The connectivity offered by the Information Age allows people and businesses to collaborate across the world, sharing their expertise and knowledge so that everyone can move forward at a faster pace. Software as a Service (SaaS) is the incarnation of the trek towards a completely interconnected business world, and it allows for even more specialization than global communication and Cloud data storage. Understandably, the question of information security (InfoSec) becomes more prominent with this increased interdependence.
What Concerns Should You Have About SaaS Security?
While SaaS presents unique challenges and security issues, minimizing the risks can be boiled down to making the effort to ensure that both the services you use and your own IT infrastructure are following optimal security practices. Knowing the exact methods used is unnecessary as long as you have enough education to determine if their methods are proper.
How Should You Evaluate the Security of a SaaS Partner?
An SaaS company should be willing to disclose their InfoSec practices, should have stringent digital and physical protection for all the data they handle, and should be as minimally intrusive into your network as possible.
If they are unwilling to tell you how they secure themselves, then you should immediately disregard them as a potential service. Security through obfuscation is a valid tactic, but it is not one that should be used when working with outsiders.
Companies may also focus on their software security without mentioning how they handle on-site safety. The best firewall and antimalware tools in the world will do nothing if their data center does not receive the same treatment.
Finally and more technically, the software offered by the company should not require that you open holes in your security measures. Typically, this would come in the form of asking your IT department to open ports for inbound communication, a practice that can leave you vulnerable. If the vendor is requesting this, then they are opting to make things easier for themselves at the cost of your security.
Don’t Take Their Word for It
Every business is its own greatest fan. That does not inherently mean they are not trustworthy for self-reporting on their security methods, but the old adage of “Trust, but Verify” is even more vital when you are dealing with sensitive information like trade secrets, financial information, health records, and other protected data.
When selecting SaaS companies, you should look for ones that both publish their InfoSec standards and invite outside agencies to evaluate their strengths. SSAE 16, SOC 2 certifications are crucial to ensure robust data security policies are in place.
If you are still unsure about any of the details after researching the company, you can search online for reviews of the company and for cyber security consulting services that can give you additional perspectives to consider before selecting a service.
All Security Starts within Your Own Company
No matter how diligent your SaaS partners are, their methods cannot serve as a substitute for security within your own systems. Every measure that you expect an outside agency to take should be replicated by your IT department. Basic concerns include virus and malware removal tools, firewalls, and network monitoring software.
Beyond the norms of network protection, you should also reinforce your access control of devices and people, utilize encryption to protect data at rest and in motion, and educate your workforce on how to properly interact with technology in a security-conscious manner.
How Do You Increase InfoSec Capability without Excessive Cost or Hassle?
The few problems advanced by SaaS are also solved by SaaS. Outside of the physical protections you put in place, the digital dilemmas can be shifted to established SaaS security vendors. The hand of the market has encouraged companies specialized in combining Cloud service with enhanced, straightforward security that can fit the budget of any company.
Nothing Will Ever Be 100% Secure
As your network grows and expands, there will be more links in the technological chain. As a result, there will invariably be more potential avenues of intrusion for malicious users. Some forms of attack, like Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attempts, have less to do with your security measures than they do the basic structure of the Internet. Another concern is going overboard on defense and limiting the potential growth of your company by confining it within a rigid, unmoving shell.
How Concerned Should You Really Be?
Security should always be a prominent matter when using any form of technology, and neglecting it can lead to severe consequences. Incorporating SaaS is no different, but there is no need to treat it as more vulnerable than other IT services.
Data Security is the number one concern listed by enterprises, when it comes to SaaS adoption, and justifiably so. Data security breaches can prove disastrous both from a brand reputation and credibility point of view. At Celoxis, data security is not just a strategy but an integral part of product architecture. They use IBM’s Softlayer data centers to manage customer data securely and ensure the facilities are monitored 24/7. Celoxis’ multi-level approach for shielding customer data against physical and electronic threats ensures maximum uptime and protection. With latest 2048 bit SSL access to data, firewall protected networks and regular infrastructure audits, Celoxis’ data security practices set the highest standards in the industry. SaaS providers need to invest time, effort and money to provide customers the best in data security.
This is a guest blog by Theresa Wood. Theresa is a freelance technology writer specializing in area of data security. She has contributed to several technical publications, blogs and news websites over the last 6 years.
Celoxis is a comprehensive project management tool that helps companies streamline management of projects, time sheets, expenses and business processes, specific to their organization. Over the last decade, Celoxis has specialized in delivering improved collaboration and increased efficiency for teams of all sizes, both in SMB and Enterprise segments. To know more visit www.celoxis.com