Jan 11 – This year will bring new challenges and new opportunities in relation to SaaS security. As we move into the year, it’s becoming increasingly clear that SaaS organizations will need to take great care in implementing the processes, policies, tools and best practices that will prevent next-generation threats from disrupting the flow of business. In this article, we’ll discuss prominent issues related to SaaS security, explaining what they are and how to more effectively protect your business data.
1. Web application weaknesses. Web applications are at the center of the SaaS business model, and play a profound role in determining how an enterprise operates. Web applications commonly store customer data and other valuable business information.
Because SaaS applications are commonly multi-tenanted, applications need to be secure from the kinds of attacks where one customer attempts to break into the systems of another customer. Such attacks tend to rely on logic flaws, injection flaws or access control weaknesses.
Design and build secure web applications by using an automated vulnerability scanner in combination with routine pentesting. This can assist you in catching vulnerabilities as they’re introduced through the development cycle.
2. Misconfiguration mistakes. Glitches, gaps and errors can accidentally expose your cloud environment to risk. Engineers are typically tasked with ensuring that every setting, user role and permission complies with industry and company policy. However, misconfigurations can occur – and they’re also extremely difficult to detect and to manually remediate.
Mitigate risk by ensuring that you monitor external networks and pentest cloud infrastructure. This will help reveal issues related to misconfigured S3 buckets, permissive firewalls within VPCs, and overly permissive cloud accounts.
A vulnerability scanner can help reduce and monitor your attack surface by ensuring that only the services that need exposure to the internet are accessible.
3. Vulnerable software and patching. Although it may sound obvious, vulnerable software and patching are major issues that companies continue to contend with. If you’re self-hosting an application, ensure that the operating system and library security patches are applied shortly after they are rolled out. Vulnerability fixes and patching are continuous processes, as security vulnerabilities in operating systems and libraries are constantly being identified and solved for.
Use DevOps best practices and ephemeral infrastructure to make sure that your systems are always up-to-date with each patch release. In addition, be sure to monitor for new weaknesses that could be uncovered between patch releases.
One alternative to self-hosting is free (and paid) Serverless and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings that operate your application in a container. This takes care of operation system patching. However, the onus is on you to ensure that the libraries used by your service are kept up-to-date with security patches.
4. Weak internal security policies and practices. SaaS companies are often small, strategic and well-positioned for growth. Consequently, in the spirit of moving fast and breaking things, the security posture can prove poor. SaaS businesses are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Simple measures like two-factor authentication and cyber security awareness training for employees can significantly increase security.
Organizations should take care to enable two-factor or multi-factor authentication (2FA/MFA) wherever possible. Further, ensure that your teams understand how to recognize and avoid phishing emails.
If your organization needs to revise or upgrade its security strategy, be sure to attend Check Point’s upcoming CPX 360 event. Register here. In addition, reach out to an expert – here. Lastly, to receive cutting-edge cyber security news, best practices and resources in your inbox each week, please sign up for the CyberTalk.org newsletter.