The Top Cybersecurity Threats to SaaS Companies

With digital transformation continuing to define the SaaS space, a number of SaaS companies have still yet to achieve foolproof security for their systems. Fifty-three percent of CISOs say that their security concerns have only grown since 2020, and with hackers stealing 75 records per second, these concerns are likely to persist.

Dealing with Risks

The SaaS space follows a growth model similar to that of startups: rapid company growth is connected to rapid user-base growth. The catch: SaaS companies often focus too much on scaling their customer base, rather than securing users’ data. 

User-related risks also make up a big part of these cyber attacks. Identity and access management has long been a struggle for SaaS companies, as they constantly have to address issues like password fatigue, decreased visibility across networks, and less-secure remote work environments. 

Threats to Cloud Computing

In 2020, the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) released a report titled Top Threats to Cloud Computing: Egregious Eleven, where they listed the most significant cloud threats to organizations in 2019. Here are the top six:

  • Data breaches. Data breaches continue to be the top cybersecurity threat, considering the extensive damage a company often has to repair afterwards. While user experience may be compromised, encryption is still an advisable way of safeguarding sensitive data.
  • Misconfiguration and inadequate change control. Taking the second spot is a new item on the list: misconfiguration errors. Cloud platforms may have overly-complex features that make it challenging to properly configure their networks and products. And we know what happens when servers get misconfigured: data may inadvertently be leaked through the cloud. Case in point is the 2018 Exactis data breach, where data of 340 million records stored in their database were exposed online. It was all because of a misconfigured and unprotected database that was made available to users in open servers.
  • Weak security infrastructure and strategies. Time is often prioritized over security during cloud migration. Consequently, some companies rely on security architecture and strategies that their systems weren’t built for. To address this, CSA advises companies to align their security architecture with business goals and objectives, and continuously monitor the framework even after the migration is completed. 
  • Poor IAM practices. Inadequate IAM measures both in systems and physical resources can lead to misused credentials and increased user-related risks. Check out our handy IAM guide to learn more about what a good IAM solution looks like, and which platforms you can use.
  • Account hijacking. Phishing attempts are rampant now more than ever, and as attacks become more sophisticated and targeted, it’s a question of if, not when, attackers steal credentials. The solution for this ties back to having robust IAM policies in place — that way, you can manage account access and usage, and minimize the risk for identity theft or financial fraud. 
  • Threats from inside actors. Roughly 34% of businesses globally are affected by insider threats per year, with 66% considering insider attacks more likely to happen than external ones. Even without malicious intent, these breaches could accidentally happen, especially if employees or business partners aren’t careful with handling and storing their data or credentials. CSA recommends conducting regular security audits on cloud servers, and continuous employee training on data and system security.

Falling on spots 7 to 11 are: unprotected APIs; weak control plane; metastructure failures; issues in usage visibility; and overall misuse of cloud services. 

What Can SaaS Companies Do?

One of the most critical things you can do is comply with international security standards such as  ISO20071. This ensures that your cybersecurity policies are in line with established standards, both for internal and external users.

Moreover, cybersecurity is a responsibility that doesn’t only fall on the CISO’s shoulders — everyone that has touchpoints with customers is accountable for it. Security teams and customer-facing teams must be aligned with regard to security processes and guidelines for minimizing risk. Other risk mitigation measures may include: addressing software vulnerabilities by having a securely-patched SD-WAN system, restricting data access, acquiring cyber insurance, and investing in system-network integrations. 

Read Next: Gearing Up For Secure Growth: Scaling Up Your Cyber Security Efforts

 

Photography by Taylor Vick via Unsplash

Privacy Notice

This privacy notice discloses the privacy practices for (www.ascentconf.com). This privacy notice applies solely to information collected by this website. It will notify you of the following:

  • What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the website, how it is used and with whom it may be shared.
  • What choices are available to you regarding the use of your data.
  • The security procedures in place to protect the misuse of your information.
  • How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information.

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing

We are the sole owners of the information collected on this site. We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization, other than as necessary to fulfill your request, e.g. to ship an order.

Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about specials, new products or services, or changes to this privacy policy.

Your Access to and Control Over Information

You may opt out of any future contacts from us at any time. You can do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address or phone number given on our website:

  • See what data we have about you, if any.
  • Change/correct any data we have about you.
  • Have us delete any data we have about you.
  • Express any concern you have about our use of your data.

Security

We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline.

Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a lock icon in the address bar and looking for “https” at the beginning of the address of the Web page.

While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately via telephone at 202-256-9707 or [email protected].