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The Threat Within: Leveraging SaaS Security Posture Management for Enhanced Protection

by Busines Newswire
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Today, combating cyber threats is increasingly challenging, especially when the most damaging attacks often come from within an organization. Authorized individuals—such as current employees, contractors, or even former employees—may misuse their privileges, leading to security breaches, operational disruptions, and reputational damage. This article explores how SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) can be a crucial tool in safeguarding against these insider threats.

The Rise of SaaS and the Evolving Landscape of Insider Risks

The integration of Software as a Service (SaaS) applications has become integral to business operations. Their user-friendly interfaces and specialized functionalities have made them highly sought after. However, this accessibility also brings about security vulnerabilities. With the ease at which individuals can sign up for SaaS applications comes the potential for security gaps that may circumvent measures.

Recent statistics reveal a 44% increase in insider incidents with 56% of insider threat incidents attributed to unintentional errors rather than malicious actions. For example, an employee could inadvertently expose data by storing it on a personal cloud drive for convenience without realizing the associated security implications. These scenarios underscore the importance of adopting a strategy, towards managing insider risks – one that addresses both mistakes and intentional threats.

Insider threats encompass the security risks that can arise from individuals who have authorized access, to an organization’s systems and data. These insiders fall into two categories; those who are careless and those with malicious intent. Careless insiders may not fully grasp security protocols. Prioritize convenience over practices while malicious insiders intentionally misuse their access for personal gain or to harm the organization. Both types present risks requiring strategies to address them.

The role of SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) is crucial in safeguarding organizations by offering visibility and automation in managing security tasks related to SaaS applications. This leads to time and cost savings, as well as efficient resource utilization. Considering that the average employee uses over 29 SaaS applications, unauthorized or potentially risky applications can easily get onboarded into  an organization, a phenomenon known as “shadow IT.” SSPM plays a critical role in uncovering these shadow IT applications and evaluating their associated risks by providing an overview of an organization’s entire SaaS environment.

Moreover, beyond addressing shadow IT concerns SSPM is capable of identifying instances where data-sharing practices deviate from established security protocols and monitoring user activities to prevent data leaks and security breaches.

Furthermore, SSPM can pinpoint vulnerabilities in the employee departure procedure by checking if they retain access, to information on employment termination.

Utilizing SSPM to Counter Insider Threats; An Approach with Four Key Aspects

The following are four ways in which SSPM aids in mitigating insider threats;

  • Reveal Shadow IT: SSPM provides insight into all unauthorized SaaS applications within your organization. This enables you to recognize and handle security risks linked to these applications. Subsequently, you can educate staff on approved applications, and establish policies to deter future shadow IT usage.
  • Efficient User Access Management: Manual reviews of user access are labor-intensive and susceptible to mistakes. SSPM automates these reviews ensuring that authorized users have access to data and applications. This diminishes the risk of access and data breaches stemming from errors.
  • Detect Abnormal User Activity: SSPM can consistently monitor user actions for signs of irregular behavior like large data downloads and automated forwarding rules. SSPM can identify irregularities that could indicate an insider threat.
  • Enhance Offboarding Security: Former employees could potentially retain access to data after leaving their jobs. Utilizing SSPM can effectively prevent ex-employees from accessing information by automating the process of revoking their access privileges.

In summary; SSPM Is An Essential Tool for Safeguarding a Secure SaaS Environment

By streamlining security procedures and providing a view of your SaaS ecosystem, SSPM proves to be a key asset in combating internal risks and enhancing cybersecurity overall. With the increasing reliance on SaaS applications, the role of SSPM as a security measure continues to grow. Incorporating an SSPM solution, alongside user training and robust security protocols, can significantly decrease SaaS security risk.