CISO Guide to SaaS Security

Reco SaaS Security Checklist for CISOs

Reco created this checklist to help CISOs establish, implement, and continually improve their SaaS security posture while staying informed about updates and emerging threats.
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Starting Point

Asking questions constitutes the foundation of your plan to build out your security strategy. As cloud environments have a complex and constantly-changing threat landscape, a few helpful questions to consider as you start investigating an SSPM solution are:
  • Where does my SaaS security journey begin?
  • What is my SaaS security’s end goal?
  • Has SaaS changed or have security priorities changed?
  • How do I align my SaaS security strategy with the broader business objectives of my company?
  • Should I invest in AI as part of my SaaS security strategy?

Middle of the Road

Comparing and contrasting SSPM vendors paves the way to finding an effective solution that will help you create a discover-control-protect security framework for your company. Here are a few must-have characteristics to look for in the selection process:
Effective SaaS application discovery
  • Sanctioned connected applications
  • Unsanctioned connected applications
  • Third-party applications
  • Shadow applications
  • Installation dates and end user analytics
  • Authorized apps
  • Monitoring of incorrectly configured SaaS-based applications
  • 24/7 continuous monitoring
Configuration management
  • Baseline configuration settings
  • Detection of configuration drifts
  • Automated detection of misconfigurations
  • Automated continuous configuration checks and corrections
  • Measure SaaS security posture and risk reporting over time
  • IT audit readiness
Identity, permission and SaaS application monitoring
  • Monitor identities
  • Monitor permission privileges
  • Discovery of permission access level
  • Advanced analytics for additional context
  • Implement least-privilege access
  • Identify anomalous user behavior patterns
Ready-to-use policies based on TTPs
  • Extensive library of ready-to-use, dynamic policies created and maintained by experts
  • Prioritized alerts
Integration with SIEM or SOAR
  • Aggregated and normalized SaaS activity events
  • Data-based analysis of risky behavior personas
  • Automated or semi-automated alerts based on personas
  • Automated response to security events
  • Apply set rules according to event
  • Guided remediation
Adherence to compliance frameworks
  • Establish An industry-specific SaaS governance or assurance plan
  • Built-in compliance frameworks, and due diligence best practices that support your industry and territory requirements
Data privacy
Access only to metadata such as:
  • Location
  • Implement least-privilege access
  • Analysis of settings of devices and applications
System functionality
  • Quick deployment via API
  • Guided onboarding process
  • Integrations for secure onboarding
  • Low false positives
  • Scalability
Automation capabilities
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Adaptive controls
  • Threat intelligence integration

The Road Ahead

When selecting an SSPM solution, you need to look for a partner not only for today, but for the road ahead. Beyond looking for technical prowess, here are a few other factors to consider and steps to follow:
Start a request for proposal process
  • Thorough security assessment of needs
  • Understand limitations of infrastructure and security
  • Set security goals for tools needed
Evaluate reputation
  • Customer reviews
  • Experience
  • Communications
  • Frequency of updates and improvements
Rate customer support
  • Availability of customer service
  • Open transparency and communication
  • SLAs for response times and escalation processes
  • User-friendly training offerings
  • User-friendly platform
Take advantage of demos and trial periods
In conclusion, a comprehensive SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) solution checklist serves as a vital tool for CISOs in their search to fortify their cybersecurity and optimize service delivery. On this journey, Reco can serve as your advisor and partner.
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