One Mistake is All it Takes: How SaaS Keeps You Safe From Cyberattacks
May. 20, 2022
You must be proactive to protect your business from cyberattacks, data breaches, hacking, or ransomware attacks. Companies who think an on-premise solution is enough protection are wrong. Attacks are on the rise and these groups are looking to steal customer data, financial records, and sensitive company information.
Legacy opinions say that an on-premise solution is the best way to protect your company. It was true when companies siloed themselves, and all work happened at a place of business. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), or cloud-based software platforms, quickly matched and surpassed the capabilities of on-premise solutions, and the benefits are growing.
Now that most business operations are online, you can’t afford a cybersecurity slip-up.
SaaS is Dynamic, On-premise is Static
Reacting to Security Vulnerabilities
Cloud-based providers can identify and fix a security vulnerability fast. Providers apply patches, and users automatically access the updated platform. Removing the need for local updates increases security exponentially.
Data Encryption by Default
A properly configured SaaS platform encrypts data in all states – at rest, in motion, or in use. Without the proper credentials, data is unreadable. SaaS platforms deliver built-in security to protect sensitive company data.
Security, Maintenance, and Data Storage
Cloud-based platforms use data centers to host the software platform. The only thing a user needs is a web browser and an active internet connection, and they have access to the platform. The provider is responsible for maintaining security standards and compliance, including different certifications like SOC 2, depending on the type of customer data. Following security standards and regularly auditing process helps limit the potential for cyberattacks.
Platform maintenance and data storage is also the responsibility of the provider. Regular data backups, software updates, and general maintenance keep the platform running smoothly.
Reduces Security Workload
Partnering with a cloud-based provider splits the security workload between the customer and the provider. Backend security management by the provider ensures that there aren’t any loopholes in the platform where unauthorized access can occur.
Providers can easily monitor, audit, and fix problems without customer downtime. And since the platform is in the cloud, it’s easier to push updates during off-hours, removing customer friction.
The customer is still responsible for educating employees about security protocols like unique passwords, phishing techniques, and social engineering hacks that allow unauthorized users into the platform.
Many successful security breaches have come from employees sharing sensitive account information, website application vulnerabilities, and insecure databases.
The Cost of On-premise Security
On-premise platforms offer total control of the entire system. At first, this sounds perfect. The company can control everything. But on-premise security also comes with a higher operational cost and higher security costs.
Initial Investments are Significant
An on-premise platform requires a large up-front investment.
- Physical and secure in-house location
- Servers to host the platform
- HVAC to maintain and regulate optimal temperatures
- Specialized IT team to manage the platform
- Firewall and antivirus software
After initial setup, there is maintenance.
- User-specific access policies
- Platform and data backups
- Company-wide software updates
- Company-wide security patches
- Hardware maintenance
- Device management
As your company grows, costs only increase while technical maintenance grows more complex. Employees may need to access the platform outside of work, on mobile devices, or a remote device.
Security is Your Responsibility
Your specialized IT team is responsible for every aspect of security. This includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Physical server room access
- Server access
- Firewall and Antivirus software
- Remote access rules
- User access rights
- Software patches and updates
- Company-wide device policy
IT also has to keep up with data compliance and prepare for priority security updates in emergencies. Many recent security breaches and cyberattacks happened when mismanaged servers left sensitive information open to the public.
Remote work is also a growing need for businesses, and setting up remote access for employees can be a concern. A bring-your-own-device policy can have problems, like incompatible hardware, old operating systems, and weak security software. To ensure strong security, you would have to supply hardware and software for any employee that needs to work remotely.
Device management adds another variable and added hardware cost. Remote access software needs increased security because the employee is accessing the platform outside the protected network. Also, your on-premise software might have outdated API support, an open door for cyberattacks, that lacks the latest encryption leading to more holes that need updates on every device.
Physical Hardware Security Leaves a Glaring Hole
When all company business was in one location, an on-premise solution made perfect sense. But as digital work is now the standard, not the exception, employees are working in varied environments.
Outside of hardware and software security, physical device security is a growing concern. Remote access requires software setup, and local files, on the device, can be saved without encryption.
Even with the best software security in place, hardware security is still a concern. Cloud-based software stores all data in the platform without local files. If there’s a hardware security issue, a manager can immediately revoke user access and remotely wipe the device according to company standards.
Cloud-based Platforms are Security-focused Dynamic Solutions
SaaS software platforms offer identical standard security standards as an on-premise solution. And cloud-based platforms iterate and evolve with new technologies and security standards quickly.
The on-premise solution isn’t the strategic security investment anymore. Enterprise solution providers are moving into SaaS, and on-premise solutions will lose support.
If you’re still using an on-premise solution, you could already have security holes, not only from old and unpatched software and API integrations but also from sub-standard company security policies that don’t proactively address potential security issues. You could already be a target for cyberattacks without even knowing.
It’s time to upgrade before you become the next victim.