On-premises IT security solutions are being bypassed by users of Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. CISOs should mitigate company risks by implementing a modern security approach that allows business users to do their jobs while maintaining data protection.
SaaS applications are on the rise, and they now account for the majority of cloud investment – According to Gartner’s research “worldwide public cloud end-user spending will grow 23% in 2021,” it forecasted that the segment will reach a total of US$122.6 billion in 2021. Many CISOs have altered their security strategies in response to the increased adoption of SaaS products, but others are still catching up. Businesses that rely on on-premises or network-based security controls are putting themselves in danger.
While software as a service (SaaS) is an excellent software distribution model with easy-to-use services that are fully installed and configured in the cloud, it comes with a number of challenges.
Decentralized IT demands business SaaS security and governance
Although shadow IT isn’t a new issue, the pandemic has pushed the adoption of SaaS applications that can be accessed outside of the enterprise. Even though many cloud providers provide IP whitelisting, the growing risk of employees connecting directly to the cloud and circumventing the office network emphasizes the need for security. In addition to the ramifications for data security, insufficient security might lead to compliance issues.
To address these concerns, IT professionals should explore a checks and balances approach that employs a cloud-ready IT architecture, establishes sound governance practices, and recognizes the shared duty with cloud providers. This makes it possible for business users to use the cloud safely and responsibly.
The following three suggestions can assist CISOs in providing more effective SaaS security to their organizations:
Facilitate the business with a modern IT structure
The first step is to assess risks and controls before migrating traditional security methods from on-premises to cloud-ready solutions. Endpoints outside the company network, for example, should be effectively protected utilizing cloud-native solutions that help enforce important security controls such as configuration management, patch management, and endpoint protection.
Furthermore, ensuring secure access to SaaS systems is critical. Before employees use cloud solutions, security features like access management, federation, multi-factor authentication, and other checks and balances must be in place.
Since employees need to connect to the cloud to improve their efficiency, cybersecurity should be a business enablement function. IT provides substantial business value by transferring security measures from local networks to the cloud.
To define excellent governance, assemble a diverse team
IT used to be in charge of setting up the IT infrastructure. Business owners are increasingly creating their own ecosystems and defining their own governance standards. CISOs can better secure their company’s valuable assets by putting together a team with experience in information technology, legal, security, compliance, and privacy to create enterprise governance rules. The team can adjust governance from a risk-based standpoint, producing detailed policies outlining the necessary checks and balances for authorizing new cloud solutions. Examine current processes to evaluate how SaaS solution reviews can be better integrated.
One thing to bear in mind is that SaaS suppliers standardize their offerings in order to appeal to a broad market, which businesses can take advantage of. Businesses should request security assurance documentation or certifications while evaluating cloud providers. Consider using standard material, such as that provided by the Cloud Security Alliance.
Understand the concept of shared responsibility
It’s vital to understand how security responsibilities are divided between the SaaS provider and the SaaS customer so that nothing gets lost in translation. The SaaS provider typically manages the underlying platform, while the SaaS consumer is responsible for functions such as user management, data, and application setup.
It’s crucial to remember that security is an integral part of IT’s business enablement mission. That is why it is vital for CISOs who have previously relied on on-premises security measures to upgrade and modernize existing security measures to reflect new realities, such as the widespread availability of SaaS solutions that business owners can get without IT oversight. Companies can ensure that users have access to the tools they require while also keeping data secure by implementing the appropriate checks and balances
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