Ensuring security and compliance is a must for SaaS companies


Michael Fornander


September 15, 2023

SaaS solutions are already being offered in any sphere - including healthcare, agriculture and other sectors that are traitionally not much digitized. Those SaaS solutions are tech in their nature, but still need to comply with data security and compliance standards that apply for the customers using those solutions. For example, SaaS for healthcare needs to comply with healthcare security and compliance standards, SaaS for finance needs to comply with standards in the finance sector and so on.

At the same time, the increased offering of SaaS applications that promise higher ROI and productivity is tempting the employees to sign up and use SaaS apps, without the knowledge or approval of their IT department. Shadow IT increases and executing control on security and compliance becomes difficult. But, data breaches can incur hefty fines and so, SaaS companies are facing the challenge of balancing between innovation/productivity and security. How can they meet this challenge though? 

Creating a company culture of innovation and strong security

Creating a culture that combines innovation with security requires setting up strict processes by the management.

Ensuring an ongoing collaboration between the IT department and the business units regarding the set up of all SaaS acquisition, vetting and usage processes is key

The established process of obtaining and using new SaaS should be the result of collaborative efforts between the IT and the business units, and ensure efficiency and smooth experience. Otherwise, the business units, as well as single employees, will take over the purchasing of SaaS and expensing it. If no SaaS discovery platform is available in the company, the IT may never understand about it, resulting in shadow IT and security/compliance threats.

Vetting should be done for all software solutions used throughout the organization

Every new software solution purchased in the company, whether it is an on-premise or cloud one, should be reported, then reviewed and vetted for security and compliance. 

The entire lifecycle of the SaaS solutions should be accounted for

This includes reporting data on the owner of the solution, what data it holds, who can use it and how, contact terms, on what devices is the license used and others.

Innovation opportunities should be regularly identified

A regular audit of the software solutions used can identify possibilities for innovation or further security increases. In addition, such audits can find solutions that will no longer be supported by their provider and take actions to remove those solutions from all employee devices.

Running security training programs for all employees should be regular

The training programs include best practices to uncover shadow IT, how to recognize and report shadow IT as well as a more advanced training for specific SaaS tools.

Those processes can differ from one SaaS business to the other. It is important, however, to set them up and monitor their regular and proper execution, to ensure security and compliance for the customers of the SaaS solution, and hence its business existence.

How can Viio support your SaaS security and compliance efforts? Find out in a personalized demo!

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Michael Fornander

Chief Executive Officer

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