One of the most path-breaking technological advancements in today’s day and age is cloud technology. It has enabled the innovation of futuristic technologies for the B2B and B2C space and the development of cutting-edge business models with SaaS.
One such business model is the SaaS (Software-as-a-service) business model wherein businesses develop and host an application/ software and offer it to customers online over the cloud. Examples of SaaS products – CRM & ERP applications, accounting and invoicing software, project management software, cybersecurity solutions, payment applications, etc.
The product is in the central location of the SaaS company server and can be accessed by customers from across the globe (thereby, distributing data) on almost any device. There are no product delivery costs or installation/ infrastructure investments, and updates, security, and support are centrally managed over the cloud. As the SaaS products gain growing popularity, it is becoming indispensable for SaaS businesses to take website security seriously and deliver safe and secure products to their customers.
Despite all the benefits, SaaS businesses and their products have high cybersecurity risks associated with them mainly owing to the large volumes of data they generate. Data is the new oil and cyber-attackers are constantly on the lookout for ways to extract data from websites and web applications whether it is a simple blog page or a complicated e-commerce website.
The level of security of your SaaS products affects the subscribers’ information and website security directly. In other words, the level of website security of every business is contingent upon its third-party service providers. This has been proved amply by the many breaches in the recent past which were a direct result of poor website security of the SaaS vendor.
Notable examples are the data breaches of Delta Airlines and Sears Holding Corporation in 2018 which resulted from the vulnerabilities present in the chatbot product from the AI solutions vendor – 24.ai. These breaches exposed credit card information of thousands of users and cost both businesses in millions.
So, when SaaS products do not undergo regular website security checks and website security testing to unearth vulnerabilities and gaps that attackers can leverage, it is detrimental for the SaaS business. This is because users/ subscribers evaluate SaaS products for application security standards and onboard to your service based on trust. When you do not take website security seriously, their trust is breached as their websites/ products/ data are placed at high risk. It will only lead to the erosion of your brand image and reputation apart from the financial losses.
Users of SaaS products expect 100% uptime as downtimes directly affect their business. The ease of onboarding and offboarding with SaaS products prompts users to move to another service provider if your service is not reliable and faces regular downtimes and crashes. So, SaaS businesses cannot afford downtimes.
Regular, rigorous and holistic website security checks and website security testing enables organizations to find vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and loopholes in the security levels and take corrective measures to prevent attacks, especially DDoS attacks that cause downtimes and crashes or at least, minimize the impact of such attacks/ crashes.
With regulatory measures such as GDPR, PCI DSS, etc. in place, website security is legally mandatory for SaaS businesses. These certifications tell subscribers that your application/ product/ service has undergone regular and rigorous website security testing and audits and that your software design, network architecture, deployment, framework, security management, security policies, and other critical protective measures are up to date, compliant and reliable.
The truth about website security is that nothing is impenetrable and fully secure. However, robust and holistic security strategies and regular website security checks, testing and audits help you ensure an always available, reliable and secure SaaS product that subscribers can trust their invaluable data with.
Founder & Chief Marketing Officer, Indusface
Venky has played multiple roles within Indusface for the past 6 years. He was instrumental in building the product/service and technology team from scratch and grew it from ideation to getting initial customers with a proven/validated business model poised for scale. He has proven experience (10+ years) in the security industry and has held various mgmt/leadership roles in Product Development, Professional Services, and Sales during his time at Entrust Data card.