Software as a service (SaaS) is a growing industry - and with good reason. The SaaS model has changed the way we purchase and use software, and with so many positives for both developers and users, lots of people have begun to embrace these new tools.
That said, while this can be a very lucrative and successful business model, it also comes with a lot of responsibility. Beyond just delivering intelligent and user-friendly software, you also need to make sure that your SaaS solution is safe and secure.
This is because as technology grows and as more softwares emerge, online crime becomes a bigger threat.
In fact, cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated and cunning and they pose one of the biggest threats to technology and to the security of your data.
Therefore, you need to protect your users and your business. To help you do this, we’ve put together nine of our top cybersecurity tips for your SaaS company. You can check these out below.
1. Conduct regular security risk assessments
One of the best ways to fully understand the security hygiene of your SaaS business is to run regular security risk assessments and tests, such as penetrations tests. Doing this gives you the opportunity to highlight any areas of weakness and to address these quickly. It also helps to reveal if your existing security measures are up to scratch.
Plus, conducting regular assessments is crucial for staying compliant with data protection legislation, which will be important to all SaaS businesses as these require the collection of personal data.
2. Encourage strong password policies
Whether it’s your employees or the users of your software, it’s important that you always encourage strong password policies. This means passwords of between eight and twelve characters, including a mixture of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and maybe even special characters.
3. Implement two-factor authentication
Not only are strong passwords important, but it’s also a good idea to encourage users to set up two-factor authentication. This can help to protect user accounts by recommending authentication and authorisation policies, such as entering login credentials and then receiving a confirmation email or being sent a text via SMS before being able to access their account.
This can be the ideal way to strengthen your security. Because let’s face it, hackers have proved time and time again that they’re good at hacking/working out passwords.
4. Educate your employees
As a SaaS company, it’s important that cybersecurity is built into your culture. That’s because one of the most important ways to bolster your cybersecurity efforts is to make sure that your employees are educated on security best practices.
Regular training as well as explaining the reasons behind security practices can reduce the likelihood of human error leading to a breach. It also means employees will be better equipped to spot any red flags or signs of a problem before it gets any worse. Your cybersecurity training should cover topics such as:
The key signs of phishing emails and scams
The dangers of unknown downloads
Acceptable and unacceptable uses for work computers
Password protection and keeping laptops and devices safe and physically locked away when necessary
Encryption and how to encrypt files before sending
How to report a breach (or signs of a breach) and who to report it to
The rules around GDPR
You should be sure to regularly update employees on their cybersecurity training, especially if there are any changes tor regulations such as GDPR.
5. Get straightforward cybersecurity guidelines in place
As well as offering regular training to staff, it’s also a good idea to get straightforward cybersecurity guidelines in place right away. This should be a clear set of rules and instructions on cybersecurity best practices. This can then be written out and distributed amongst employees so they can always turn to this handbook if they need to.
6. Always keep your software up to date
From your SaaS solution to the firewalls on your work devices, you need to make sure that you’re regularly updating all your software. This is because out-of-date software can lead to vulnerabilities and allow cybercriminals to access your systems much easier - particularly if your security systems are outdated.
In lots of cases, you can automate updates to make this easier for employees. However, it pays to ensure that your tech team is regularly checking in on all systems to make sure these updates are being run and are working effectively.
7. Back up your data
It’s so important to back up your critical data so that should something happen, you can access the backup and get the information restored as quickly as possible. You can set your backups to happen automatically just like your software updates, this keeps a continuous process going.
It’s a good idea to back up your data to a separate cloud source or account, and in some cases, perhaps even to physical hard drives, as long as these are encrypted. This will help to reduce the risk of malicious intent or human error.
8. Secure your code
It’s important to remember that security doesn’t just end with passwords and firewalls. You also need to make sure that you have secured your code.
In order to do this, you need to make security a key priority within your development team. You can do this by creating a security review checklist for all coding, running assessments and keeping notes of any security concerns, and using a static security code analysis tool.
9. Have a plan in place
Finally, it’s vital that you have a plan in place should there be a data breach or leak within your business. This is legally required under General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) any way, but it’s always a good idea to make sure everyone knows what to do in the event of an issue.
Everyone must be briefed on the plan and who they need to notify. It’s also a good idea to have any important phone numbers easily accessible for reporting breaches, as these need to be dealt with as quickly as possible.