Science & Technology

SaaS security is becoming a major concern for enterprises

One of the frequently advertised benefits of using Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions is their maintenance-free and perhaps inherently secure nature. These services are maintained by the provider and users do not have to worry about configuring, troubleshooting, and updating the services. But things are not that simple.

SaaS solutions are far from invincible and can be a serious cybersecurity issue. It’s almost always not the user’s responsibility to protect them, but it’s important to emphasize that they are still vulnerable to various forms of cyberattack.According to one report 40% of SaaS assets are at risk of data breaches Due to inadequate or inadequate management.

Organizations need to take careful security measures to prevent malicious attackers from deploying malicious software or discovering vulnerabilities that can be exploited in their SaaS solutions.

Office 365: Gateway to Catastrophic SaaS Cyber ​​Attacks

Office 365 is currently one of the most popular SaaS solutions for business productivity with millions of users worldwide.Naturally Target of cyber attacks.. Unfortunately, Office 365 security It’s a concern that many people don’t take seriously. Organizations are not paying too much attention to risk, and this has led to serious consequences.

Many documented cyberattacks take advantage of Office 365’s weaknesses. Most notable of these is the infamous supply chain attack on SolarWinds Orion software, achieved by so-called golden SAML technology. SAML is an acronym for Security Assertion Markup Language, an open standard adopted when authenticating and approving data exchange between parties.

SolarWinds CEO Sudhakar Ramakrishna has confirmed that Office 365 email breaches are involved in a major attack. The company’s email account was reportedly hacked and used to access the SolarWinds staff’s account. “We have confirmed that the SolarWinds email account has been compromised and is being used programmatically to access the accounts of targeted SolarWinds personnel in business and technical roles,” Ramakrishna said. I am writing. Blog post..

There are no studies that specifically estimate the cost of SaaS attacks. However, SolarWinds incidents serve as a good indicator of how costly these attacks are. According to one study, affected companies are losing an average of 11% of their annual revenue due to SolarWinds issues.

Organizations need carefully implemented defenses to protect Office 365 from a variety of threats, including business email breaches, data breaches, and phishing. We recommend that you provide employee awareness programs, ML-based anti-phishing, malware protection, and comprehensive attack vector coverage. Adopting a defense-in-depth security solution that addresses issues at the virtualization, network, application, and physical levels can also be very helpful (more on this in the attack method instructions below).

“Microsoft 365 is a gold mine,” said response manager Doug Bienstock. “Most of the data, whether it’s the content of individual emails or files shared on SharePoint, is likely to be in Microsoft 365. OneDrive and even Teams messages.”

Various attack methods to watch out for

NS study The journal Transactions on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence lists several cyberattacks that can be used with SaaS services. These are categorized into four types according to the type of security issue: virtualization level, application level, network level, and physical level security issue.


Virtualization-level attacks result in changes, including software interruptions and removals. Attackers could exploit vulnerabilities in social engineering, storage, data centers, and virtual machines. Examples of these attacks are DoS and DDoS, hypervisor rootkits, and virtual machine escapes.

In application-level attacks, the target is often data changes during storage and transfer. This involves hijacking sessions and dismantling confidentiality and privacy policies. Examples of these attacks are SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and other app-based attacks aimed at exploiting session management, authentication, and configuration vulnerabilities.

Network-level attacks, on the other hand, typically focus on firewall misconfigurations and analysis of network traffic and potential threat exposures that are not ignored or detected by your organization. Examples of these are DNS attacks, sniffers, and IP address reuse exploits.

Finally, as the phrase suggests, physical-level attacks involve daring attempts to endanger the physical hardware used by an organization. Cyber ​​criminals can steal hardware to extract data, make changes, and inject malware. Phishing attacks can also be used to access the physical equipment of the organization that operates the SaaS service.

These attacks are not much different from the normal attacks faced by other organizations, including those that use on-prem solutions. It would be rude to be fooled by the exaggerated claims of good security from SaaS providers. There are several benefits to using SaaS, but they do not give up your security regime.

SaaS provides convenience not only to attackers but also to users

One of the notable benefits of using a SaaS solution is the synchronization of data and services between devices. Users do not have to reconfigure or customize or make a new copy of the file each time they do something with the new device. This convenience is not only beneficial to the user. It also benefits malicious individuals.

A report on cybercriminals targeting the cloud-based digital distribution platform Discord is an example of how SaaS can become a tool for attackers. Security issues tend to worsen as organizations use multi-cloud systems and build hybrid enterprise IT infrastructures. A security company released a report in February this year, revealing that 91% of companies experienced API security issues and more than 80% were uncertain whether the API was compromised.

Some organizations may be overly dependent on security testing

NS Security testing market is expected to reach $ 15.74 billion In 2026, the CAGR for the projected period from 2021 to 2026 was 20.74 percent. Demand for security verification products and services is increasing as organizations recognize the importance of verifying the effectiveness of existing security controls.

However, reliance on security testing can be a risk to your organization. Penetration testing and other security verification strategies do help, but they can create a false sense of security, especially when considering the dynamics of a SaaS environment.

The results produced by penetration testing or security verification routines, if not particularly continuous, are invalid when privileged users access the SaaS environment through endpoints not tested. In addition, third-party applications may not be updated or may be misconfigured to weaken security, which is not reflected in the security verification results.

The conclusion is

SaaS solutions have many advantages. Claims that security is better than on-premises solutions also retain some water because users don’t have to deal with security themselves. SaaS providers are usually working harder to ensure that their systems are easy to use and at the same time highly secure.

However, security benefits and convenience are not guaranteed. It is still important to pay close attention to cloud security, especially in complex cloud environments involving large numbers of users and applications. When much is happening in your system or network, it can be difficult to detect an attack and take the necessary mitigation and remediation measures.

SaaS security is becoming a major concern for enterprises SaaS security is becoming a major concern for enterprises

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