Have you considered the impact a data breach could have on your organization? Most businesses think they do, and perhaps it’s a rather obvious question — a data breach will hurt your business tremendously from financial losses to customer credibility.
It doesn’t matter from which perspective you look at the question; as the owner, project manager or software developer of a SaaS solution, you want to assure the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of your data.
Acknowledging the importance and consequences of functional cybersecurity controls on your application is the most crucial step. Therefore, let’s break down the top cybersecurity tips for SaaS solutions based on industry best practices.
1. Design, Develop and Deploy Using Industry Accepted Standards
There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Follow standards and organizations applicable to your product. Applications and interfaces (API) should follow OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) best practices, their focus is on protecting applications at all stages, and they are widely accepted. Additionally, the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) provides guidelines and educational resources toward cloud security.
2. Formalized Data Security Policies and Classification
Data should be classified based on type, origin, context,legal constraints, value, sensitivity level, criticality to the organization,retention, and physical location — although it is supposed to be “in the cloud”, we all know that it is stored in a metal box somewhere in the world. Lastly, data policies and procedures should be created, approved and established.
3. Implement Strong Encryption Mechanisms
Ensure the protection of essential data in storage (e.g.,file servers, databases, and end-user workstations) and data in transmission(e.g., system interfaces, web interfaces, over public networks, and electronic messaging). The data security policy and procedures should include all the details related to the encryption implemented in your organization. Managing a disaster with security risk planning is a good part of encryption mechanisms.
4. Security Incident Management
There is no 100% assurance of a secure application, and companies get hacked more often than foreseen — hopefully, this won’t be your case. However, if it happens, you must be prepared. Formalize a procedure including Point of Contact (POC) of appropriate authorities to ensure compliance liaisons and that a proper forensic Chain of Custody is in place.Implement processes and technical measures to handle security-related event sand provide timely and accurate incident management operations. Ultimately, in some cases, information security events shall be reported promptly to appropriate legal entities and customers.
5. Perform Regular Information Security Risk Assessments
Information Security Risk Assessments (ISRA) services are designed to help you make informed decisions in ensuring that your business issecure and meets data security compliance requirements. Information Security Risk Assessments will help you understand your risk posture, address vulnerabilities and address arising risks and threats.
Ensure that all of your operations and applications are safe from security lapses, loopholes, and outside unauthorized intrusion. Running an information security risk assessment plays a crucial role in sustaining your SaaS solution overall security.
Maintaining a SaaS solution is a challenging experience at early stages. There is a lack of resources and funds, usually causing product security to go to the back line.
Begin by educating yourself following industry accepted guidelines and best practices. Having your SaaS application secured is as important as having it running.
Your customers are trusting you with their data, and it is an enormous responsibility to safeguard their information. Lastly, ensure that security controls are in place for all application stages — from design through deployment.