SaaS Security Risk Noted as a Leading Cyber Threat at RSA 2023

AppOmni CEO Brendan O'Connor sits with DarkReading's Terry Sweeney at RSA NewsDesk 2023

RSA 2023’s unofficial theme may have been Generative AI, but cybersecurity experts pointed to the need for a comprehensive security posture management that focuses on threat prevention, identity and access governance, and less user friction.

The rapid adoption of SaaS has also increased the cyber threats targeting SaaS apps and the platforms connected to them. IT teams and employees are unwittingly exposing sensitive information through risky behaviors, such as assigning privileged access or making misconfiguration mistakes. “Eighty percent of business applications are now Software-as-a-Service. SaaS has become the OS of business,” AppOmni CEO and co-founder Brendan O’Connor said during RSA.

The prominence of SaaS will only continue to grow in the medium-to-long term, as SaaS spending is projected to reach $232.2 billion by 2024. We foresee that SaaS-first strategies will dominate IT business models within the next two years. Industries like finance, healthcare, and the services sector have reached this maturity phase, relying on SaaS for a majority of their core IT functions and business processes.

The degree in which IT operations have become decentralized shows the scale and pervasiveness of SaaS adoption. SaaS adoption is no longer strictly an IT function. For example, it is now common for marketing, finance, and people management departments within organizations to adopt enterprise SaaS applications at will. This often happens without oversight from the security department.

Given these shifts, CISOs must take steps to better understand this new reality, get a grasp on the true extent of the attack surface, and learn how best to address all possible risk exposures.

Commonly Compromised SaaS Attack Vectors

The volume of high-profile, SaaS-related security breaches is only growing, but we barely hear how the Techniques, Tools & Procedures (TTPs) in SaaS attacks differ from TTPs seen against traditional network or endpoint attacks. SaaS attack vectors are multifaceted and run the gamut:

  • Misconfiguration of SaaS app settings
  • Data exposure
  • SaaS-to-SaaS app integration vulnerabilities
  • Compromised credentials
  • Lack of visibility and monitoring into the SaaS app ecosystem

SaaS Security Fundamentals

The essential controls for SaaS security include adopting a SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) solution. At minimum, an SSPM solution should include capabilities for:

  • Configuration management
  • Continuous monitoring
  • Data exposure risk detection
  • Threat detection alerting
  • SaaS security baseline setting
  • SaaS-to-SaaS app monitoring

As CISOs and security teams are doing more with less, finding security solutions that can automate security at scale are essential. The growing SaaS security risk is proactively being addressed by industry-leading solutions like AppOmni. 

AppOmni was designed and built by security experts who deeply understand SaaS applications and have over 50 years of combined experience. We empower security and IT teams, along with SaaS applications owners, with advanced security tooling to understand and remediate misconfigurations, overpermissioned users, data exposure risks, and unsanctioned SaaS-to-SaaS connections.

As the leader in SaaS security and a top choice for Fortune 500 clients, AppOmni is on a mission to create a safer SaaS world. Learn about our SSPM solution or request a demo today.


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