How your company can protect the security of its SaaS applications

The growth of the SaaS market has continued apace; as recently as 2019, one article published on Medium predicted that, by 2020, almost 75% of apps would be SaaS-powered.

Nonetheless, with high-profile security fumbles like 2017’s Equifax data breach in mind, you could benefit from following these tips to help secure SaaS applications on which your business relies. 


Train all of your employees in security matters 


As much of the responsibility of keeping your SaaS applications safe has to fall on your employees, you should make sure that all of them receive security training. This would educate them on various dos and don’ts of security, like avoiding sharing accounts. 


This training could also make your workers less vulnerable to hacking methods like social engineering, where your staff could otherwise too easily be swayed into giving up important login details. 


Put in place just one sign-on point for multiple apps 


“Try to get to single sign-on,” advises former NSA agent Ben Johnson in an interview with The Sociable. A single sign-on point is where just one login mechanism is used to get into multiple applications. 


“Try to use an application where, regardless of which app you want to go to, you’re going through this single sign-on point,” Johnson elaborates. You might assume this to be a risky strategy, given that intruders would theoretically only need one credential in order to break your cyber defenses – but that’s not quite true...


Throw in multi-factor authentication 


You might already be familiar with the process of “multi-factor authentication” from using other services, like Facebook and Twitter, outside of a work context. When a company insists on you providing a phone number so that they can text you a code for you to use when logging in, that’s a type of multi-factor authentication. 


“If you are funneling everything through one login, you can make sure that that is protected by requiring multi-factor authentication and having that one app that generates the code,” Johnson explains.


Restrict which workers can access which SaaS applications 


You have the option of implementing what are known as role-based access (RBAC) features, where you would be able to set user-specific access and editing permissions for your company’s SaaS applications. 


If this is all starting to sound dauntingly technical, rest easy – as you could easily put those RBAC controls in place once you have implemented a cloud-hosted private access solution. One good example would be Wandera’s Zero Trust Network Access tool, which you could use to limit access to sensitive apps. 


Define and enforce a data deletion policy 


If you use SaaS applications to collect data from your customers, you should be careful how that data is stored and deleted. The latter could be both a contractual and legal obligation, meaning you ought to make sure this data is deleted systematically – or, as it could otherwise be said, programmatically. 


Therefore, you should make sure the right data is deleted at the right time and you generate and maintain relevant logs to keep track of this data deletion activity.


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