How SaaS Businesses Should Secure Their User Data Online

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Do you know that data is the currency of the digital age? The data you personally send forward on the internet is extremely valuable to someone. Companies let users try out the services for free because the users are paying them in the precious currency of data. According to a survey of 5,000 consumers by Western Digital, the value of an average consumer’s data is £3,241.

Men value their personal data more, which has the value of £4,174 on their data, compared to £3,109 for women. Of course, nobody wants to sell their data and our personal stories are priceless to us users. Advertisers are looking for this data and they are more than willing to pay a good price in exchange.

Financial Times reported that on an average, an advertiser will pay $2 per 1000 user data or more. The more intimate and confidential the information, the pricier it is. Tech experts think that this data currency can make or break many ties and help shape a new world order.

For SaaS businesses, this data is everything. SaaS model relies on data at one level or another, that’s why it’s crucial to protect the sensitive data provided by users to run your business. It’s not the time to ignore the topic of data security and invest in other resources to win from the competition. Today’s user puts it all on the web for the SaaS company they trust, and you should protect that. Privacy is a right of everyone, and even governments are taking measures to make it a part of the constitution at some level.

Mentioned ahead are some of the ways to safeguard your data online when using SaaS service:

Develop a strategy

The best way to begin protecting your data is by compiling a solid security strategy. SaaS apps in the cloud can be protected by a strong framework which is protected by many layers of security. You should educate your employees about the importance of data security and train the IT staff to tackle data-related issues on an emergency basis. Be it everyday functions on the network or CRM pipeline testing with the sales team, write down the probable causes of risks when running any application on the network.

Moreover, identify security controls on an enterprise level, determine the risks which can bring down your data security and then understand how you can mitigate those risks in the organization. When you compile the strategy, make sure you dedicate specific roles to your employees so that everyone knows their responsibility if an incident occurs.

There is a growing demand for SaaS based apps and services, and it can be properly met when both the service provider and business unit is collaborating to play their part for greater security. It is not the job of one individual to keep checks on the systems. Sometimes, data is leaked through careless employees or stolen devices. Make a list of best practices and launch endpoint security which can seal off any accounts that have been compromised.

Analyze the risks

Your IT team and any service provider should work together to constantly analyze the risks to the services from any source. For example, there should be controls to set up protection around some of the most common bugs and malware interrupting the apps.

Malware, phishing and passwords are the most common sources where a cyber miscreant tries their luck to gain access into a system. Establish an equilibrium between apparent risks and productivity levels in the company. Test your software and check if they are updated and prepared to deal with lapses as suggested by the information security experts. Don’t use manual test cases, go for automation testing.

Automation should be integrated into the overall lifecycle, and not a “test automation” silo. Test planning, design, scenario creation, test data planning are all part of basic steps of Quality lifecycle. If each one is handled in silo the result is automation becomes an overhead that drags us instead of giving us speed. Of course, it’s easier said than done, but it’s important to break the cycle of “manual test cases feeding to automation”.

The information security experts in your company can guide you on scenarios that can occur in your system and hijack the database. Devise a plan while keeping these risks in mind so you can propagate the same strategy to non-IT staff and train them.

Security experts tell you about the strongest malware interrupting the systems or a known bug which is threatening the functionality of apps in your niche. Keeping these scenarios in mind, you and your security team can protect critical information.

Monitoring and controls

Your SaaS service will run smoothly if you implement strong controls for everyone in the company. No one should be excluded from this practice, not even the doorman. There are identity and risk management practices, application controls, data controls and controls which guard logging in. A healthy and strict combination of these controls will prove to be helpful in strengthening security.

The first layer of control is handled by tightening the access controls. When a user has signed into your app, you can use several service providers to enforce controls during access such as multifactor authentication.

These controls can help maintain only trustworthy access and enables more and more users to use your app or service. Identity management can be dealt from within the organization for in-house employees and external identity providers can tackle the non-employee cases. However, many companies are looking for a hybrid model which can cater to both users.

Last word

The SaaS delivery model for every type of application can offer higher efficiency, control, and credibility if the security controls are intact and under constant monitoring. The risks are lowered and a healthy collaborative environment is born due to added security within the company. Keep in mind the best practices mentioned above and consult with a team of information security experts who can guide you about the looming risks to your type of systems. This will enhance your service structure and make it safe for your users to interact with your apps.

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