SaaS or Cloud Service and Their Impact on Cybersecurity

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More and more businesses today are using SaaS or software as a service and cloud storage solutions. Software companies have shifted to offering their tools via a subscription model to pave way for larger storage options, faster updates, and improved accessibility. It also has a lower upfront cost and provides users with multiple functionalities. Undeniably, because of such perks, SaaS has become highly favored by companies. 

Besides SaaS tools, nowadays companies are more inclined to store their data in the cloud. Instead of setting up servers in their offices, they upload their files and whatnot in the cloud servers of their chosen provider. 

The sudden increase in demand for digital transformation has urged companies worldwide to make use of cloud services and SaaS apps. On top of that, the pandemic has pushed organizations to adopt flexible remote working arrangements. This current market has definitely contributed to the popularity and increased usage of the two digital tools.

With the help of such tools, employees get to access the tools they need online and share files with their fellow workmates or leaders. It’s seamless, affordable and practical.

However, it does come with some very worrying problems and concerns. There’s always the matter of your data’s safety and integrity. How does SaaS or cloud service impact cybersecurity? Learn more about it as you read on.

Key Cybersecurity Threats and Risks that come with using SaaS

SaaS is well known for the agility and flexibility that it provides to businesses. It’s growing more and more popular with an annual growth rate of 18 percent. However, these perks do come with risks, especially in the cybersecurity aspect. With data uploaded in the cloud, companies using SaaS solutions can be prone to cyber-attacks or data theft. 

Imagine if one employee writes a piece of material that contains sensitive information about his/her company data. Unfortunately, he or she fails to run by the IT department to check if the tool is safe for use. This can present issues if someone outside the organization gains access to the document used. 

The main issue in the scenario above doesn’t really concern the software used. In most cases, such tools are equipped with the necessary security features to safeguard data. Instead, the risk was caused by the employee failing to use the required SaaS application. 

Another threat that you need to look out for is the man-in-the-middle attacks. This is especially true if you make use of third party apps in conjunction with your SaaS tool.  In most cases, attackers target cloud storage and business email accounts.  

Are there Specific Threats in the APAC Region?

Since the dawn of the digital age, the world has been battling cybersecurity threats. In the APAC region, Palo Alto notes some key cybersecurity threats that need addressing this 2020. These include the following: 

  • There are plenty of threats to the 4G network and they haven’t been addressed until now. As more countries start rolling out trial 5G connection, the same issues are expected to plague internet users.
  • Data privacy is becoming more and more blurry. Countries are urged to pay more attention to personal data security.
  • The cloud and SaaS era has begun, and while many APAC countries have started adopting, some are still having a hard time adjusting.

Singapore is seen as a leader in cybersecurity in the APAC region. In an article published in ZDNet, the author notes that while Singapore is highly exposed to cybersecurity threats, the country is equipped to respond. The SG government has laid out plans and programs such as:

  •  Providing seed funding and assistance in the cybersecurity sector
  • Offering $30 million grant to companies in order to reinforce their security measures

In addition to the government’s efforts, organizations based in Singapore are ramping up their investment in fortifying their cybersecurity features.  

Both businesses and private individuals are highly encouraged to become more vigilant and attentive to dangerous cybersecurity risks such as:

  • Phishing – This is usually done through email. According to MSSP alert, around 90 percent of cyberattacks start from a phishing email. 

  • Data breaches – Organizations that store their data via cloud storage are often targets for data breaches. Data stored in SaaS tools can include customer details, payment transactions, and persona identifiable information. 
  • Malware injectionMalware attack is one of the most common cyber-attacks. It can be distributed via different methods including email, malicious online links, or through a physical storage device.
  • Cloud jackingAttackers often target cloud stooges. This is why it’s absolutely essential to double-check your cloud service provider before uploading any data or file. 
  • Cyberphysical attacksSynopsys says that cyber-physical attacks are on the rise because of the increased use of IoT devices. Experts recommend doing security tests before using a new IoT device.

Besides increasing one’s awareness of the various threats to cybersecurity, it’s also a huge must to know how to can protect yourself or the company.

How you can Protect yourself from Cybersecurity Threats

Any organization that uses SaaS or cloud storage services need to be wary of the dangers and risks involved. To avert disasters that can cause immense loss and data breaches, take note of the following cybersecurity management and protection tips: 

  • Train employees on basic cybersecurity principles – Teach them about the common risks involved in using cloud service or SaaS. It would also be helpful to create videos teaching your staff about how to identify emails containing spammy or malicious links.
  • Install a firewallWith a firewall in place, you get to screen people or network trying to access your network. Ask your IT professional set it up for your organization.
  • Secure wifi network – WiFi networks can be potentially used by attackers to steal information and access devices. See to it that your IT team secures the network before using it.
  • Backup essential dataAs much as possible, store this information in a physical device that only a limited number of people have access to.
  • Limit data access and use separate accounts per staff – This way you can readily trace data access and prevent unwanted breaches.
  • Make use of necessary tools to prevent cybersecurity attacksCoordinate with your IT staff and find out which tools are the best to use to prevent attacks.

Use of SaaS or Cloud Storage Sheds More Light on the Importance of Cybersecurity

Needless to say, the digital age shows no signs of slowing down. The pandemic has definitely pushed a lot of sectors to digitize their process and make use of available tech solutions such as cloud computing and storage and SaaS tools. 

To prevent issues, both companies and tech professionals need to level up their awareness, knowledge, and skills in cybersecurity. Take note of the main issues you need to look out for in your organization. Better yet, hire skilled cybersecurity professionals to help you secure your organization’s data.  

 

Dan Branchflower is the Associate Director – Technology at Datasearch Consulting, a leading executive recruitment firm specialising in the Cyber & Cloud Technology sectors.

You can download their FREE comprehensive guide on “The Complete Guide to Hiring Fintech & Data Talent – 5 Proven Steps to Secure the Best Candidates Possible” hereAlternatively you can view the Datasearch Consulting website or contact them directly on info@datasearchconsulting.com for a more detailed discussion.

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