SaaS stands for software as a service and is considered to be one of the most effective methods for keeping costs to a minimum with the ability to continue utilizing those applications that are needed. SaaS is a type of software leasing where the provider licenses a piece of software to the user for a specific period of time or pay-as-you-go.
This allows the client to use the software whenever and wherever they need for the length of the contract. The license can be for individual or group use. SaaS is often used for billing, invoicing, human resource management, service desk management and sales management.
Given the areas in which SaaS is mainly utilized, security issues could cause massive disruption and problems within an organization. There are two primary categories of security threats involved in SaaS systems. These two security categories include:
- Unauthorized access
- Physical peril
Unauthorized access is an extraordinarily high data risk. Due to the specific nature of SaaS; the storage of data on a remote server, the risk of unauthorized access greatly increases. When data is transferred over the internet or on a remote server, hackers have the ability to capture passwords, view data and make modifications.
Of course this is an issue with any type of remote access, but when billing information, invoices and human resource information is transferred, this information is more harmful and appealing to hackers. In many cases, the information is intercepted in stealth mode which means the company has no idea it even happened.
The second security threat category is physical peril. This occurs when data is physically destroyed. Destruction can occur from floods, fires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. Although most servers have backups, there’s always a chance data can be unrecoverable. Again by accessing information remotely, it’s putting the data in the trust of another company.
These potential security issues seem threatening at first and are common on all servers that require remote access. Both businesses and individuals must be concerned with these issues when using most other types of hosting. Unfortunately due to the primary use of SaaS, more vital information is being sent and hosted by these applications making it more dangerous for businesses.
There are network security features in place to prevent unauthorized access and backup server locations in case of a natural disaster. However, these potential security threats should play a large role in the decision to use SaaS for additional applications.