As more companies adopt software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions for their business operations, ensuring the security of sensitive data and applications is becoming increasingly important.
Cyberattacks, data breaches, and other security threats can have severe consequences, including financial losses, reputational damage, and legal penalties.
This article will discuss how to improve your SaaS security posture and reduce the risk of security incidents. Implementing these strategies can strengthen your SaaS security posture and safeguard your company’s critical data and applications.
10 Ways to Improve Your SaaS Security and Lower Risk
We will explore 10 ways to improve your SaaS security and lower the risk of security incidents.
1. Make a List of All of Your IT Assets
You first need to know what you have to safeguard your digital assets. Conduct an inventory audit of all computing assets, including those in use, outdated systems, and shadow IT that may not be known to digital leaders.
Surprisingly, many cloud applications are managed outside of IT, leading to security risks. Ensure that all assets connecting to the network are accounted for and identified so that you can develop a comprehensive security strategy.
2. Make a Security Analysis
After taking inventory of your digital assets, assess the risk associated with each. Conduct a comprehensive security assessment that evaluates potential vulnerabilities and threats from vendors, suppliers, contractors, partners, and service providers with access to your data.
A security assessment should provide insight into your IT infrastructure and allow you to prioritize risks and vulnerabilities that need attention. This can help you develop a proactive approach to cybersecurity and enable you to respond quickly and efficiently to potential security threats.
3. Prioritizing Critical Assets to Enhance Cybersecurity Resiliency
Prioritize assets critical to your business operations and allocate more resources to secure them. Identify assets, such as customer databases for e-commerce sites, electronic medical record systems for healthcare organizations, and user authentication systems for financial services.
Once you’ve identified these critical assets, assess the potential risks and benefits of securing them to determine how much of your security budget should be allocated.
A risk/benefit assessment can help you make informed decisions on security spending and ensure sufficient protection for your most valuable assets.
4. Maximizing Cybersecurity with Consistent and Frequent Software Patching
Establish a consistent schedule for patching software vulnerabilities to enhance your organization’s cybersecurity posture. Many software vendors regularly issue security patches to address known vulnerabilities, but businesses often delay implementing them for several weeks or months.
This delay leaves the systems exposed to potential security breaches. Research indicates that attackers typically exploit unpatched vulnerabilities within two weeks, while organizations take two to six months to patch serious vulnerabilities.
Therefore, it’s crucial to implement a frequent and consistent update schedule to reduce the time a flaw is exposed to attacks.
5. Detect, Remediate, and Mitigate Threats Automatically
To strengthen your organization’s cybersecurity defenses, it’s essential to have a comprehensive suite of security tools, including firewalls, anti-malware software, email and web filters, and cloud security solutions. SSPM (SaaS Security Posture Management) is another powerful tool for bringing your organization’s cyber security to another level.
Additionally, security teams are turning to AI-powered tools to automate threat detection and mitigation. These tools help to monitor networks around the clock, isolate potential attacks, and allow further investigation.
By automating threat detection and mitigation, companies can take a more proactive approach to cybersecurity and alleviate the burden on security teams.
6. Keep an Eye out for Critical Security Flaws
It’s crucial to monitor critical security vulnerabilities continuously to stay ahead of evolving cyber threats. Cybercriminals continually modify their tactics, and your security team needs to keep up-to-date with the latest threats.
Keeping an eye on IT systems can help find new kinds of attacks. Using threat intelligence feeds that provide information on active exploits and cybercrime groups can help organizations be more proactive about security.
By regularly reviewing threat intelligence feeds, companies can stay informed about emerging threats and respond quickly to minimize the impact of cybersecurity incidents.
7. Zero-trust Framework: A Game-changer in Cybersecurity for Enterprises
A zero-trust framework is a security model that continuously authenticates users and only allows access to necessary resources. The framework has gained momentum recently, particularly after a 2021 executive order requiring federal agencies to implement it.
Additionally, the order mandates that all users accessing federal computer networks be continuously authenticated, limiting the potential for lateral movement by attackers who breach the perimeter.
A zero-trust framework can significantly improve cybersecurity posture and protect critical assets from unauthorized access.
8. Make the Switch to a DevSecOps Strategy
To ensure that security is integrated into the software development and deployment process, organizations can adopt a DevSecOps approach. This approach involves integrating security into the software development and deployment process to help identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities early in the development lifecycle.
Doing so helps prevent insecure code from being deployed in production and avoids costly rework. A crucial element of the DevSecOps approach is red teaming, where the code is evaluated from an attacker’s point of view to identify potential weaknesses and strengths.
Adopting a DevSecOps approach can help organizations deliver more secure and reliable software to their customers while reducing the risk of cyberattacks.
9. Cybersecurity Training: Minimizing Human Error and Strengthening Cyber Defenses
Human error is a leading cause of security breaches, with more than eight out of 10 incidents resulting from employees’ actions. Cybersecurity training for all employees can minimize the risk of social engineering attacks and malware infestations, reducing the organization’s overall vulnerability.
Employees, particularly top executives, are prime targets for spear phishing and direct attacks. Training employees in cybersecurity fundamentals can help them recognize and report potential attacks, reducing response times and facilitating successful mitigation.
10. Cyberattack Response: The Importance of an Effective Incident Management Plan
Despite taking all possible precautions, an organization may eventually suffer a data breach or become the victim of a cyberattack. Additionally, to mitigate the impact of such incidents, it’s essential to have an incident management plan in place.
The plan should include a detailed response strategy for each department and outline its roles and procedures. However, merely creating a project isn’t sufficient; it must be tested through tabletop exercises or simulated attacks and updated regularly to ensure its effectiveness against evolving threats.
Practicing the incident management plan can help teams respond quickly and efficiently, minimize the impact of security incidents, and help maintain business continuity. Resources and tools are available to help create an incident management plan, such as SSPM.
In today’s digital landscape, the security of software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions is more crucial than ever before. As organizations continue to rely on cloud-based services to manage their operations and data, the risk of cyberattacks grows exponentially.
Furthermore, we’ve discussed 10 practical ways to enhance SaaS security and reduce the risk of cybersecurity incidents. These strategies can help organizations safeguard their critical assets and maintain business continuity, from implementing a zero-trust framework to automating threat detection.