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Cloudy With a Chance of Intrusion: Overcoming Data Security Hurdles Across SaaS Applications

Gal Nakash, Co-found & CPO
November 29, 2023
4 min read

Securing data is crucial in cloud computing and across any SaaS application, as the data stored within these platforms are often sensitive and valuable. It is imperative that all parties involved, including SaaS providers, businesses, and their security teams, take responsibility for safeguarding these applications and their data.

Visibility, Classification, Detection: Challenges in SaaS Data Security

While SaaS providers play a critical role in ensuring the security of their platforms, businesses must also be proactive in implementing their own security measures to protect against insider threats and unmanaged 3rd party risks. By working together and adopting a shared responsibility model, SaaS applications can be made more resilient and secure against a growing range of threats.

Visibility: The distributed and dynamic nature of SaaS applications can make it challenging to gain complete visibility into their data and operations. Their flexible nature also makes it difficult to track and monitor their performance. This makes it difficult to establish a baseline of normal behavior and monitor for security threats using traditional methods like DLP.

Classification: Classification is another challenge that arises due to the dynamic and unstructured nature of the data generated by or accessed and shared across SaaS applications. These applications can generate, access and share large volumes of unstructured data that can be difficult to classify accurately using traditional methods. The challenge is further compounded by the fact that SaaS applications are often designed to be flexible and customizable, allowing users to create custom fields and data structures within the application.

Detection: SaaS applications are hosted on cloud infrastructures and often generate large volumes of unstructured data, which can be difficult to monitor for security threats using traditional methods. Furthermore, the dynamic nature of SaaS applications means that they can dynamically adjust resources and services as demand fluctuates, making it difficult to establish a baseline of normal behavior.

providers together must implement access controls and monitoring to prevent insider threats, such as data theft or sabotage.

Authentication and Access Control: As SaaS applications are accessible over the internet, it is important to ensure that user authentication and access control mechanisms are robust. SaaS providers and the organizations that rely on their applications must implement multi-factor authentication, access controls, and identity and access management (IAM) solutions to ensure that only authorized users have access to the application.

On-Premises Software vs. SaaS Applications: A Security Comparison

Now, let’s talk about the difference between on-premises software and SaaS applications from a security perspective. On-premises software is installed locally on a company’s own servers, while SaaS applications are hosted in the cloud and accessed over the internet. With on-premises software, the organization has full control over the security of the application and infrastructure, while with SaaS applications, the provider, the businesses and their security teams in combination are responsible for maintaining the security of the application and infrastructure.

Examples of security challenges in SaaS applications include data breaches, account hijacking, and insider threats. Organizations must establish data governance policies, conduct risk assessments, monitor user activity, and train employees to ensure proper data governance and security best practices in the SaaS application.

To learn more about how Reco can help you identify and protect your sensitive SaaS data, schedule your DEMO and Free Trial here:

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