SaaS is a web-based software distribution model which is used by external providers to host applications to serve customers (users). This means that SaaS technology does not need to be downloaded and run locally on the user’s PC because the program is hosted on the host. Instead, it can be accessed simply through the web browser interface.
The main advantage of software as a service is that it is cheap and time-saving. With SaaS, all you have to do is log in, set up an account, and you’re done! You don’t need to pay for new features, updates, and licenses. And you don’t need to invest in servers, security, and storage upfront. You only pay for what you use. Install, maintain and use IT resources.
Most interactions with standard Internet users are handled by software-as-a-service companies. Although the concept of SaaS is not new, it has become popular due to the emergence of cloud computing platforms that can provide these and other services on a large scale, you can read more about it here – https://www.creatio.com/page/saas . Cloud computing services enable companies to provide software services without worrying about infrastructure management. This eliminates some security threats, but if your SaaS platform is not properly designed and implemented, vulnerabilities may persist and may be exploited.
Potential SaaS Security Threats
There are multiple threats to your application, and each of them may be difficult to identify. It is best to identify these at various stages of the system development life cycle based on the type of services you provide. Let’s highlight some of the most common ones.
1. Cross-Site Request Forgery
XSRF or CSRF for short is a vulnerability designed to allow users to take unauthorized actions when they click on a compromised link. This attack uses the persistence of login and cached data to send requests to the server. No need to bypass restrictions. It is difficult to track and often appears in underdeveloped systems.
2. Cross-Site Scripting
CrossSite Scripting is an attack in which an attacker submits code through form data or search queries for client execution. Attackers can send this information to unsuspecting users to obtain their cookies or session information.
3. Vulnerabilities in Software Platforms and Libraries
Software development usually relies on publicly available open-source libraries. Such libraries usually contain many vulnerabilities that can compromise your system. Therefore, security measures must be taken inside or outside the organization to control data storage and access.
Reduce Potential SaaS Security Threats
There’s tons of challenges when it comes to security threats. Some of the most common are as follow;
1. Poor Session Management And Authentication
If your team feels that authentication is too complicated, you can use some free third-party authentication providers. Another method is to comply with authentication standards and protocols when implementing the system or use SaaS.
2. Phishing Attacks
Your employees and customers should be educated on how to avoid phishing attacks. You should avoid opening suspicious emails and visiting unauthorized websites on the company network. Labeled laptops and desktops. This prevents attackers from obtaining sensitive information instead of employees using the device for personal and professional purposes.
3. Cross-Site Request Forgery
There are multiple methods that can be used to prevent XSRF attacks. Here we emphasize the first one. Avoid sending requests to perform critical operations through the GET request method. This does not guarantee complete security but adds a level of abstraction. The token template is explained in detail in Angel Irizarri’s blog post-Tinfoil Security. By checking the user’s hidden headers, make sure that the data comes from the action of submitting the form, but these headers will be sent when the user clicks the submit button on the form.
4. Cross-Site Scripting
The best way to solve this problem is to use external input validation to ensure that redundant characters in atypical requests or form data are removed to prevent server-side code from being compromised.
5. Vulnerabilities in Frameworks and Software Libraries
You need to make sure that your codebase is up to date because common vulnerabilities are usually fixed through version updates and most software library updates.
6. Data Retention
Best practices for data retention such as password hashing should be followed to avoid endangering client security in the event of a security breach. Users should also be carefully granted permissions within the organization to reduce the risk of internal violations.
Since SaaS has many potential threats, in addition to the few threats mentioned above, it is also important to consider security vulnerabilities during platform development. There are other potential threats, such as distributed denial of service attacks, which target infrastructure. You can usually rely on cloud service providers to deal with these types of threats, but once your business has the infrastructure ready, you can take some steps.