No matter what industry you’re in, cybersecurity typically isn’t something that can be handled on your own. And most organizations recognize this fact, with only 25 percent of companies having their own standalone cybersecurity department. That’s precisely why firms are increasingly turning to cybersecurity SaaS companies to help protect their sensitive data.
But that doesn’t mean that all SaaS cybersecurity products, vendors, and partners are created equal. While there is a slew of SaaS companies with various products on the market designed to help you protect your data in the cloud, you’ll need to be careful and diligent throughout the evaluation process to ensure you select the right long-term partner.
Depending on your industry, type of systems, customer base, and many other factors, you’ll need to think long and hard before selecting a SaaS cybersecurity company. From technological know-how to customer support and compliance, here’s how cybersecurity SaaS companies can protect your company’s sensitive data and what to look for when choosing one.
Why use SaaS Companies for Cybersecurity?
Internet-based technology is seeing rapid new developments changing the market for businesses across the board. From small brick and mortar shops to large multi-national juggernauts, businesses are benefiting from the internet boom.
Along with the boom, however, comes the chaos of trying to keep up with new vulnerabilities and nefarious attackers. Constantly updating security measures and meeting compliance requirements is the last thing on your mind, but your customers want to know that the company with which they entrust their personal information will do everything to keep it safe.
Why Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is technically composed of three different aspects which include: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (Paps), and software as a service (SaaS). Essentially, SaaS is cloud computing, which means the cybersecurity requirements will be extremely similar. For a more complete description of the cloud and SaaS, please refer to our article, the Cloud and SaaS.
Cloud computing connects your business to a data center allowing you to run applications remotely. This means that you no longer need to install equipment for every workstation and optimize data control.
Image Source: Sky High Networks: Cloud Security Benefits
Take a look at this chart detailing cloud adoption by vendors. In just three years, there was a $40 billion market increase and the market continues to develop. Companies both large and small are adopting this service.
The benefits of using the cloud are numerous. This helpful infographic gives an overview of why you should consider adopting cloud services.
Image Source: Sky High Networks: Cloud Security Benefits
Now that you know why the cloud is so useful to your company, you have to understand the challenges of today’s computing world. Avoiding the disaster of a data breach is exactly why choosing the right SaaS cybersecurity company makes all the difference.
According to a recent whitepaper 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Overview published by the Ponemon Institute, an independent data research company, the average cost of a data breach is $3.62 million. Worse still is the opportunity cost which may include loss of future or existing clients or customers and greater scrutiny from third-party auditors for future audits.
Not only are these data breaches expensive, but the research also points out that they are becoming larger in scope, “the average size of the data breaches in this research increased 1.8 percent.” Customers are willing to give up more of their data: location, interests, time-stamps, etc. for better services; naturally this means there is more data to lose to a breach.
Furthermore, there is more than a 25% chance that a material data breach will reoccur in the next two years. One example of this fairly common mishap is with the breach on Facebook user’s data. First, there was the Cambridge Analytica breach that exposed millions of user’s personal information and then just a few years later another facet of the company—Instagram—fell victim to a data breach that scraped millions of user’s personal data.
With this information in mind, it makes perfect sense to work with a trusted SaaS company, like RSI Security, to keep you and your customer’s data secure. But how do you know which company will protect your data in the cloud?
Take a look at our guide below for things you should look for when selecting a SaaS cybersecurity company.
1. Do they have an experienced track record?
One important thing to consider when choosing a SaaS cybersecurity company is whether they have years of experience protecting client data.
Let’s say that you show your dog professionally in national dog shows. When it comes time for your dog to be groomed, you look for a groomer who not only has a track record of grooming dogs but also grooming your particular breed of dog. You might think that hiring a new groomer just out of school will save you money, but what you really need is to think of the full picture. Doing well in a competitive environment means considering costs holistically and not just temporarily.
The same is for choosing a SaaS cybersecurity company. Choose a company that has a long track record of protecting client data and is familiar with working with your type of business. Let’s say you have a large company with over 250 employees, five national branches and one overseas branch. You would not want to choose a SaaS cybersecurity company that has only worked with small businesses of 50 employees or less.
This is also true of choosing a company that understands the necessary compliance requirements you may need. If you are a healthcare company, you will want to be sure that the SaaS cybersecurity company understands HIPAA or HITRUST compliance requirements.
RSI Security has an excellent track record of managing data and handling security threats. We have closed 80,363 incident cases (and counting), completed more than 200 security assessments, monitor 2,722 systems, and have completed more than 250 vulnerability assessments. Verizon, Samsung, Cisco, and Finix Payments are just a few of the companies that trust RSI Security with their cybersecurity needs.
Consider these questions to ask or look for when determining a SaaS cybersecurity company’s track record:
- How have they managed incidents in the past?
- How long did it take to discover the threat, what was lost, and how was it rectified?
- What types of companies have they worked with?
- Who do they partner with?
- Are they actively seeking out new partnerships and developments in order to improve their service?
- What do customers say about the business? How long have they worked with companies?
Hand in hand with looking at a SaaS cybersecurity company’s track record is seeing what new developments or technologies they have embraced.
2. Are they using adequate technologies?
Cybersecurity isn’t a one time download of some safety measures and then you can just forget about it. The threat landscape is constantly evolving and experiencing new players. You need to find a company that isn’t just willing to defend you but also thinks of ways to change the battle.
Maintenance of the cloud is complicated; when poorly constructed or mapped out, nefarious foes can circumvent even the most robust defenses and find chinks in your armor.
Another thing to think about is the type of authentication factors a SaaS company utilizes to protect client data. Is there strong encryption? In other words, is the data encoded so that only the right parties can access it? Another element to encryption is tracking logs of those who have accessed the data. Look for a company that can provide this service.
Sometimes the best defense is to go on the offensive. One advantage of cloud computing is that servers can amass and process large amounts of data to make predictive decisions about security landscapes. Leveraging new developments in machine learning or AI will elevate your cybersecurity profile from passive to active.
Best Security Practices
In a SaaS whitepaper by two professionals Rusty Weston and Shahab Kaviani, they address the most basic security protocols to look for when choosing a SaaS cybersecurity company Selecting a Software as a Service Vendor
- Encrypted data. 128-bit encryption is an industry-standard
- Physical security measures like facilities, surveillance, guards, fire fighting preparedness, etc.
- Disaster management arrangements
- Security records
The whitepaper continues by addressing the topic of passwords and data access controls. This is an important part of cloud cybersecurity. Is the SaaS provider adopting new improvements to password authentication such as two-factor authentication (a password plus a code sent to your cellphone for example)? Here are some other elements to consider:
- Password protection and permissions should be easy to administer
- The system should capture event logs of who logged in when, what information they accessed, and what changes they made
- Different levels of permissions should be assignable – read/write/delete
- Permissions should be assignable at different levels of the solution – workgroup/folder/subfolder
A good SaaS provider is actively working with new partnerships, installing patches and updates, and engaging with the security industry at large. Open communication is crucial.
3. Will you receive sufficient customer support?
As a vendor, you know how valuable customer support is to the success of your company. You want to look for a SaaS cybersecurity company that has strong customer support with open channels of communication.
As your company grows, expands business ideas, or even completely rebrands, can your SaaS cybersecurity partner do the same? You want to work with a company that will, as indicated in the previous section, continue to adopt new technologies and best practices. As they do so, they should communicate what changes they are implementing and how they are serving you.
Perhaps you should decide to brand yourself as a company that is a leader in security controls; you determine becoming SOC 2 certified would help make you stand out against the competition. A good SaaS provider will have services like RSI Security’s SOC 2 Compliance Advisory Service to guarantee that you meet all government and third-party vendor standards.
Should a problem arise, you want a company that will openly discuss the implications of a breach and engage in a cover-up. Breaches are bound to happen, so look for a SaaS cybersecurity company that addresses the issue, mitigates the threat, indicates the damage, and provides a plan to implement for future threats.
In a customer service impact report by Oracle, they found that “86% of percent of consumers will pay more for better customer experience.” They also mention an interesting point in the report citing that, “50 percent of consumers give a brand only one week to respond to a question before they stop doing business with them.” You should be partnering with companies that consider all your questions and respond to your concerns in a timely manner.
The following is a list of questions to consider with good customer support:
- Can you easily find the support widget within your software?
- Does the company have a live chat or flexible hours?
- Does the company have a great FAQ to answer many of your questions?
- Will the company help you understand why you are getting the updates they are implementing?
- Do they categorize customer issues into clear topics?
- Do they make sure that all your requests are logged, go to one place, and are responded to in a timely manner?
- Do they adjust their support for different platforms, from mobile apps to web pages?
- Do they have the right support staff? Who is a part of their team? Are they lacking experts in a particular field?
- Do they already have customer success and many repeat/continuing customers?
- Do they ask you for your feedback with their customer service and the agents who handle your requests?
4. Are they educated and informed on the latest threats?
Another important consideration to think about when choosing a SaaS cybersecurity company is determining if they actively stay educated and informed on the latest threats. As previously mentioned, the battlefield is constantly changing with increasingly more companies storing sensitive data in SaaS applications.
In the 2018 Thales Data Threat Report companies relying on SaaS applications to store data cited their biggest fears as being able to prevent outside attacks as well as maintain infrastructure for growing companies.
Look for a SaaS cybersecurity company that relies on research reports, partnerships, and personal expertise to provide cutting-edge service that develops and grows as you do. Ask questions of the SaaS company such as:
- When new threat trends are reported, do they bolster security and look for preventative solutions?
- Do they provide reports and services that expand as they learn more?
- Are they willing to refer you to another company if your needs are outside of their expertise?
5. Can they assist with regulatory and compliance issues?
Along with learning about new technologies and threat landscapes, a good SaaS cybersecurity company should be cognizant of new compliance requirements. Government and third-party regulations develop with each passing year which can be a complete headache to understand and maintain. Does your SaaS provider keep up with these changes and ensure that your business is following them?
For instance, as medical technologies continue to develop gathering more data from both new and existing patients, the federal government releases new regulations detailing HIPAA compliance. Keep HIPAA Compliance Up-to-Date with this guide and save yourself the difficult task of trying to figure out all the new updates and rules.
You should be aware of any changes that are made to your security practices as they are made. Open communication is key as just over 20 percent of data breaches occur due to employee error/mismanagement of data as the Thales Data Threat Report indicates. Education across your business for best cybersecurity practices is crucial.
You make many important decisions as a business owner and choosing the right SaaS cybersecurity company to keep your private data safe should be one of them. Among considerations for price and services provided, take another look at the following areas when deciding which provider to use:
- Experienced track record
- Sufficient or above average technologies
- Good customer support
- Educated and informed about the latest threats and new technologies
- Ability to provide guidance on compliance requirements
RSI Security is a SaaS cybersecurity company with years of experience. Contact us today to see how we can seamlessly integrate with your IT team to ensure your important data is secured. Our success is in securing yours.