As interest in the Software-as-a-service model grows, so does the concern about the security of such a solution. So far, the total cost of ownership has been the main argument when considering SaaS. But now that the cloud has become increasingly used for strategic and mission-critical business applications, security has come to the fore.
In this model, the saas application development services run on a cloud infrastructure and are accessible through a web browser. The client does not control the network, servers, operating systems, storage, or even some application capabilities. For this reason, in the SaaS model, the main responsibility for providing security falls almost entirely on providers.
There are several security risks with SaaS that need to be considered when deciding whether to move to this business model.
Identity management immaturity
Cloud service providers are not always willing to complicate their platform by integrating with an identity management system. Several third-party technologies exist to extend role-based access control in the cloud, such as through single sign-on (SSO) technology. But in general, this area is still at an early stage of development.
As customers access many SaaS applications, the number of security tools used grows, which can lead to slowness and poor scalability of such a model. There are a few third-party products that at least suggest being able to connect to many types of SaaS applications, but they haven’t been tested enough by providers yet.
Cloud service providers claim to have more data protection capabilities than the typical customer, and SaaS security is actually at a higher level than most people think. But this is difficult to verify, as SaaS providers tend to be quite secretive in this regard. In particular, many of them publish very little information about their data centers, claiming that security can be compromised in this way.
For this reason, SaaS security analysis capabilities are more limited compared to conventional “home” systems. Of course, there are a number of ways to overcome these limitations. For example, with the consent of the provider, the client can bring his experts and try to “hack” the system to assess its security. But in any case, it is necessary to clearly work out, coordinate, and prescribe in the SLA all the guarantees of the SaaS service.
Territorial affiliation of data
There are a number of regulations in various countries that require sensitive data to remain within the country. And although storing data within a certain territory, at first glance, is not a difficult task, cloud service providers often cannot guarantee this. In systems with a high degree of virtualization, data and virtual machines can move from one country to another for various purposes – load balancing, and fault tolerance.
Accessibility is a risky convenience
The main advantage of the SaaS model – the availability of business applications from anywhere where there is an Internet connection – also creates new risks. For example, if you organize corporate email based on the Gmail service, then any employee can log in from a café from an insecure computer. In this case, the data falls outside the security perimeter of the client company, which cannot but disturb the IT service. Enterprises that use or plan to use SaaS should pay particular attention to regulating cloud connectivity.
SaaS security is often viewed in isolation. But we must not forget that protecting data within their own infrastructure is still an acute problem for many companies, and the path to the desired security system lies through a significant investment of time and money. The information leakage risks attributed to SaaS are inherent in many other aspects of IT. This is especially noticeable as the use of personal mobile devices used by workers grows. Such gadgets are a real headache for the security service of any organization. It is obvious that many who speak negatively about SaaS security forget that their own infrastructure is also not perfect. Click the link (https://www.softformance.com/) to learn more about providing your company with a secure SaaS system.