Did you know that companies used an average of 130 SaaS apps in 2022, an increase of 18% over 2021? This staggering statistic underscores the monumental shift businesses have made toward cloud-based solutions. This shift is driven by the promise of flexibility, scalability, and the ability to access critical business tools from anywhere in the world.
From customer relationship management to financial accounting, SaaS applications are becoming the backbone of modern enterprises. However, with this growing reliance comes a pressing responsibility: ensuring the security of access to these applications. As businesses integrate more SaaS tools into their operations, the importance of safeguarding access to these platforms cannot be overstated.
The Risks of Not Securing SaaS Apps Access
SaaS applications are like a treasure chest of company secrets. But if left unguarded, cybercriminals see them as prime targets. A breach doesn’t just mean data loss. Like a stain on your company’s image, clients and stakeholders second-guess their trust in you. Moreover, the financial implications of a breach, from regulatory fines to litigation costs, can be crippling.
Beyond the threat of external hackers, there’s also the risk of unauthorized internal access. Imagine the chaos if unhappy employees, contractors, or even business partners sneak into applications they’re not supposed to. This isn’t just about unauthorized access; it’s about potential data tampering, theft, or corporate spying. It’s essential to make sure only the right people can access specific SaaS applications to keep business operations smooth and trustworthy.
Many industries are bound by strict regulatory standards that dictate how data should be handled and protected. Industries like healthcare, finance, and e-commerce have strict data protection rules. Not properly securing SaaS applications can lead to breaches of these regulations. Such oversights can land businesses in legal trouble and lead to significant fines and penalties.
Mastering SaaS Management: Best Practices for a Secure and Efficient Workflow
Centralize All Apps with a SaaS Management Tool
The proliferation of SaaS applications within an organization can lead to a fragmented IT landscape. Various departments often use distinct tools, and employees can have diverse access privileges. Without a unified system, overseeing these applications can be overwhelming. And here comes the power of a SaaS management tool.
- Unified Dashboard: This feature gives IT managers a comprehensive overview of software subscriptions, user access, and usage trends.
- Streamlined Operations: With all applications centralized, IT teams can more efficiently handle tasks such as provisioning new software, revoking access, or renewing subscriptions. This not only saves time but also reduces the chances of oversight or errors.
- Enhanced Security: Centralization means that there’s a single point of control for all SaaS applications. This makes it easier to enforce security protocols, monitor for suspicious activities, and ensure that only authorized personnel have access to specific tools.
- Cost Management: A centralized tool like Josys can provide insights into software utilization. By analyzing which tools are underutilized or redundant, businesses can make informed decisions about software renewals, potentially saving significant amounts in subscription costs.
- Simplified Compliance: A centralized SaaS management tool can assist in maintaining compliance records, tracking data access, and ensuring that industry-specific regulations are adhered to.
Discovering Shadow IT
Shadow IT refers to the use of IT systems, devices, software, applications, and services without explicit IT department approval. It has emerged as a byproduct of employees seeking more efficient or familiar tools than what’s provided by their organization. Now, the question is, “Why is Shadow IT a concern?”
- Lack of Oversight: Since shadow IT operates outside the purview of the IT department, there’s no oversight or monitoring. This means potential vulnerabilities or breaches might go unnoticed.
- Data Security: Unauthorized tools might not adhere to the company’s security standards, leading to potential data breaches.
- Compliance Issues: Shadow IT can lead to violations of industry regulations, especially if sensitive data is stored or processed using these unsanctioned tools.
Role of SaaS Management Tools in Managing Shadow IT
Visibility: Tools like Josys provide IT departments with a comprehensive view of all software and hardware assets, making it easier to spot unauthorized tools.
Centralized Control: By centralizing the management of all SaaS applications, IT can ensure that only approved tools are in use.
Automated Alerts: Advanced SaaS management platforms can send alerts when unauthorized software is detected, allowing for swift action.
Setting Appropriate Permissions
As businesses expand and change, it’s vital to make sure only authorized individuals access the appropriate tools. That’s when role-based access control (RBAC) becomes essential.
Best Practices for Assigning Permissions
- Define Clear Roles: Before assigning permissions, have clear definitions of each role within the organization and their software needs.
- Regular Reviews: Periodically review and update permissions, significantly when employees change roles or new software is introduced.
- Use Templates: For typical roles, create permission templates in tools like Josys to streamline the onboarding process.
Gaining Visibility into User Usage
Within the extensive world of SaaS applications, it’s key to know how your team engages with these platforms. This understanding not only sheds light on productivity but is also a cornerstone of maintaining security.
The Need for Monitoring and Analytics
- Behavioral Insights: By tracking how users interact with SaaS applications, businesses can identify patterns, optimize workflows, and even detect potential security threats.
- Optimization: Understanding which tools are frequently used and which aren’t can help in resource allocation, ensuring that investments are directed towards truly beneficial software.
- Security Alerts: Anomalies in user behavior, such as accessing data at odd hours or downloading large volumes of data, can be red flags for potential security breaches.
How Tools Like Josys Enhance Visibility
- Comprehensive Dashboards: Josys offers a centralized view of all software and hardware assets, allowing IT managers to monitor user interactions easily.
- Custom Reports: Generate detailed reports on user activity, software utilization, and more, aiding in decision-making and security assessments.
- Real-time Monitoring: With real-time tracking, any suspicious activity can be instantly detected and addressed.
Scheduling Deprovisioning for Exiting Employees
One of the often overlooked aspects of SaaS security is ensuring that former employees no longer have access to company tools and data.
Risks of Not Deprovisioning Access
- Data Theft: Former employees with lingering access might steal or misuse company data, either for personal gain or out of malice.
- License Costs: Keeping ex-employees on your SaaS platforms might lead to unnecessary costs in terms of licenses and subscriptions.
- Reputation Damage: If a former employee causes harm using their access, it can lead to reputational damage and potential legal consequences.
Steps for Systematic Deprovisioning
- Immediate Action: As soon as an employee exits, their access to all SaaS applications should be revoked.
- Checklists: Maintain a checklist for IT managers to ensure that all accounts, data, and permissions related to the existing employee are addressed.
- Automate the Process: Tools like Josys can automate the de-provisioning process, ensuring that no steps are missed, and access is revoked promptly.
In today’s interconnected world, with businesses leaning more on SaaS applications, the need for strong security is paramount. From grasping the hidden threats of shadow IT to making sure the right individuals access the appropriate tools, businesses need to stay ahead and be proactive.
Tools like Josys play a pivotal role in this landscape, offering comprehensive solutions that not only enhance productivity but also fortify security. In this ever-evolving digital age, staying ahead of potential threats and optimizing operations is the key to success.Sign up for a demo of Josys today.