improve security, and streamline user access all from one location. Organizing all your SaaS vendors in one place creates a safe vendor ecosystem where you can assess each provider's security compliances.

SaaS security practices 4:

Image of CloudEagle's user deprovisioning feature

Further, CloudEagle's user provisioning and deprovisioning features simplify onboarding and offboarding. It enables you to seamlessly offer proper access and permissions to new users and revoke access when individuals leave or change positions in the company, assuring data security.

Improved Compliance and Risk Management

CloudEagle helps you implement safety standards and processes to mitigate SaaS security risks. A single interface for controlling SaaS apps allows you to track vendor compliance with industry regulations and security standards like GDPR, HIPAA, or ISO 27001.

You can also assess their SaaS application security standards, policies, and data handling strategies to safeguard your business from risks.

Procurement Workflow

By centralizing the procurement process, CloudEagle aids in the prevention of shadow IT. Users can raise purchase requests via Slack; the concerned stakeholders are notified, and the purchase is completed quickly, preventing random app purchases by employees.

CloudEagle’s application visibility and procurement workflow functionality will stop users from purchasing applications without IT approval and keep your SaaS stack secure.

Book a demo with CloudEagle today to incorporate SaaS security best practices into your business!


Frequently asked questions

1. What are the most important security features of the SaaS model?

Software as a service (SaaS) security is the umbrella term for the policies and procedures to safeguard the information and programs a SaaS provider hosts. Encryption, authentication, access restrictions, network security, and data backup and recovery are crucial security elements of a SaaS model.

2. What are the key SaaS security concerns with the SaaS model?

One of the primary concerns with SaaS app security is the safety of sensitive data that the service provider stores and processes. Users can face legal, financial, or reputational implications due to data breaches, leaks, theft, or loss.

3. Why should enterprises follow SaaS security best practices?

SaaS security best practices are critical for safeguarding sensitive data, ensuring regulatory compliance, and limiting potential risks. They assist businesses in strengthening their security posture by maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of information in SaaS environments and protecting against unauthorized access.


Written by
Nidhi Jain
CEO and Founder, CloudEagle
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