The majority of businesses (about 96 percent) now use cloud computing. In particular, many organizations are attracted to software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery models that offer a low total cost of ownership, quick deployment, flexibility, scalability and cost-effectiveness. Software updates and other supporting SaaS functions are handled entirely by the vendor, which frees up time and money that might otherwise be spent on IT maintenance. Accordingly, small and midsize enterprises are in especially strong positions to benefit from SaaS.
That said, SaaS security— as well as IaaS, PaaS and other cloud models—is based on a shared responsibility model. While SaaS providers are responsible for hardening the application against malware and zero-day exploits, they aren’t necessarily accountable for your data security, and they definitely aren’t accountable for your business’s network security. Your business is still at risk of unauthorized access, data loss and other cyberthreats that can impact your application stack.
Unpacking SaaS Cybersecurity
The two primary threats to SaaS security are:
- Credential theft and account hijacking: This is usually the result of phishing tactics whereby hackers manipulate users into divulging login credentials or information that can be used to guess a password and security questions.
- Data loss and compromise: Ransomware, data theft via unauthorized access, malicious deletions from a hacker or disgruntled employee, and user error represent some of the main threats to SaaS data.
Protecting against these threats requires continuous cloud monitoring for indicators of unauthorized access and other suspicious activities. It also requires formal data loss prevention (DLP) and incident response (IR) plans. Both of these demand the resources and expertise of a fully operational security operations center (SOC).
Although most SMEs can’t necessarily bring all of this in-house, they do have the option of working with a managed SOC provider that continuously delivers these services as a predictable cost.
Why Better SaaS Security Starts with SOC-as-a-Service
A SOC-as-a-service provider helps businesses hold up their end of SaaS’s shared responsibility model for security in a couple critical ways:
- Incident response from expert security analysts: Upon detection of a potential threat, incident responders take action to contain the threat, remediate it and recover any lost or damaged data.
- Log aggregation and analysis: Most businesses use multiple SaaS applications and may be operating in a hybrid cloud environment. A managed SOC provider aggregates these many logs into a central security information and event management (SIEM) system so that network events can undergo continuous threat analysis.
With this cost-effective, two-pronged approach to SaaS security, even the smallest businesses can protect their cloud-based services. Learn more by clicking on the banner below.