Application Visibility Is The Solution For SaaS Security

According to Okta’s Business at Work report, the average business rolls out 88 applications per year, up from 72 in 2016. Security teams inundated with software-as-a-service (SaaS) products are struggling to get the full scope of which applications can interact with what data. Newly established data access points ostensibly upgrade everyday network transparency but can harbor malicious activity. These kinds of breaches are spreading in the business world, and account for many recent news-making hacking fiascos. Some organizations deny culpability because external servers actually house SaaS applications, but it’s no excuse for lack of visibility into overall system security.

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Beyond posing a challenge in complexity to corporate security and IT teams, SaaS applications endanger sensitive data when employees intermingle professional and personal accounts. Staff are rendered myopic by these shadowy IT hazards, and they muddy the waters when it comes to identifying threats to individual users. Those targeted have a higher chance of falling victim to a long-term phishing campaign aiming to collect and monetize data.

A business without in-house cloud security expertise can contract an MSSP to educate its workforce on visibility practices, and to gain access to the safeguarded programming that will enable broader adoption. "Organizations should invest in workload security microsegmentation, as well as identity and access solutions that are built into their cloud stacks, rather than bolted on after the fact," said Rick McElroy, Principal Cybersecurity Strategist at VMware Carbon Black. The rapid advancement of network performance management software has allowed businesses to keep a finger on the pulse of virtual enterprise stability.

Application affordability concerns often lead to riskier decisions. The best bargains may boast convenience and popularity, but applications without end-to-end encryption are ripe for data harvesting. Due diligence is in order if data transparency and security are of any importance to the buyer/user. The proper vetting of the technology employed by a particular application creates more realistic expectations of said application’s potential for increased visibility.

Casting a wider net for application adoption is another non-starter for digital security. A diverse stable of SaaS solutions may seem like an attractive prospect, but this often exposes the naivete of IT staff in dealing with myriad security solution philosophies amid a sea of incompatible programs. Organizations thinking in terms of consolidation will have the most success; some uniformity of application preference provides a consistency that spurs an IT department’s comprehension of security protocols and gives an accurate valuation of visibility.

Dual solution technology combining performance and security fixes is fundamental to SaaS clarity. Unfortunately, many businesses are only made aware of application security weaknesses when playing catch up after a major breach. Guarding SaaS environments must become a precaution, not a reaction, that’s a normal step in the software development lifecycle.