The Top SaaS Security Risks and Concerns to be Aware of

Top SaaS Security Risks: Visibility and Access Control 

As more businesses move toward long-term hybrid or remote work situations, SaaS security risks are one of the most important aspects for these organizations to be aware of. SaaS (Software as a Service) refers to applications employees use to conduct tasks, and increasingly, it is not approved or sanctioned by the IT department. 

While SaaS offers exceptional benefits for corporate teams, it can also expose companies to significant risk if not properly managed. To adopt more effective SaaS risk management practices, discover some of the main security issues and strategies for solving them.

Addressing the Top CISO SaaS Security Concerns

Today’s chief information security officers (CISOs) need to balance the challenges of flexibility and security. Enterprises need a scalable technology infrastructure that teams can use securely from any location. Major SaaS security concerns include:


Business-led IT can give teams more autonomy and help them stay nimble. Unfortunately, bring-your-own-app (BYOA) setups can make it more difficult for IT leaders to manage security. SaaS layer visibility can be particularly challenging for companies with distributed teams and various SaaS applications.

Risk Prioritization

Every company is different, and your mix of SaaS services can vary widely by industry and market. Not all risks are equal, and the sheer volume of user-sourced SaaS can be a tremendous amount of workload.  But without this it is impossible to map and index  the risks in your SaaS service layer Relevant risks can include:

  • Duplicate or weak passwords
  • Dangling access for former employees
  • Lack of two-factor authentication
  • Number of users and growth rate of users
  • Type of data that is used in the application

SaaS Access Control

The typical SaaS service layer contains a wealth of company information, including private data and intellectual property. This makes unauthorized SaaS access one of the greatest threats an enterprise can face. Credentials and permissions must be carefully managed and continuously monitored to manage risk.

Solutions to the Top SaaS Security Concerns

Ensuring SaaS security requires a comprehensive approach. Companies can take the following steps to address SaaS security:

  • Comprehensive discovery: Discovery and tracking of all SaaS apps, including those the user sources themselves and not governed by SSO, password manager, or identity provider.
  • Risk assessment: A comprehensive vulnerability assessment includes reviewing all technology assets, existing security measures, data, and storage systems.
  • Secure offboarding: Create a SaaS offboarding plan, so employees who leave your organization never have ongoing access to any SaaS services or tools.
  • SaaS checklist: A benchmarking tool to assess SaaS security best practices can help you vet potential new applications and decide if they meet your standards.
  • Third-party management: Outsourcing SaaS risk management to a qualified third party can help you automate app security and provide ongoing monitoring.

SaaS Security Investment 

SaaS spending is on the rise, outpacing infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). According to Gartner, SaaS is the biggest public cloud services market segment, predicted to surpass $200 billion in 2023. However, SaaS security investment is lacking, and there is still no prominent focus on SaaS security discovery, analysis, or enforcement.

IaaS Security vs. PaaS Security vs. SaaS Security

SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS are not mutually exclusive – most businesses use all three. All three of these services should be viewed as cloud services since they are all services hosted by third-party providers that are accessible over the Internet.  

What makes SaaS unique is that there are tens of thousands of SaaS apps that any employee can start using. IaaS and PaaS services would be useful to a smaller number of employees and are fewer in the number of providers, making them easier to govern.

In addition,  SaaS services are often designed for ease of use, and they don’t always come with the same user access and security controls. Built-in security functionality may be limited or may not meet regulatory requirements for your industry. 

Cloud Security and Securing SaaS Access

Controlling SaaS access is critical to ensuring effective cloud security. You can’t just assume that the SaaS vendor manages security – they only have control over their specific product. To secure your entire SaaS layer, you need advanced tools that can monitor hundreds of applications, categorizing and prioritizing risks.

What Is a SaaS Security Control Plane?

If you’re using just one or two SaaS services, you can likely manage your security needs with an ad hoc approach. That’s not realistic for many companies today when most enterprises are using over 250 SaaS applications on average. 

Companies may need to dedicate significant time to manually configure each SaaS app’s security features. With unique settings and interfaces on each app, this can be a significant ongoing burden for an in-house IT team. 

A SaaS Security Control Plane (SSCP) can automate many of the routine tasks of ongoing SaaS management. An SSCP scans your entire SaaS inventory for every user for risks, identifying potential SaaS security issues and prioritizing tasks so IT teams can first deal with the most pressing challenges. 

SaaS Security Is the Most Important Part of Cloud Security

Don’t let SaaS security risks hold your business back. Grip SSCP is a user-friendly platform that gives your IT leadership complete visibility into your SaaS usage. With Grip’s SaaS risk management software, you can:

  • Map and monitor SaaS usage
  • Secure each SaaS account
  • Manage credentials and access
  • Automate SaaS security

Grip SSCP deploys in just 10 minutes to give you clear visibility to SaaS risks — with 10+ years of history. To get started, lear more about SaaS security, request a demo, or schedule your free SaaS security risk assessment today. 

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Grip Security Blog authored by Grip Security Blog. Read the original post at: