Migrating IT applications to the cloud to ease the IT management burden… That is, besides a simpler cost model, the main reason for many organizations to adopt Software as a Service (SaaS). On premises, servers have now disappeared in many places, even within the government.

Do security risks
also arise from
SaaS usage?

This makes SaaS very attractive for organizations and their employees, but, do risks also arise from SaaS usage? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is ‘yes’. The increasing use of SaaS does, in fact, bring new risks. This blog outlines three unsafe situations:

1: Use of unapproved applications

The CIO of an organization, the highest manager responsible for all company’s information and data flows, wants to have grip and control, but most of all, peace of mind. However, the rise of SaaS usage has become uncontrollable in many cases, which is causing unease. The main reason: many SaaS applications can be adopted and used by employees without the IT department’s approval. They are used unnoticed (‘Shadow IT’) and can significantly affect the security position of the organization.

2: Data access and Data availability

With SaaS, data management is entrusted to third parties. Company or customer data is often stored externally at different cloud suppliers. How certain is it that unauthorized persons can access critical data? The access rights per user group must be properly established with all cloud suppliers. Moreover, there must be certainty that your data remains available even if agreements with SaaS providers are terminated. Keeping control of your data and understanding the risk can be challenging, especially when it comes to unapproved SaaS applications.

3: Not being up to date with security standards

Security standards can be correct on paper, described in an SLA (Service Level Agreement) document. The SaaS provider states in writing that they have control over your data and that all security standards are met. In practice, it turns out to be different. Unfortunately, nearly half of data breaches take place in a cloud environment, as can be read in this recent article from Techzine, cloud security demands immediate attention, as it appears that many security standards are not up-to-date. 

How can organizations prevent SaaS risks?

The answer to this is the Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB). Think of this as your cloud access director, which sits between your end users and the cloud applications. It monitors all activities, even for on-premises applications; the result is that there is grip and control over the security policy; it is enforced! 

CASB is easily available as part of Network-as-a-Service as it is based on SASE SD-WAN. This provides a number of important additional advantages over stand-alone CASB solutions. Why is that so? and what is CASB exactly? You can read about that in our next blog!

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