The key to effective SaaS Asset Management
17 March 2022

Increasing levels of remote work and the accompanying migration to the cloud has seen a renewed emphasis on data protection, proactive threat monitoring and IAM (Identity & Access Management). The last 2 years have solidly established the fact that the cloud is inescapable. Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions have taken centre stage since the start of the pandemic. SaaS offerings are easy to set up and usually don’t require a significant investment of IT resources to provision.

SaaS applications such as Google Workspace, Slack, Zoom or HubSpot have become mainstays in many organisations. However just like any other asset a business has, SaaS applications and the assets within them must be managed. Access and permission to those applications must be controlled and managed according to strict security policies in order to prevent the creation of vulnerabilities that can be exploited. Enter “Unmanaged SaaS”.

Any business asset that is unmanaged poses significant security risk to a business, and a SaaS asset or an asset that is stored in the cloud is no different, but they do come with unique considerations.

  1. As we’ve explored in a previous article, the service provider you choose determines the features available to manage the asset life cycle and, more specifically, what security options are available. It is important to understand where their responsibilities end so you know where yours begin. Part of “Unmanaged Assets” is not having vetted the SaaS service provider accordingly.
  2. Shadow IT is the use of information technology systems, devices, software, applications, and services without explicit IT department approval. It has grown exponentially in recent years with the adoption of cloud-based applications and services. This means that your data may be exposed to applications you have no idea exist within your network.
  3. Your SaaS applications may have to interact with external parties or software. Unmanaged SaaS increases the security risk of such interactions. Malicious actors may see SaaS solutions as a way to bypass traditional security controls such as firewalls and data loss prevention products.

The first step to managing you SaaS assets is to build up an inventory of all of the SaaS solutions that are in use at your organization and ensure that all SaaS solutions are reviewed and approved prior to use. You can assess the data within each SaaS solution and determine whether it affects confidentiality, integrity, or availability then create an asset risk score. This will allow you to prioritize how you manage the SaaS assets according to the relevant risk associated with each one.

The success of any cloud security strategy is dependent upon the foundation of a reliable and robust identity and access management strategy. For instance, your cloud subscriptions must be integrated with your identity provider so that you always know who logs into your SaaS applications.

Unmanaged SaaS assets increase the likelihood of the misconfiguration of permissions which is part of what Gartner predicts will cause 99% of cloud breaches. Netskope security posture management for SaaS assesses the security configurations of your cloud subscriptions and suggests improvements. It tracks improvement over time and generates the evidence required to demonstrate good cloud governance to auditors for example.

While the cloud can be more secure than your data centre, the defaults often aren’t. The idea of plug and play technologies should not lead organisations to believe that securing them is also a case of plug and play. Today’s cybersecurity requires organisations to be proactive even when automating systems, and the same systems should be configured to be proactive rather than reactive.

And so it is through the implementation of these best practices and industry leading technologies that your company can gain greater confidence in the robustness of its security posture.

Would you like to explore cybersecurity solutions for your enterprise? Why not speak to us at DataGroupIT where our network of professionals can help identify the perfect cybersecurity roadmap for your unique needs.

About DataGroutIT

DataGroupIT is Africa’s leading Value-Added Distributor (VAD). By partnering with the best selection of established and emerging technology vendors across the globe, we, provide complex solutions for any size business, including Enterprise and SME markets across the African continent.

Our product portfolio offers comprehensive solutions for IT Security, Infrastructure and Enterprise Software.

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Post by: DGITUser
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