Migrating applications to the cloud is becoming a crucial part for all organizations in order to keep up with the competition for scalability and usability purposes. With many organizations opting for cloud-based solutions or Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions for the growth of their businesses, it can be hazardous to miss out on important security checks of the SaaS vendor’s infrastructure.

SaaS security audit is an optimum security solution for applications. It helps in identifying and planning a roadmap to fix the potential risks and vulnerabilities associated with the SaaS platform. 

SaaS security audit analyzes the codebase, permissions, configurations, and settings and checks if the vendor follows the mandatory security protocols. Also, it has become a prominent part of all the organizations using cloud services to secure their environment from unwanted malicious attacks or getting hacked.

What is a SaaS Security Audit?

To maintain the security, privacy, integrity, and safety of the information present on your SaaS platform, you need to judge the security policies and common security practices implemented by your organization. 

These practices could be physical and non-physical and as simple as awareness amongst the employees to keep difficult credentials and not share confidential details about the company when in public in order to protect the organization’s business logic and sensitive data.

Identifying the security gaps and loopholes and starting the process to mitigate and resolve them is called a SaaS security audit

It is not like a regular audit or hard-core check that people believe but a 360-degree check of a system to assess the weak points that a hacker can use to get into the system. 

Significance of a SaaS Security Audit

The business owners need to protect the customer data and their business information stored in their database from any potential data breach or unidentified access that could disclose the confidential client data to the world in the data breach.

As the number of security threats increases and new methodologies to target websites and cloud platforms evolve, it is becoming necessary for companies to conduct SaaS security audits to analyze and understand the risks to the system due to security gaps. 

A SaaS security audit will help to mitigate all the risks and vulnerabilities in terms of employees, visitors, or threats due to daily operations. A SaaS security audit will also help the company abide by the standard organizations’ necessary security guidelines and continue to function smoothly. After every successful completion of a security audit it is important to create a penetration testing report that offers an overall overview on the audit results and recommendations to achieve business objectives for the SaaS security audit.

If an application is under attack or found infected, the hosting service provider and search engines take no time to suspend the account or blacklist. Resolving these issues takes more time and money than taking a preventive security audit before the attack occurs.

Components of an effective SaaS Security Audit 

  1. Data Management 

Data is the heart of an application. Everything revolves around data. A SaaS security audit checks for the data encryption while the data moves between two endpoints so that no external entity can access or read it. 

Data is essential at all times, and its backup is even more important. The vendor must provide data backup options to restore it when required. 

Always review the roles and responsibilities of the employees and the privileges granted from time to time to avoid unnecessary access to data. Review and apply all the privacy policies throughout the data life cycle by fixing the gaps present, if any.

  1. Infrastructure Review

The infrastructure forms the core of an application. A SaaS security audit should check for regular security updates, and the system must receive security patches for the discovered errors or bugs. 

The audit must review the storage and control of the encryption keys, test encryption certificated, and storage locations.

The audit must check the system’s firewall to prevent it from intrusion, DDoS attacks, etc. Lastly, for the infrastructure check, the audit must ensure a strong and secure network for efficient traffic management.

  1. Monitoring logs and audit data

Logs are a valuable asset whenever you try to debug faults in your system. They act as proof to resolve issues during system analysis and investigation. 

A SaaS security audit looks out for procedures to prevent the mishandling or tampering of these logs and the log storing procedure.

  1. Checking accessibility and availability of data

A SaaS security audit also helps you determine how readily your data is available. In other words, it determines the method of data storage and defines the role of data backup that can help minimize latency and enhance access speed. 

It would be best to look for policies in case of system failures or a natural calamity and how well the vendor handles such situations. They should have a full-proof plan to control such incidents and an action plan to help you run your website without downtime in critical times like these or when the traffic is at a peak.

  1. Privacy concerns

Privacy and confidentiality of data and business logic is the biggest challenge of security, and a SaaS security audit checks if your information is safe or not. It will check if third parties can access your data at all, and if the answer is yes, it should not display any sensitive information that might backfire on you. 

The security audit also helps to identify the means to store and dispose of the archived client data in an orderly fashion.

  1. Regulatory Compliances

A SaaS security audit is an ultimate tool to ensure that your application abides by well-defined security protocols. One can accomplish this by creating a checklist of all such compliances and testing them. Do not forget to review the cybersecurity certificates and accreditations compulsory for your application.

Conclusion

A SaaS security audit is a crucial part of the security of your application running on your cloud that helps you protect your SaaS platform from being hacked. It is also necessary to follow the best SaaS security practices by all the organization members to mitigate the risk.

It is always a good practice to implement SaaS security policies on your own. Still, sometimes the software developers are not well aware of such practices and cannot execute them with efficiency and reliability. In such cases, it is always recommended to take help from cybersecurity experts for a hassle-free experience.

Kanishk Tagade
Astra Security Suite -Website Firewall & Malware Scanner
Astra Security
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Kanishk Tagade is a Marketing Manager at Astra Security. Having a hawk-eyed view on the cybersecurity threat landscape, market-shifts, and hacktivism activities, Kanishk is a community member of the Nasscom and corporate contributor at many technolog ...Read more