- Cyber Security
Top 13 SaaS Cybersecurity Threats in 2023: Is Your Business Prepared?
Every company should have an eye on its cybersecurity. But SaaS companies have their own set of concerns to be mindful of.
With their business model primarily being online, SaaS applications open themselves to various SaaS cybersecurity threats. And many are underprepared due to their focus on growth over security.
Here we’ll look at the top SaaS cybersecurity threats in 2023 and how to protect against them.
Top 13 SaaS Cybersecurity Threats
- Web Application Vulnerabilities
- Phishing attacks
- Data Breaches
- Insider Threats
- Ransomware attacks
- Cloud Misconfigurations
- Third-party risks
- DDoS Attacks
- SQL injection attacks
- Malware attacks
- Zero-day Exploits
- Supply Chain Attacks
- Advanced Persistent Threats
Web Application Vulnerabilities
SaaS applications are effectively built on web applications. And many vulnerabilities in web applications can affect a company’s ability to operate.
AppTrana identified more than 61,000 open vulnerabilities across the 1400+ sites analyzed in Q4, 2022 – according to the state of application security report.
When publicly disclosed vulnerabilities, attackers may attempt to exploit them before a patch is released.
By implementing a virtual patch, businesses can effectively patch the vulnerability before attackers exploit it. This can be particularly important when severe exposure or the affected software is critical to business operations.
Phishing attacks continue to be a major cybersecurity threat to SaaS applications. Cybercriminals use fake emails or websites to trick users into providing sensitive information such as login credentials or credit card information.
With SaaS applications, phishing attacks can target users and administrators with access to sensitive data. To mitigate the risk of phishing attacks, you should provide regular cybersecurity training to the employees and implement multi-factor authentication for the SaaS applications.
Data breaches remain a top concern for businesses using SaaS applications. It involves stealing customer data, including personal information such as names, addresses, and credit card numbers. This can result in customer trust and loyalty loss and lead to legal and financial consequences for the company.
There are several steps that SaaS companies can take to protect against data breaches. One of the most important is implementing strong security measures, such as web application firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and data encryption.
Also, conduct regular security audits and vulnerability assessments to identify and address any weaknesses in your security systems.
Insider threats can come from employees or contractors with sensitive data access. These individuals may intentionally or unintentionally cause harm to the company’s cybersecurity.
To mitigate the risk of insider threats, you should implement access controls and limit the number of people with access to sensitive data.
Again, while it might not be unique to SaaS applications, ransomware remains a relatively universal threat to online businesses of all kinds.
Ransomware attacks involve cybercriminals encrypting a company’s data and demanding payment to exchange the decryption key. With SaaS applications, ransomware attacks can affect a large number of users and cause widespread damage.
To protect against ransomware attacks, implement regular data backups and educate the employees on identifying and avoiding ransomware attacks.
Cloud misconfigurations occur when a company misconfigures its SaaS application’s security settings, exposing sensitive data to cybercriminals.
To avoid cloud misconfigurations, you should regularly review and update your security settings and implement automated tools to detect misconfigurations.
SaaS applications often rely on third-party vendors for various services, such as hosting or data analytics. However, these third-party vendors may also introduce cybersecurity risks to the SaaS application.
Conduct due diligence on the vendors to mitigate third-party risks and ensure they have robust security protocols.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks involve overwhelming a SaaS application’s servers with traffic, causing the application to crash or become unavailable. DDoS attacks can devastate businesses that rely on SaaS applications to run their operations.
To protect against DDoS attacks, implement DDoS protection solutions and regularly test the SaaS applications’ resilience against DDoS attacks.
SQL injection attacks
SQL injection attacks involve exploiting vulnerabilities in a SaaS application’s database to access sensitive data or modify the application’s behavior.
SQL injection attacks can be particularly devastating as they allow the attacker to take control of the application and manipulate it to their advantage.
Malware attacks involve infecting a computer or network with malicious software that can steal sensitive data or cause other harm to the system. With SaaS applications, malware attacks can spread quickly through the application and affect a large number of users.
Implement strong anti-malware software to protect against malware attacks and regularly scan the applications for malware.
Zero-day exploits refer to software vulnerabilities unknown to the software vendor or the cybersecurity community. Cybercriminals can exploit these vulnerabilities to access sensitive data or take control of the SaaS application.
To protect against zero-day exploits, you should stay updated with the latest security patches and application updates.
Supply Chain Attacks
Virtually no company is 100% safe from supply chain attacks. That includes SaaS companies.
This is because criminals are looking for the weakest link in the chain. By hacking into one company, they can sometimes gain access to data belonging to other companies in the supply chain.
Then they may be able to hack in, phish, utilize ransomware, and so on, to reach their ultimate goal.
Large companies are often the target of cybercriminals. But they will go through smaller companies to get to the bigger ones if necessary.
Advanced Persistent Threats
Advanced Persistent Threats (or APTs) may pose as real users but have hidden agendas to carry out. Typically, they are state-sponsored or may be part of a group with access to significant funding.
APTs are difficult to detect. They will even use malware and other tactics to avoid being found. They are experts in evasion and often aren’t found out for months or even years.
APTs are usually after sensitive data. But they may also be there to disrupt your operations (e.g., with a DoS attack).
While some SaaS companies serve independent creators and entrepreneurs, there are those with ties to government agencies, healthcare organizations, emergency operations, and more.
If you have clients in these categories or similar, APTs are a real SaaS cybersecurity threat.
How ready are you for SaaS cybersecurity threats in 2023? You can bet that hackers intend to leverage the latest technologies to get at your data. Cryptocurrency, AI, machine learning, and more will form the foundation of attacks this year and beyond.
Is it time for you to upgrade your security processes? Then it’s time to find a security partner you can trust and count on.