How To Check the Security Compliance of Your SaaS Product?

SaaS has changed our lives in more ways than one. 

But security threats in the SaaS industry are now more prominent than ever. 

Unlike on-premise installation where a company is responsible for overseeing the security of the software, SaaS security is in the hands of the SaaS providers. 

It means that data doesn’t just rotate between a company and its system but also into the server of a third party. This makes SaaS users vulnerable to the dangers of unmanaged third-party access, data exposure, and obsolete security measures. 

As a SaaS company, you want to ensure data security for your users. All it takes is one data breach and all your clientele details are exposed to third-party security risks. Considering the high risks of breaches and security threats, SaaS compliance becomes a must-do activity for SaaS tool providers. 

What is SaaS Security Compliance?

SaaS security compliance is the list of security regulations and frameworks that SaaS companies must follow. These regulations reduce the risks of security threats by dictating processes and ensuring standard compliance all over the world or over specific regions. SaaS compliance requirements cover the use and storage of data pertaining to SaaS products. It also considers how your clients share the data across different systems and even third parties. 

Why is SaaS Security Compliance Important?

Your users have not one but dozens of SaaS tools integrated with one another that make up the entire software stack. Without integrations, SaaS tools don’t work to their fullest potential. Tech integrations pave the way for data consolidation and encourage teams to have transparency about data from different tools. 

However, this seamless flow of data from one app to another poses an additional problem of a data breach as each point of integration contact becomes a potential breach of security. With on-premise software installation, users are keeping their data in local servers, away from the internet, making it harder for unwanted access to data. 

SaaS providers hold multiple client data hosted under the cloud. A lack of security compliance can lead to failure to handle customer data, paying hefty fines for breaching regulations, and on a larger scale, leading to a bad reputation among your users. 

Knowing the risks, you cannot overlook SaaS compliance and the need for CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management)

By doing so, you can set up security measures, build credibility with your investors and ensure that your data is secure. It helps you meet the industry standards and comply with the laws for digital security

How to achieve SaaS Compliance? 

When it comes to cloud technology, companies need to take additional measures to protect their customers and organization from breaches and fraud. What are these measures? 

Let’s take a look at them. 

1. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Standard

The GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation Standard is one of the toughest privacy and security laws in the world. It was drafted and passed by the European Union to regulate the handling of personal data for citizens in the EU. While the regulation is far-reaching, GDPR applies to all SaaS companies since they hold their customers' sensitive data. 

It applies to all businesses, from wherever they may be across the world, that intend to market their products to the residents of the EU. The GDPR has outlined privacy and data protection in the following categories: 

  • Data Protection Principles
  • Accountability
  • Data Security
  • Data Protection by Design and Default
  • Privacy Rights
  • Consent
  • When you’re allowed to process data

2. Payment Card Industry- Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)

The payment card industry data security standard certification enforces security measures for payment methods. It outlines the regulations for the secure storage of the data of cardholders by offering a secure environment for storing credit card information. Again, PCI-DSS is a general standard for compliance but it is applicable to SaaS companies if they deal with processing credit card details. 

The idea of the PCI DSS standard is to reduce fraud related to credit cards. Both the major credit companies — MasterCard and Visa, require you to comply with the PCI-DSS standards so as to ensure transactional safety. These standards guide you to using and maintaining firewalls, enforcing strong passwords, encryption of data, restricting access to card data and so on.

Failing to do so results in incurring legal costs, poor brand image, and facing restrictions or getting banned from accepting certain payment cards. To ensure PCI-DSS regulations, SaaS companies need to 

  • Have a clear understanding of PCI-DSS provisions
  • Determine the level of compliance 
  • Have a self-assessment questionnaire, and 
  • Secure physical servers hosting payment platforms

3. International Organization for Standardization (ISO/IEC 27001)

ISO 27001 is a part of the 27000 family of mutually supporting standards that provides a framework for best practices for cyber security for all organizations and secure management of data. This particular standard deal provides a comprehensive regulatory framework through which companies can manage, review, implement, and maintain information security of their information security management systems. For SaaS companies, this compliance standard provides a path to manage clients’ financial information, intellectual property, and other sensitive information that their customers share with them. 

4. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

HIPAA is a law that is intended to secure patient health information and prevent information from being shared without the patient’s consent. However, not all companies need to comply with the HIPAA standards. It is only applicable to SaaS providers that majorly provide services to healthcare or insurance companies, and basically, any institute that deals with personal medical information. 

It ensures implementation for anticipated threats and prevention of unauthorized usage of Protected Health Information (PHI). It puts in place security safeguards, and encryption of medical data-in-transit and secures backup and disposal.

To ensure the protection of medical information, SaaS companies are required to follow the HIPAA protocols that involve

  • Scanning for applications that include PHI records
  • Reviewing SaaS contacts for applications with ePHI
  • Conducting audits and reports
  • Determining breaches and alert prevention methods

5. Service Organization Control (SOC2) Standard

The systems and Organisation Controls are the standard default regulatory compliance framework for SaaS businesses. Since the companies store the client details on the cloud, these measures offer internal control reports that process the information accessible to the public. 

For SaaS companies, SOC2 compliances are the most basic security framework. It assures customers that their data is safe and that the company takes data processing and privacy issues seriously. The SOC2 report is specifically designed for auditing and focuses on controls for SaaS operations. It ensures that SaaS providers meet the standards of the five Trust Services Criteria which are security, privacy, confidentiality, processing integrity, and availability. 

Wrapping Up

While security in general is a sensitive topic, it takes it up a notch higher when it comes to SaaS. In an industry where the cloud is the source of data and operations, it becomes essential to secure data and that the SaaS technology is monitored through a SaaS compliance checklist. 

SaaS security compliance methods ensure that you’re meeting the financial, security and data protection laws of your region and encouraging a safe network for the technological ecosystem. 

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