Science & Technology

SaaS Risk Management 101

It’s easy to understand why enterprise Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) usage is booming; end-user spending globally is expected to increase by more than 40% to $170 billion in 2022. SaaS apps offer an agile, adaptable method to give employees the functionalities they need, when and when they need them, as businesses change to support new work paradigms.

The downside of this freedom is that SaaS app networks can expand quickly, outpacing the ability of IT personnel to keep track of them.

Companies run the risk of financial upheaval and security breaches if they can’t control their vast SaaS app networks. However, a lot of businesses neglect to effectively maintain SaaS software. The auditing and mitigating of SaaS risks appears to be a time and labour-intensive operation, which intimidates certain IT teams. In this article we will discuss saas risk management, so continue reading.

Others might not be aware of the dangers associated with SaaS apps and fail to allocate the necessary funds for their efficient management. The solutions put in place to reduce these risks are frequently insufficient since IT and security teams frequently have “blind spots” that can result in crucial oversights. This is true even when they take steps to manage and safeguard SaaS programmes.

Companies are at danger as a result of four major SaaS management issues. It’s critical for IT and security teams to comprehend these issues, assess how they differ from conventional solutions, and devise a plan to fix them. They will therefore be better prepared to fully enjoy the advantages of SaaS software.

The Major Challenges in SaaS Management

1. Data Overflow

SaaS apps can connect to one another fast to create a vast network, and data moves quickly from app to app. Since open APIs are so prevalent in well-known SaaS applications like Salesforce, practically any programme can interact with others in some way. While this is very practical, it also poses a serious risk to IT and security personnel. How do you ensure that sensitive data is secure if you don’t know where it is going or where it has been?

Employees who store data in unapproved locations lead to sprawl. If an employee insists on utilising Google Drive despite the fact that your firm utilises Box for storage, you’ll have a completely new data flow to handle — and that’s if the IT staff even knows about it.

2. Risks Related to Security and Configuration

SaaS apps include a lot of settings and customizations since they are very customizable. Sadly, this means that apps may be improperly designed and endanger important data held by businesses. IT teams frequently put a lot of effort into getting every configuration precisely perfect at launch, but over time, regular use frequently causes settings to change. SaaS app misconfigurations, in a sense, are a day two issue, despite the fact that it’s natural to believe that the hardest work is finished by day 1.

Misconfiguration of apps can have serious implications, and it’s a common problem. According to a recent Cloud Security Alliance survey, up to 63% of firms suffered a security incident due to SaaS misconfiguration in the previous year. In the worst instance, the incorrect settings may expose private information to the public. Additionally, each licence must be correctly set up with the appropriate privileges. The risk of insider threat increases dramatically if lower-level employees are granted admin-level permissions, as does the possibility of well-meaning staff inadvertently using admin credentials.

3. Ineffective and Excessive SaaS Spending

Small ongoing expenses mount up over time because most SaaS licences operate on a subscription basis. Every year, a large number of businesses waste large sums of money on SaaS licences that are either unauthorised or unnecessary, and frequently they are completely unaware of this.

As was already established, shadow SaaS is a substantial expense for many businesses, but even legitimate SaaS software can result in unforeseen costs. Due of compartmentalised decision-making, businesses frequently grant licences for many apps that have the same function. Admins are also prone to making mistakes due to human error, such as granting licences to employees who don’t need them or aren’t permitted to use them, duplicating licences, and failing to cancel licences linked to former employees.

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