Known for their scalability and the ability to reduce operational and infrastructural expenditures, SaaS applications have revolutionized service delivery mechanisms. Businesses around the world are increasingly resorting to SaaS-based applications to run their organizations, offer services to their customers, collaborate with vendors and do more.
According to statistics, close to 64% of the organisations admit to lacking confidence in their cybersecurity postures. Close to 73% of the companies that deploy SaaS have a minimum of one major (read critical) security misconfiguration.
Not just that, SaaS applications are preferred by businesses for their security as massive volumes of confidential data can be stored on the cloud, away from the preys of hackers and intruders. Statistics also back that around 18.1% of the files that are uploaded to SaaS apps contain confidential data. Speaking of this, data loss and leakage also seem to be the two major concerns for SaaS users.
Ironically, not many companies are even aware of the fact that SaaS applications are vulnerable to online threats and attacks.
While the majority of such attacks are due to behavioural vulnerabilities, there’s no denying that SaaS applications are susceptible to major breaches.
In this blog, we are going to break down some of the most common types of threats SaaS applications are vulnerable to, so you can identify if you’re experiencing one of them and take corrective actions whenever required.
Let’s get started.
DDoS attacks are increasingly becoming prominent. In this, hackers or exploiters send massive volumes of service requests to a SaaS service provider. The requests are in such huge volumes that services crash or shut down.
They are also making use of loopholes in the devices connected to an IoT environment or network to cause damage to data or achieve their desired motive. If you’re wondering what a DDoS attack could possibly do by shutting down services for a while, well, they could cost companies millions or thousands of dollars.
Statistics show that around $1,000 to $10,000 are lost by businesses for every minute their services are shut down. This is apart from the scars such attacks leave on the reputation of a company. More complex attacks can also let hackers extract the credentials of users or help them gain access to confidential information.
Like you know, a SaaS portal houses a range of information including the most sensitive ones such as financial data (saved cards), customer details, intellectual properties and more. If the SaaS product is in the healthcare space, tons of personal data that is not de-identified yet also exist. Such data is always under cyber threats, where exploiters find vulnerabilities to gain access and exfiltrate the data.
Identity theft is one of the most plaguing security concerns in the SaaS space. For the uninitiated, identity theft happens when a person disguises as another person or assumes the identity of another person and accesses content or confidential information through illicit ways.
As far as SaaS applications are concerned, one could easily assume the identity of the actual account owner and initiate transactions from saved credit cards or credentials. Reports reveal that identity thefts were serious concerns in the year 2015 and that such instances were back during the pandemic.
To fight this, businesses are resorting to additional ways to verify users identity and details through layered encryption and validation techniques.
Account takeovers are another plaguing security concerns in the SaaS space, where the security credentials of an employee (or employees) is obtained to intrude into systems. This happens either through sophisticated phishing attacks or illegally purchasing data from dark web resources. These carefully-planned attacks let exploiters gain access to sensitive spaces and breach the integrity of underlying data.
This is one of the loopholes in security clauses. Most SaaS companies have offshore data centers, where they store the data of their users. Customers are often unsure of where their data is stored. Federal regulations and protocols also dictate terms, where the legalities associated with data sharing and handling are dependent on the country in which the data centre is located.
This means, if you’re using your SaaS app from a different country when you travel, the local protocol may let your SaaS business share your information with other vendors for commercial purposes.
Password-based attacks are probably the most common cybersecurity concerns with respect to SaaS applications and suites. And no , this is very different from password sharing we all indulge in of our preferred streaming services. Unlike this situation, password-specific attacks happen without the knowledge or authorization of a user.
To give you a better idea, there are three types of password-based attacks:
Regardless of whether you are a SaaS user or a manager in a company deploying SaaS products, follow these best practices to keep undesirable consequences at bay.