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Why Modernizing Cybersecurity Boosts SaaS Companies’ Bottom Line | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


Rende is the founder & CEO of Rhymetec, a cybersecurity firm providing cybersecurity, compliance and data privacy needs to SaaS companies.

Cybersecurity is important for SaaS companies, both to comply with industry standards and to protect their businesses. Companies that still use legacy systems to host a product, application or service on their premises run additional risks, which include cyber breaches, loss of confidential data and intellectual property, and potential damage to customer relationships caused by noncompliance.

Modernizing a company’s information security program can reduce risk levels, lower costs and provide long-term profitability. However, it’s a complex process, and companies would be well-advised to consult with a cybersecurity expert before they start.

Current Cybersecurity Challenges

Even though the main cybersecurity challenges for SaaS companies are compliance and continuous monitoring, additional critical security issues include malware, ransomware and data loss prevention. The B2B attack surface used to consist mainly of a company’s network and physical server, but in today’s unique and increasingly remote workforce, security programs focus on endpoints such as individual devices and users’ access management. By modernizing a cybersecurity program, business leaders can utilize cutting-edge technology for continuous monitoring of compliance issues and vulnerabilities.

SaaS Security Vs. Legacy Systems

Organizations running legacy systems can face additional challenges such as on-site electrical problems, fire safety and physical security. These issues can become a hefty responsibility and usually compel enterprise security teams to buy a range of third-party products to secure their systems, which can in turn increase budgets.

Modern SaaS businesses that host in the cloud use trusted providers such as AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure that offer built-in security and redundancy for their applications. These providers offer solutions that reduce overhead and also transfer a portion of the responsibility away from an internal security team.

Modernizing A Cybersecurity Program

SaaS companies can develop forward-looking approaches to cybersecurity by shifting to a cloud-hosted platform and aiming to achieve compliance with the appropriate industry standards.

Actions to take to facilitate this include:

Developing A Realistic Threat Model

Surveying employees to discover what security issues add friction to their jobs can help security teams develop a realistic vision of their organization’s cyber threats. This allows organizations to design a security program that reduces risk, minimizes interruptions affecting operations, and increases trust internally and externally.

Creating An Approachable Security Culture

Security awareness needs to be built into a company’s culture. In the past, many organizations took a combative approach where security teams laid down the law regardless of how it impacted doing the job. Create a more approachable culture that aims to ensure cybersecurity adapts to the business environment instead of trying to force the environment to adapt to security.

Choosing An Automated Compliance System

Automation markedly reduces the workload involved in getting and maintaining compliance. With a manual process, cyber teams would need to provide auditors with a mass of documents as evidence of compliance. An automated system contains all the information in a central location that auditors can log in to and review. Additionally, if a company aims for several compliance standards, automation allows them to reuse the information for all frameworks instead of redoing the work each time.

Cloud-based automation tools and the ability to integrate with other systems make compliance auditing easier. The built-in tools cloud providers offer enable companies to run many of their own security controls without needing to procure them from third-party vendors. This significantly cuts down the costs of physical security while also reducing the workload for the security team.

Adopting Good Endpoint Security Practices

Humans represent one of the weakest links in cybersecurity. According to the Proofpoint 2020 User Risk Report, almost half of U.S. workers trust public Wi-Fi hotspots and allow family or friends to use their work-issued devices. Since 82% of data breaches involve a human element, it is clear endpoint security is easily compromised.

Implementing sound endpoint detection and response options, along with rigorous staff training and security policies, enables companies to counter the risk of human error.

Benefits Of Compliance

Modernizing a SaaS company’s systems and achieving compliance doesn’t only contribute to greater profitability, but it delivers a bundle of additional benefits.

Obtaining compliance gives teams a baseline to work from for future cybersecurity management strategies and provides potential stakeholders with proof of the organization’s capability. Any one of the primary standards is an excellent starting point. However, it’s essential to tailor compliance efforts to the appropriate industry. For example, there’s no value in obtaining SOC 2 if none of your customers ask for it. More often than not, when expanding to midmarket and enterprise clients, many require proof of compliance before even starting a conversation with your organization. But if even one client requests ISO 27001, achieving compliance benefits for the company across its entire customer base can set you up for future expansion and growth.

Compliance with any leading framework increases visibility in the market, and as an organization becomes more compliant, it also creates opportunities to serve more customers. For example, companies that want to work with the U.S. government must comply with federal arm requirements. Once they achieve this, they become visible on a federal arm marketplace where other government institutions can search for services.

Not Just About Checking A Box

Every SaaS company can benefit from contracting a dedicated cybersecurity team to help them become compliant and modernize their security programs. Achieving compliance is not merely a process of checking a box and then it’s over. It’s a continuous, day-to-day effort that can take up a lot of time and human resources. Audits recur annually; they don’t only happen once. And a competent cybersecurity team can help companies ensure they are maintaining compliance and putting security controls in place that scale with their business.


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