What is SSPM? An Overview of SaaS Security Posture Management

February 21, 2023

What is SSPM An Overview SaaS Security Posture Management

Today, businesses depend on numerous software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications to manage their workload, data, and procedures. With all the benefits it offers, such as lowering costs and enabling businesses to access the latest software version quickly, SaaS also presents its own unique set of security risks.

To ensure that your business is proactive in dealing with these potential threats, you need a SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) system. In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about SSPM and how it can protect your business.

Let’s begin!

What is SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM)?

SSPM is all about keeping your organization’s SaaS applications secure using technology and automation tools. It’s a process that involves continuously monitoring your SaaS environment to identify and address potential security vulnerabilities.

Think of it like this:

You have a security guard for your cloud-based applications, such as Office 365, Salesforce, and Dropbox, for instance. A SaaS security posture management tool will provide you with a central point of control. It will help you manage access controls, permissions, and configurations to prevent data breaches, unauthorized access, and other security threats.

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Essentially, it’s all about keeping a close eye on the security posture of the SaaS applications that your organization uses, which enables you to:

  • control user access
  • ensure compliance with industry regulations
  • identify vulnerabilities and threats against external and internal cyberattacks
  • take proactive steps to fix security risks

The Importance of SSPM in Your Business

For any organization that uses SaaS apps, SSPM is crucial to have.

Cloud-based applications are convenient and can be a great asset for boosting efficacy and output, but they also have their own set of potential security issues. With all the sensitive business data and user information stored in them, you want a robust SaaS security system to prevent any malicious activity.

One of the biggest challenges with SaaS security is that these apps are often managed by third-party providers, which means that your organization may not have complete control over how they’re configured and secured. This can lead to security gaps and vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cybercriminals.

That’s why it’s important to have SSPM.

With an SSPM solution, you can keep an eye out for any threats that may harm your business. Plus, if a user makes any errors in the settings, you can use the platform to fix them and ensure that everything still meets SaaS security standards.

Basically, SSPM lets you work together with your SaaS vendor to keep everything secure. You get to do your part in making sure nothing goes wrong while they do their part by providing the platform and tools you need to protect your data. It’s a shared responsibility, and SSPM helps you fulfill your end of the bargain.

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The 5 Key Benefits of SSPM for Your Business

Automated security tools like SSPM provide businesses with a number of benefits:

1. Improved SaaS Security Posture

Managing your security posture can be tricky when every SaaS application has its own unique configurations and settings. It gets even more complicated by the numerous external and internal threats that can come your way. As such, you’ll have a huge attractive surface to defend.

SSPM helps you to get a clear view of your actual security posture for your entire SaaS stack, making it easier to protect your business against cyber-attacks and data breaches. It continuously monitors millions of configurations, connections to SaaS apps, user security practices, and devices in use to reduce the risk of security breaches and identify potential threats.

2. Compliance Management

Aside from cyber threats, you have compliance risks to think about. Compliance with internal regulations and external security policies can be a major challenge for companies heavily using SaaS, which is why having SSPM can be helpful.

SSPM will alert your security teams in the event that any compliance challenges arise and can even automatically execute corrective measures. This assures that your business operates in compliance with the necessary frameworks and regulations.

Additionally, SaaS security is critical for organizations to comply with various regulations and standards, such as GDPR, HIPAA, SOC2, and PCI DSS. To your benefit, SSPM simplifies compliance management so you can avoid any potential fines or other penalties for non-compliance.

3. Prevent Misconfigurations

In France, a massive data breach regarding nearly 500,000 people happened in French hospitals that leaked their names, social security numbers, and medical information, among others. This shows how important it is to have a robust security posture to prevent data breaches.

SSPM can help prevent breaches like this from occurring in your organization. These tools continuously ensure secure configurations of SaaS applications by monitoring your SaaS environments. When it catches issues early, you can fix them before they turn into major problems.

Unlike other security solutions focusing only on intentional misconfigurations, SSPM is also designed to catch unintentional misconfigurations. This gives you greater control over your SaaS environment and helps reduce the risk of security incidents caused by user error.

4. Effectively Control Permission Settings

Controlling who has access to what actions on your SaaS applications is crucial for maintaining a strong SaaS security posture. With SSPM, you can rest assured that your SaaS security settings are configured correctly and that your team only has access to the data and applications they need.

SSPM can help you to automatically evaluate every user’s permissions and alert you to any overly permissive roles. This helps to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive data, systems, devices, and other assets.

By controlling permission settings with SSPM, you can prevent unauthorized access to your SaaS applications and maintain a robust security posture. This can help you to avoid costly data breaches and other security incidents that user errors or malicious activities can cause.

5. Smooth Transition to Another SaaS Solution

As your business grows, you may need to transition from one SaaS solution to another. These changes to your organization’s applications cause a decrease in efficiency within your internal structure. However, with SSPM solutions, you can manage these changes more effectively.

SSPM can help you to stay on top of any changes within your SaaS environments, making it easier for your entire organization to keep up with platform migrations and updates. It also streamlines training for your users, employees and customers. This can help to reduce the risk of misconfigurations and vulnerabilities that can lead to security incidents.

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The Features and Capabilities of SSPM

If you want to know if SaaS security posture management is the right solution for your organization, let’s take a look at its features and capabilities.

SSPM should include the following:

1. Around-the-Clock Monitoring

Your SSPM solution should monitor your SaaS applications 24/7 to ensure they are configured securely. It implements privacy and security rules automatically, making security management easier for your security team.

2. Integrated Security Benchmarks

SSPM solutions are programmed to run security checks according to industry benchmarks and standards. It tailors to your SaaS security by doing compliance checks, giving you greater control over your data and applications.

3. Remediation

SSPM can help remediate security risks automatically or with support from the SSPM vendor. Active remediation in SSPM solutions can improve your ability to respond quickly to security threats. As such, they can help to minimize the damage of security incidents.

4. Compatibility for Different Applications

SSPM systems are compatible with a wide range of applications. They can be easily integrated with other SaaS tools that an organization may already be using, such as video conferencing platforms, messaging applications, workspaces, HR management systems, customer support tools, and more.

5. Navigational Dashboard

An SSPM solution can consolidate and display all security risks across multiple applications on a single dashboard. This allows all stakeholders, including application users, IT, and security staff, to easily understand security risks and take actionable steps to remediate them.

Comparing SSPM with Other Cloud Solutions

While SSPM is a popular and effective SaaS security solution, other options may also fit your security needs and goals. Some of these solutions can even complement SSPM to create a more comprehensive cybersecurity environment for your business.

Here’s a brief comparative analysis of SSPM with other solutions:

Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)

CASB provides a central point of control for security policies and monitoring for cloud services, while SSPM monitors and manages the performance of security software.

Both technologies can be used together to provide a comprehensive security solution for an organization’s use of cloud services. CASB secures the organization’s data and users in the cloud, while SSPM ensures that the security software used to protect that data is working properly.

Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)

CSPM and SSPM are both cloud security solutions, but they differ in their focus. The former is more concerned with securing the cloud infrastructure itself, while the latter focuses on securing the applications and data within the cloud.

CSPM provides visibility, governance, and enforcement of an organization’s cloud infrastructure, while SSPM offers visibility and security controls for SaaS applications. Both solutions monitor for security risks, such as misconfigurations and compliance violations, but CSPM also includes infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) offerings.

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3 SaaS Security Best Practices

Training your IT or security team about SaaS security is only one of the many steps to take if you want to cultivate a positive security culture within your organization. In any case, it has to start with you as the business owner.

As such, here are the initiatives you want to take:

1. Implement a Data Loss Prevention (DLP) System

An effective way to mitigate data leaks is to have a DLP system in place. It can block unauthorized data transferring, downloading sensitive data to personal devices, and manipulation of data. You can use SSPM to streamline your DLP efforts to fill in the data security gaps in your SaaS applications, further strengthening your security posture

2. Encrypt Sensitive Data

Encrypting is part of data handling practices that you want to establish in your business operations. Remember that your data is always at risk as long as it’s moving from one environment to another. Even when providers offer basic encryptions to protect data, it’s never a bad idea to have your own.

3. Asses Your SaaS Providers

With your IT and security teams, never forget to conduct a thorough research about potential SaaS providers. Upon choosing your providers, take time to assess their systems, compliance, certificates, and other security assets. It will determine the relationship and the success of your SSPM solutions.

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Get Your SaaS Development from StarTechUP!

A security risk will always be looming over your business if you don’t target the problem from the get-go. As such, from the beginning, you should choose a SaaS provider that you can trust.

We at StarTechUP put security in the top spot when creating custom software for our clients. Our team is trained to ensure that your outsourced software projects are equipped with security features before we launch them. We’ve worked with industries that need to maintain a security status for their stakeholders, such as healthcare, tourism, and events, among others.

If you want to develop secure custom software for your business, contact us today!

About the author: Andrea Jacinto - Content Writer

A content writer with a strong SEO background, Andrea has been working with digital marketers from different fields to create optimized articles which are informative, digestible, and fun to read. Now, she's writing for StarTechUP to deliver the latest developments in tech to readers around the world. View on Linkedin