SaaS and Cloud migration adoption has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 crisis. However, migrating to their environments comes at the cost of cybersecurity. The risk can impact the attempt at eliminating vulnerabilities in an interconnected intelligent enterprise environment.
The COVID-19 crisis has forced enterprises to quickly pivot to digitization. This means enterprises have to connect their critical applications that include transferring valuable customer data, personally identifiable information (PII), to cloud environments in order to stay in the game.
But, as more business operations began to depend on the cloud, enterprises have started to lose visibility into the interconnected world of applications. And one of the most significant drawbacks of an interconnected environment is one misconfigured system or security risks that can put the entire enterprise at risk.
It is creating a lot of stress on cybersecurity, IT, development as well as audit teams to understand what applications and services are supporting critical business processes, their interdependence on each other, and how small changes can disrupt the security, compliance and availability of the enterprise infrastructure.
As the remote work-model is set to be here for a long time, enterprises must focus on the few areas that help them understand, and mitigate the risks.
Combined with a steady increase in the consumption of cloud services and APIs, Digital transformation has streamlined the integration and connection of two or more different systems from different vendors.
APIs streamline the integration of business applications, but they also are responsible for developing complex workflows and processes built on complex underlying technological infrastructure.
Seamlessly introducing customization can create all types of vulnerabilities that impact areas such as integrations, authentication, encryption, auditing user authorization and much more.
Therefore CISO must thoroughly evaluate the infrastructure and get a deeper understanding of underlying technologies. The next step is crafting an asset map that includes cloud and on-premise assets to get insights on all applications and how the respective data is being transferred.
Staying on top of user privileges
Access control and authorization are the pillars of risk management and internal controls of an enterprise. Understanding who has access to what and Segregation of Duties (SoD) are essential to ensure critical functions are spread across various departments to mitigate any risks of frauds or errors.
As enterprises shift applications from on-premises to cloud ecosystem and departments integrate SaaS applications outside of IT’s purview, it becomes difficult to track the accuracy of privilege accounts.
Since some processes in an application span across multiple applications, it is critical for IT teams to correlate users for effective control over authorizations and SoD. Furthermore, enterprises can combat the complexity level by opting for technology that provides a holistic view of user activity between applications.
Gartner has recently revealed that it is projecting a substantial increase in data privacy regulations – from 10% of the world in 2020 to 65% in 2023. This can pose a great challenge for enterprises that are running their operations in increasingly interconnected on-premise, cloud-based, and SaaS applications that are being increasingly regulated for ensuring PII and the protection of financial data. Also, as different departments have begun to use SaaS applications, it is becoming complex for audit teams to manually perform compliance checks.
By opting for automation, enterprises can simplify and streamline the cumbersome audit processes and intelligently analyze connections between various applications, to get a complete sense of compliance errors. Also, having a thorough understanding will help them fix them and push the enterprises to reach a level of continuous compliance.
SaaS and cloud applications play a significant role in digital transformation and assure the efficiency of the workforce, irrespective of their location. However, these applications can also be an enterprise with significant security and compliance risks. As enterprises began to push towards SaaS, they must focus on the above fundamentals for mitigating cybersecurity risks, enhance their infrastructure, and keep following the required regulations.