Blog
February 20, 2024

Using Saas Apps Securely: 6 Best Practices to Keeping Data Safe

Learn how to protect your sensitive data stored in apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and GitHub. Understand the challenges and best practices for mitigating threats, and explore how Metomic can simplify your SaaS data security management.

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Key Points:

  • SaaS applications have become integral to the workplace in 2023, and many companies simply could not function without them.
  • Making sure these apps are secure is key to locking down your sensitive data, and avoiding costly data leaks or breaches.
  • The right solution could help your team stay productive with the use of SaaS apps, and protect sensitive data that may be stored within apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and GitHub.

What is SaaS security and why is it important?

SaaS security is the set of practices, technologies, and policies implemented to protect SaaS applications, and the data stored within them. With organisations using over 130 apps on average, according to BetterCloud, the modern workplace would be unlikely to survive without the use of SaaS applications, so putting security measures in place is vital.

Most SaaS applications store data such as customer information, financial records, and intellectual property. Ensuring the security of this data is imperative as data leaks or breaches could lead to reputational and financial repercussions that leave lasting effects on the organisation. Business could also be hugely disrupted if your SaaS applications were compromised, leading to a loss in revenue.

If your organisation needs to comply with regulations such as GDPR, PCI DSS, or HIPAA, this will extend to your SaaS applications, and you’ll need to put strict measures in place to make sure you’re working in line with regulatory requirements. Otherwise, you could face hefty fines and unwanted press attention, as well as a loss of customer trust.

How secure are SaaS apps?

SaaS applications are only as secure as the person using them. While they often come with standards such as SOC 2 compliance and ISO certifications, the data within these applications isn’t often secured at the data layer, leaving sensitive information susceptible to being leaked.

Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to stop an employee copying and pasting information, or even screenshotting information, whether they have malicious intent or not. Standard SaaS security cannot prevent this, but data security tools, such as Metomic, can help you educate your team on best practices, helping you to build a human firewall of security-conscious individuals who can protect your data in SaaS applications.

*Keep in mind that any data stored in SaaS apps will be under the provider’s jurisdiction as it is stored on their server. Therefore, you must ensure that it’s protected while it’s in their control.

Bigger security providers such as Microsoft or Google will be very stringent when it comes to security measures, as they will want to protect their reputation, and they have the budgets to be able to invest in tighter security measures.

All SaaS providers will have some sort of security in place, whether it’s multi-factor authentication (MFA), strict access controls, and/or training materials for your team. However, users play a significant role in securing SaaS environments, and should always ensure security settings are configured correctly for their organisation.

What are the challenges faced with SaaS apps and data breaches?

There are a number of challenges faced when it comes to SaaS apps, and keeping them protected from the impact of data breaches.

Here are a few you might come up against:

  1. Human Error: As we’ve already mentioned, users are responsible for many of the challenges that can come up when using SaaS apps. For example, this could be oversharing data with other team members, not enabling MFA or falling victim to phishing scams that can see the organisation compromised.
  2. Data Compliance: If your data is stored in another country, you may be in breach of data regulations that you should be complying with. You’ll need to ensure the data residency laws are in line with the requirements of your country.
  3. Data Backups: If data isn’t backed up regularly by your SaaS app provider, you may suffer the effects of data loss if your SaaS environment were to be compromised. Not only can this cause huge problems if customer data is leaked, it can also prevent your business from operating while data is missing.
  4. Financial, Legal and Reputational Consequences: Carrying out your due diligence on your SaaS provider is key, as any data breach will carry hefty financial, legal, and reputational consequences for your organisation, including a loss of revenue and customer trust.

You’ll need to take a holistic approach to SaaS security to combat these challenges by running regular risk audits, configuring strong access controls, employee training, and encryption.

What best practices should security teams put in place to best mitigate threats?

Security teams can struggle with Shadow IT - employees using apps that haven’t been approved by the company. This can be a big problem, especially if security teams don’t have visibility into the sensitive data that is being shared, or the security risks that come with it.

Here are 6 best practises to mitigate these type of threats:

1. Endpoint Security

Endpoint security can be a good solution for this but with a remote team, mobile device management can only be carried out with the right infrastructure in place.

2. Employee Education

Getting your team to care about security is crucial. Continuous training via real-time employee notifications can help teams to understand where they may be going wrong within the context of their role.

3. Robust and Clear Security Policies

You should also create a clear security policy that employees should be briefed on regularly, and MFA should be implemented across your entire SaaS stack. Ensure you have strict access controls in place so that sensitive data is not accessed by unauthorised individuals.

4. Due Diligence

Do your due diligence on any new SaaS providers, and ensure your security teams are involved in the conversation to understand how information is processed, stored, and secured. Before you sign any contracts with them, you should have a clear understanding of their security standards and practices.

5. Regular Risk Assessments

Risk assessments should be carried out to uncover any vulnerabilities you’ll need to address and penetration testing can help identify any weaknesses too. Once you understand the risks you’re dealing with, you can understand how to mitigate them.

6. Compliance

Finally, ensure that everything you do is in line with compliance requirements, otherwise you could face severe penalties that could impact your business.

By implementing these best practices, security teams can enhance an organisation's overall data security posture and better mitigate threats in an ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape.

How can Metomic help keep your data safe?

Metomic helps you protect your sensitive data in SaaS applications like Slack, Jira, and Microsoft Teams. With one-click API integration, you can start scanning for sensitive data in just a few clicks.

We’ll help you understand where data is stored, who can access it, and how much of a risk it poses to your business.

Ben Van Enckevort, Chief Technology Officer at Metomic, says:

“Metomic helps bring all your SaaS apps together in one unified platform, making it easier to manage all of your security settings.”

See how digital healthcare provider Numan used Metomic to educate their team on security awareness.

Key Points:

  • SaaS applications have become integral to the workplace in 2023, and many companies simply could not function without them.
  • Making sure these apps are secure is key to locking down your sensitive data, and avoiding costly data leaks or breaches.
  • The right solution could help your team stay productive with the use of SaaS apps, and protect sensitive data that may be stored within apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and GitHub.

What is SaaS security and why is it important?

SaaS security is the set of practices, technologies, and policies implemented to protect SaaS applications, and the data stored within them. With organisations using over 130 apps on average, according to BetterCloud, the modern workplace would be unlikely to survive without the use of SaaS applications, so putting security measures in place is vital.

Most SaaS applications store data such as customer information, financial records, and intellectual property. Ensuring the security of this data is imperative as data leaks or breaches could lead to reputational and financial repercussions that leave lasting effects on the organisation. Business could also be hugely disrupted if your SaaS applications were compromised, leading to a loss in revenue.

If your organisation needs to comply with regulations such as GDPR, PCI DSS, or HIPAA, this will extend to your SaaS applications, and you’ll need to put strict measures in place to make sure you’re working in line with regulatory requirements. Otherwise, you could face hefty fines and unwanted press attention, as well as a loss of customer trust.

How secure are SaaS apps?

SaaS applications are only as secure as the person using them. While they often come with standards such as SOC 2 compliance and ISO certifications, the data within these applications isn’t often secured at the data layer, leaving sensitive information susceptible to being leaked.

Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to stop an employee copying and pasting information, or even screenshotting information, whether they have malicious intent or not. Standard SaaS security cannot prevent this, but data security tools, such as Metomic, can help you educate your team on best practices, helping you to build a human firewall of security-conscious individuals who can protect your data in SaaS applications.

*Keep in mind that any data stored in SaaS apps will be under the provider’s jurisdiction as it is stored on their server. Therefore, you must ensure that it’s protected while it’s in their control.

Bigger security providers such as Microsoft or Google will be very stringent when it comes to security measures, as they will want to protect their reputation, and they have the budgets to be able to invest in tighter security measures.

All SaaS providers will have some sort of security in place, whether it’s multi-factor authentication (MFA), strict access controls, and/or training materials for your team. However, users play a significant role in securing SaaS environments, and should always ensure security settings are configured correctly for their organisation.

What are the challenges faced with SaaS apps and data breaches?

There are a number of challenges faced when it comes to SaaS apps, and keeping them protected from the impact of data breaches.

Here are a few you might come up against:

  1. Human Error: As we’ve already mentioned, users are responsible for many of the challenges that can come up when using SaaS apps. For example, this could be oversharing data with other team members, not enabling MFA or falling victim to phishing scams that can see the organisation compromised.
  2. Data Compliance: If your data is stored in another country, you may be in breach of data regulations that you should be complying with. You’ll need to ensure the data residency laws are in line with the requirements of your country.
  3. Data Backups: If data isn’t backed up regularly by your SaaS app provider, you may suffer the effects of data loss if your SaaS environment were to be compromised. Not only can this cause huge problems if customer data is leaked, it can also prevent your business from operating while data is missing.
  4. Financial, Legal and Reputational Consequences: Carrying out your due diligence on your SaaS provider is key, as any data breach will carry hefty financial, legal, and reputational consequences for your organisation, including a loss of revenue and customer trust.

You’ll need to take a holistic approach to SaaS security to combat these challenges by running regular risk audits, configuring strong access controls, employee training, and encryption.

What best practices should security teams put in place to best mitigate threats?

Security teams can struggle with Shadow IT - employees using apps that haven’t been approved by the company. This can be a big problem, especially if security teams don’t have visibility into the sensitive data that is being shared, or the security risks that come with it.

Here are 6 best practises to mitigate these type of threats:

1. Endpoint Security

Endpoint security can be a good solution for this but with a remote team, mobile device management can only be carried out with the right infrastructure in place.

2. Employee Education

Getting your team to care about security is crucial. Continuous training via real-time employee notifications can help teams to understand where they may be going wrong within the context of their role.

3. Robust and Clear Security Policies

You should also create a clear security policy that employees should be briefed on regularly, and MFA should be implemented across your entire SaaS stack. Ensure you have strict access controls in place so that sensitive data is not accessed by unauthorised individuals.

4. Due Diligence

Do your due diligence on any new SaaS providers, and ensure your security teams are involved in the conversation to understand how information is processed, stored, and secured. Before you sign any contracts with them, you should have a clear understanding of their security standards and practices.

5. Regular Risk Assessments

Risk assessments should be carried out to uncover any vulnerabilities you’ll need to address and penetration testing can help identify any weaknesses too. Once you understand the risks you’re dealing with, you can understand how to mitigate them.

6. Compliance

Finally, ensure that everything you do is in line with compliance requirements, otherwise you could face severe penalties that could impact your business.

By implementing these best practices, security teams can enhance an organisation's overall data security posture and better mitigate threats in an ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape.

How can Metomic help keep your data safe?

Metomic helps you protect your sensitive data in SaaS applications like Slack, Jira, and Microsoft Teams. With one-click API integration, you can start scanning for sensitive data in just a few clicks.

We’ll help you understand where data is stored, who can access it, and how much of a risk it poses to your business.

Ben Van Enckevort, Chief Technology Officer at Metomic, says:

“Metomic helps bring all your SaaS apps together in one unified platform, making it easier to manage all of your security settings.”

See how digital healthcare provider Numan used Metomic to educate their team on security awareness.

Key Points:

  • SaaS applications have become integral to the workplace in 2023, and many companies simply could not function without them.
  • Making sure these apps are secure is key to locking down your sensitive data, and avoiding costly data leaks or breaches.
  • The right solution could help your team stay productive with the use of SaaS apps, and protect sensitive data that may be stored within apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and GitHub.

What is SaaS security and why is it important?

SaaS security is the set of practices, technologies, and policies implemented to protect SaaS applications, and the data stored within them. With organisations using over 130 apps on average, according to BetterCloud, the modern workplace would be unlikely to survive without the use of SaaS applications, so putting security measures in place is vital.

Most SaaS applications store data such as customer information, financial records, and intellectual property. Ensuring the security of this data is imperative as data leaks or breaches could lead to reputational and financial repercussions that leave lasting effects on the organisation. Business could also be hugely disrupted if your SaaS applications were compromised, leading to a loss in revenue.

If your organisation needs to comply with regulations such as GDPR, PCI DSS, or HIPAA, this will extend to your SaaS applications, and you’ll need to put strict measures in place to make sure you’re working in line with regulatory requirements. Otherwise, you could face hefty fines and unwanted press attention, as well as a loss of customer trust.

How secure are SaaS apps?

SaaS applications are only as secure as the person using them. While they often come with standards such as SOC 2 compliance and ISO certifications, the data within these applications isn’t often secured at the data layer, leaving sensitive information susceptible to being leaked.

Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to stop an employee copying and pasting information, or even screenshotting information, whether they have malicious intent or not. Standard SaaS security cannot prevent this, but data security tools, such as Metomic, can help you educate your team on best practices, helping you to build a human firewall of security-conscious individuals who can protect your data in SaaS applications.

*Keep in mind that any data stored in SaaS apps will be under the provider’s jurisdiction as it is stored on their server. Therefore, you must ensure that it’s protected while it’s in their control.

Bigger security providers such as Microsoft or Google will be very stringent when it comes to security measures, as they will want to protect their reputation, and they have the budgets to be able to invest in tighter security measures.

All SaaS providers will have some sort of security in place, whether it’s multi-factor authentication (MFA), strict access controls, and/or training materials for your team. However, users play a significant role in securing SaaS environments, and should always ensure security settings are configured correctly for their organisation.

What are the challenges faced with SaaS apps and data breaches?

There are a number of challenges faced when it comes to SaaS apps, and keeping them protected from the impact of data breaches.

Here are a few you might come up against:

  1. Human Error: As we’ve already mentioned, users are responsible for many of the challenges that can come up when using SaaS apps. For example, this could be oversharing data with other team members, not enabling MFA or falling victim to phishing scams that can see the organisation compromised.
  2. Data Compliance: If your data is stored in another country, you may be in breach of data regulations that you should be complying with. You’ll need to ensure the data residency laws are in line with the requirements of your country.
  3. Data Backups: If data isn’t backed up regularly by your SaaS app provider, you may suffer the effects of data loss if your SaaS environment were to be compromised. Not only can this cause huge problems if customer data is leaked, it can also prevent your business from operating while data is missing.
  4. Financial, Legal and Reputational Consequences: Carrying out your due diligence on your SaaS provider is key, as any data breach will carry hefty financial, legal, and reputational consequences for your organisation, including a loss of revenue and customer trust.

You’ll need to take a holistic approach to SaaS security to combat these challenges by running regular risk audits, configuring strong access controls, employee training, and encryption.

What best practices should security teams put in place to best mitigate threats?

Security teams can struggle with Shadow IT - employees using apps that haven’t been approved by the company. This can be a big problem, especially if security teams don’t have visibility into the sensitive data that is being shared, or the security risks that come with it.

Here are 6 best practises to mitigate these type of threats:

1. Endpoint Security

Endpoint security can be a good solution for this but with a remote team, mobile device management can only be carried out with the right infrastructure in place.

2. Employee Education

Getting your team to care about security is crucial. Continuous training via real-time employee notifications can help teams to understand where they may be going wrong within the context of their role.

3. Robust and Clear Security Policies

You should also create a clear security policy that employees should be briefed on regularly, and MFA should be implemented across your entire SaaS stack. Ensure you have strict access controls in place so that sensitive data is not accessed by unauthorised individuals.

4. Due Diligence

Do your due diligence on any new SaaS providers, and ensure your security teams are involved in the conversation to understand how information is processed, stored, and secured. Before you sign any contracts with them, you should have a clear understanding of their security standards and practices.

5. Regular Risk Assessments

Risk assessments should be carried out to uncover any vulnerabilities you’ll need to address and penetration testing can help identify any weaknesses too. Once you understand the risks you’re dealing with, you can understand how to mitigate them.

6. Compliance

Finally, ensure that everything you do is in line with compliance requirements, otherwise you could face severe penalties that could impact your business.

By implementing these best practices, security teams can enhance an organisation's overall data security posture and better mitigate threats in an ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape.

How can Metomic help keep your data safe?

Metomic helps you protect your sensitive data in SaaS applications like Slack, Jira, and Microsoft Teams. With one-click API integration, you can start scanning for sensitive data in just a few clicks.

We’ll help you understand where data is stored, who can access it, and how much of a risk it poses to your business.

Ben Van Enckevort, Chief Technology Officer at Metomic, says:

“Metomic helps bring all your SaaS apps together in one unified platform, making it easier to manage all of your security settings.”

See how digital healthcare provider Numan used Metomic to educate their team on security awareness.