SaaS Security Best Practices For Small Business

PublisherSol Minion Developmenthttps:https://assets.solminion.co/logo.svgPublished Small Business cybersecuritydata securityassessment

More and more small businesses have moved their software into “the cloud” in the form of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. Securing data that resides in the cloud can be confusing, as there are myths around both sides of SaaS security -- that it’s more or less secure than software run on company servers. So, what are some SaaS security best practices for small businesses?

Myths Around Cybersecurity and SaaS Applications

Myth 1: SaaS Applications Are Already Protected From Hackers

Companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce, and QuickBooks must have all the latest technology and protection against hackers, right? While that is most likely true, there are still real vulnerabilities that you and your employees need to know.

Here are some SaaS vulnerabilities:

  • Getting Cut Off From Your Data: This is often a temporary inconvenience, but hackers can take down your services when they go after a cloud provider like Amazon or Rackspace. They may also target your own access to the internet through a DDoS attack (flooding your router with more traffic than it can handle).
  • Hackers Getting Access To Your Data: The biggest vulnerability to any data is humans. Through Phishing schemes and social engineering, all hackers need is for one person to let them in.
  • Data Backups and Responsibility: Businesses believe that their data is backed up and safe. The vulnerability is hackers downloading that data. Once they have it, they can sell it to other bad actors or use it to access your customers’ personal information. Then the battle of lawyers begins over who bears responsibility for protecting and backing up that data.

Myth 2: SaaS Applications Are More Vulnerable To Hackers

We are probably past these concerns. When SaaS first started to grow and businesses started to learn what "cloud" meant, there was naturally concern that storing sensitive information off-site, outside of the company’s network, made that data more vulnerable. The fact of the matter is that these companies deploy world-class security measures. But that also doesn’t mean they don’t get breached.

With billions of users and their data, SaaS platforms are a natural target for hackers. Even the biggest of them have had security incidents, including Salesforce, Zoom, and Citrix. Overall, though, security in most large SaaS applications is very secure -- except for one huge vulnerability.

The Biggest Threat To SaaS Applications

The single largest threat to your SaaS software is -- you. And your people. The truth is, 100% of security breaches are due to human error. So, what can you do to protect your SaaS applications and your sensitive data? Here are our suggestions.

  1. Strong Passwords: Use a good password manager like LastPass or, our favorite, Bitwarden. They’ll ensure that you keep up with best practices, like complex, non-English word passwords. They also make it easier to have unique passwords for all of your applications.

  2. Multifactor Authentication: Whenever your SaaS application has the option, enable Multifactor Authentication. This means it will require a randomly generated code to sign in, accessible only through your user’s phone or email.

  3. Data Encryption: It’s hard to imagine a SaaS application not encrypting data, but keep an eye out for the “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP”. Also, applications should never store passwords in plain text. If they send you your password as text rather than a reset link, then it’s not secure.

  4. Training: If humans are the number one vulnerability, then training them is the solution. As part of your cybersecurity plan, put together regular training to help your team identify threats, react to them, and start recovering any lost data.

  5. Cybersecurity Planning: Our opinion is that cybersecurity needs to be part of your company’s DNA. Include it in your planning sessions and your regular meetings, and have a good plan in place to Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover from any threats, including those within your SaaS apps.

Protect Your Business

With small businesses relying so heavily on SaaS solutions, it is important to have the proper cybersecurity best practices in place to ensure that sensitive data -- both yours and your customers’ -- remains safe and protected. By training your team on these best practices, you can continue to use cloud services with confidence.

Have questions about integrating multiple SaaS applications into one cohesive system while staying secure? Contact us today.