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Roadmap to Bulletproof SaaS Security

May 2, 2024 No Comments

The universal truth is that one problem can be solved in many ways. Multiple solutions introduce a dilemma of which solution to adopt. However, different solution implementations have different efficiency and performance benchmarks, and the comparison dilemma makes the solution adoption and utilization time-consuming.

In such a scenario, presenting the solution, enabling reusability, streamlining implementation, etc., are important. All these stages can feel alien, complex, and challenging for non-technical users. And this is where SaaS applications come to the rescue. They are bundled offerings with generic and reusable solutions. SaaS can be easily adopted, implemented, and integrated with minimal overhead. In this post, we will explore the subject of SaaS and its security in more detail.

SaaS Security Overview

Simplistic solution implementations with minimalistic efforts are the key identifiers of SaaS. A complex task can be solved easily by adopting SaaS. Businesses onboard multiple SaaS offerings to streamline and operationalize their business requirements. Multiple SaaS offerings enable operational efficiency, but often, they also introduce security vulnerabilities.

The third-party nature of SaaS makes them unreliable when privacy and security concerns are involved. Awareness about what is SaaS security and how to attain resilience with it is crucial for businesses. The criticality of SaaS security is very high. Vigilance and sophisticated security measures enablement must be the priority for businesses. This proactiveness helps protect businesses from SaaS security risks and vulnerabilities.

The Roadmap to SaaS Security

Successful security management requires contributions from both sides. While SaaS applications are equipped with standard security features, they shouldn’t stop users from implementing additional security aspects, irrespective of how advanced and safe the built-in SaaS security features are. When businesses don’t follow security and regulatory guidelines, vulnerabilities enter the system. Businesses applying or enabling the following security controls minimize security exposure tenfold.

Hardening the Access Controls

Weak access control management contributes to non-compliance and security breaches. Businesses enable access to every employee who is part of the team. These users are exposed to excess information, which can be personal or confidential. This is a security violation that should be avoided at all possible costs. In this case, identity and access management is the key. IAM is the gateway that enables access based on permission levels. It is a very crucial component in achieving bulletproof security.

When dealing with SaaS applications, IAM can become overwhelming with an increasing user base. Teams and individual users should not be allowed to access resources without valid approvals and reason. Every onboarded user should have the least privileged access. This ensures users have exactly the level of access they need to get the job done. Nothing more, nothing less. Also, it’s important that offboarded users are removed from the access groups without fail. If not, ex-employees or users can access critical systems and confidential information externally. Hardening the access controls increases security resilience.

Isolating the Resources

Cross-account and system accesses are the leading causes of data exposures. Generally, users need valid access to resources like files and systems. IAM abstracts the access controls and restricts the users from accessing information or systems. Users can find smart approaches to accessing sensitive data and systems when they can access internal computing or storage systems. These systems will typically have cross-account accesses enabled for administrative and operational purposes.

Users with access to internal processes can mask their identity to access confidential information. They can invoke super user commands and trigger administrative scripts through cross-accounts. To avoid these security loopholes, businesses must apply comprehensive security policies to isolate resources. In the case of every user – be it an individual or system – if their identifier or access token matches with the policy definition, only they have the privilege to operate on and manipulate the resources. Through resource isolation, the resources remain anonymous until queried. Also, system access should be enabled via system-generated access tokens.

Minimizing the Network Exposure

SaaS integrations are a common phenomenon. SaaS applications require control over resources and access to internal processes and data. This can be achieved through systems and storage integrations. When integrated SaaS applications excel at delivering value, businesses can focus on the integration part and neglect the risk involved. SaaS integration needs network ports to be exposed, and external network calls should have access to modify internal systems.

During enablement, businesses integrate their SaaS environment with the necessary permissions. However, they often don’t focus on disabling the ports and permissions that the SaaS does not require. This simple miss sometimes causes major breaches. The third-party nature of SaaS allows external vendors and dependencies to access resources through SaaS. If external dependency or library is modified with unsecured feature patches, exploiters can use these features to their advantage and implement security attacks. Bulletproof security can be achieved by minimizing port exposures with the enablement of compact network protocols.

Enabling Comprehensive Observability

Applying every known security best practice ensures SaaS applications are compliant and reliable. Irrespective of the implementation, human errors are common. System failures, network downtimes, and internal mishaps happen every now and then. The ability to oversee every interaction and get notified when the processes deviate is necessary to achieve a SaaS security posture. Enabling comprehensive monitoring features with curated alerting capabilities is very crucial. This enablement increases confidence levels in SaaS security and helps remediate security issues in a timely manner.


Security for SaaS is a shared duty and responsibility. Businesses must safeguard their data and access while the provider secures the infrastructure. SaaS security procedures must abide by security and regulatory standards. Ensuring limited access, resource isolation, network access minimization, and robust monitoring is key to SaaS security success.

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