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SaaS applications: Is it possible for enterprises to have full control over them

By Megana Natarajan - January 05, 2021 3 Mins Read

SaaS applications Is it possible for enterprises to have full control over them

Enterprise leaders acknowledge that SaaS platforms have become highly popular in organizations in recent years

CIOs say that all enterprises have implemented several SaaS applications that run Office 365, Zendesk, Jira, Slack, Salesforce, Zoom etc. All these are critical applications that form the core of operations at almost all organizations. Trying to run a business without these applications will not only be highly impossible but also complicated.

It is because SaaS applications were developed with the main aim to finish “stuff” at an easier and faster pace. It is done by constantly staying in contact, automation of marketing campaigns, billing of third parties and vendors, and collaboration despite the distance. Adopting SaaS applications has made operations, use case, and business in general, simplified for organizations.

Besides, SaaS applications are also highly scalable and support valuable time- and cost-saving advantages. This allows organizations to grow and conserve resources at the same time. In recent times due to high-profile cybersecurity attacks, these applications come with in-built native security measures to protect sensitive corporate information effectively.

Risks in complex SaaS landscape

CIOs point out that despite the vast advantages, SaaS platforms are embedded with risks. Platform developers have tried to solidify their security posture, despite that the enterprises using the platforms will experience some kind of a security breach. Such breaches are generally not due to security issues in the platforms. They are mainly due to misconfigurations present in the SaaS applications. As a result, it is the responsibility of the application owner and not the application vendor.

Organizations are often caught off-guard due to the misconfigurations in the SaaS applications. It is a critical responsibility that these applications are constantly configured. Things often fall through the cracks as there are many controls, policies, and settings to be tracked and managed. And also, gaining comprehensive visibility across the ecosystem is difficult to achieve.

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CIOs attribute the difficulty that enterprises face, in order to understand the operation across various operations to ensure that all configurations are set properly. They need to have a deep clarity of settings to understand the ins and outs of hundreds of services and enterprises, and be aware that any potential dependency and relationship can also be affected.

As SaaS applications have dozens of different user and security-related settings, maintaining them as an individual enterprise, is a complex process. This overwhelming landscape results in major security issues, potentially putting the enterprise at risk.

Can SaaS applications be secured with the help of an automatic approach?

CIOs acknowledge that it is impossible to configure hundreds of settings across each platform manually. Enterprises are required to adopt an automated approach when managing and handling SaaS application configurations to mitigate misconfigurations. Organizations don’t stand a real chance of gaining complete control of SaaS applications because they don’t have an automatic approach to maintaining security controls and settings.

The entire process of understanding which applications require security features, and making a note of each application’s specific process is in itself time consuming.  In addition, maintaining standard policies for all applications is too time-consuming and complicated too, and leaves almost room for oversight and mistakes.

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It is expected that human errors will fuel the majority of security and other issues in cloud-platforms. Thus it is imperative that enterprises ensure that proactive actions are taken, and things like SaaS misconfigurations don’t endanger the organization.


Megana Natarajan

Megana Natarajan is a Global News Correspondent with OnDOt Media. She has experience in content creation and has previously created content for agriculture, travel, fashion, energy and markets. She has 3.9 years’ experience as a SAP consultant and is an Engineering graduate.

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