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Top-10 SaaS Apps and How They Can Affect SaaS Security

When using a new SaaS app for your organization, it’s critical to ensure that your SaaS apps are scalable – you don’t want to deal with the hassle of unnecessarily needing to change to  a different product as your team and company grows.

But no matter how much value a specific tool brings to your company, it’s crucial to always prioritize SaaS security above all else. That’s why we’ve rounded up the top 10 SaaS apps your company can leverage to increase and improve business productivity and how they can affect your SaaS security. 

“…no matter how much value a specific tool brings to your company, it’s crucial to always prioritize SaaS security above all else.”

1. Slack

Slack is the arguable king of company collaboration. The communication app allows users to send each other instant messages, including texts, videos, files, and GIFS. Groups and channels within the app for multi-party discussions are available, alongside the ability to privately message an individual employee. The app uses open AI so that users can build their own integrations for their existing IT and IS infrastructure, and also offers encrypted data and activity logging.

Pricing: Slack’s most basic version is free, but from $6.67 a month, organizations and enterprises can get access to more advanced features such as unlimited messaging history and being able to integrate with other companies Slack channels which is very useful for collaborations. 

SaaS Security: The app is SOC 2 and IOS 27001 certified, as well as GDPR compliant. But as noted by a CNBC report, Slack often enters businesses from the “bottom up.” Oftentimes, “normal employees start using them for work productivity without drawing IT into the loop.”

Although Slack does offer advanced security tools and settings, “the people administering Slack channels may have no idea that these tools are available or know how to use them — they may not even be aware of the risks.” That’s why having a strong SaaS security culture from the outset is important in all organizations, so you can mitigate risk from the ground up.

2. HubSpot

The holy grail platform for sales and marketing teams, Hubspot serves as an all-in-one CMS and CRM. Users can create emails, newsletters, and blogs via the app. Hubspot’s platform also provides a convenient central base for storing contacts, managing campaigns and pipelines, tracking deals, monitoring workflows and so much more.

Pricing: Hubspot works on a freemium model, which means that downloading and using the app in its most basic form is free. For users that want to leverage Hubspot’s premium features, there are packages to suit any organization from as little as $40 a month..

SaaS Security: The app recently suffered a major security breach, which saw its cryptocurrency clients targeted and compromised. Since then, Hubspot has stepped up its SaaS security efforts and pledged to ensure that similar incidents don’t occur in the future. You can learn more about it here.

3. Otter.ai

This video recording and automated transcription service helps companies store and translate what was said during video calls. A great benefit of Otter.ai is that it can be integrated with communication apps like Zoom, Teams or Google Meet if you wish.

Users can record meetings and upload them directly to the Otter.ai platform to receive a transcript of the call, along with an mp3. The transcripts are customizable and editable, so users can easily make adjustments or notes. 

Pricing: Otter.ai offers a free version of its solution, but users can upgrade to gain access to premium features with packages starting at $8.33 a month. 

SaaS Security: Because Otter.ai records and stores an organization’s conversations, there’s always a risk that a breach could result in sensitive data being leaked. However, the app is SOC 2 certified and states that they do not share data with third parties.

4. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a marketing and sales tool which helps companies manage and track their social media presence. Users can create and schedule social posts, establish a content library, and even get insights into the success rates of their campaigns via analytics provided by the app. 

Pricing: Pricing for Hootsuite starts at $50 a month and covers 10 social accounts with many packages tailored to your organization’s specific needs. 

SaaS Security: Notably, hackers hijacked the Twitter account of the founder and former CEO of Hootsuite, Ryan Holmes, in 2016. In an essay he penned about the incident, Holmes wrote that “the hackers who breached my account actually gained entry through a completely different app that I hadn’t used in years…step one in safeguarding your social media is removing the apps no longer being used.” Yet another reason why automating your SaaS security is so important!

With that personal experience in mind, Holmes set a number of policies in place aiming to ensure that Hootsuite remains a leader in SaaS application security. Hootsuite undergoes a SOC 2 audit annually and uses SSL to protect users’ login info, among other safety measures.

5. Grammarly

An app that gives users spelling and grammar corrections, suggestions for phrasing, and tone analysis in real-time, Grammarly has become an everyday app for organizations all over the world. The platform is easily integrated with common email programs, like Gmail, so that users can enjoy the app’s writing tips 

Pricing: Grammarly works on a freemium model, with basic features in the complimentary version and more advanced features in the premium and business plans starting from $12 a month. 

SaaS Security: In order to use Grammarly, it is directly integrated with a user’s Gmail account. Because of this, your organization’s SaaS security should be up to code at all times. 

It is important however to note that Grammarly is a part of the Cloud Security Alliance, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to promoting best practices for secure cloud computing. They have also stated that they do not sell user data, they maintain a security first culture across their organization, all data is encrypted and you can view any and all data associated with your account at any time.

6. ClickUp

ClickUp is a task tracking and time management platform which helps organizations understand how their employees are utilizing their work hours

The app allows users to record time spent per task, and supervisors can easily track and monitor the status of ongoing projects. ClickUp also offers a simple way for managers and coworkers to assign projects to other employees.

Pricing: . Pricing for teams starts from just $5, making it a staple program even for startups and other fledgling ventures without big budgets at their disposal.

SaaS Security: The good news for you is that according to ClickUp, the company is highly focused on the apps SaaS security. The platform is SOC 2 Type 2 Compliant and all web application communications via the app are encrypted over 256 bit SSL, which is highly secure.

7. Zoom

This video meeting app exploded in popularity in the last 2 years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Zoom is great for team meetings, hosting webinars, screen sharing, and other visually-oriented forms of communication. Its free plan includes basic features, allowing users to  host meetings which are limited to 40 minutes.

Pricing: Paid Zoom plans, starting from $140 a year, include CRM integration, Zoom rooms, Zoom phone lines, and other premium features.

SaaS Security: Zoom also has a number of security features, such as waiting rooms and authentication codes before a user can join a meeting to ensure meetings are secure. 

It is however important to note that these features aren’t enabled by default and need to be manually configured by an IT or IS staff member who is knowledgeable about SaaS security – otherwise, the default, less-secure settings will likely be used.

8. Calendly

An app that makes setting up a meeting as easy as a few clicks, Calendly has emerged as a top app for organizations looking to streamline their scheduling processes. Calendly gives users a personal link, which can be embedded on a website or sent in an email. That link directs users to your calendar with multiple options to book time for a meeting that are predetermined by you.

Pricing: The app works on a freemium model, with a complimentary version and an $8 a month subscription option which offers users premium features.

SaaS Security: According to Calendly’s site, all information within the app is encrypted. Calendly is SOC and GDPR compliant, which means that they prioritize SaaS application security.

9. Canva

Canva is a free-to-use online graphic design tool, perfect for startups that don’t have the budget to splash out on professional graphic designers. The program is intuitive and easy to use for beginners, with pre-existing templates and features that allow users to create social posts, posters, videos, logos and more. 

Pricing: Canva has an excellent freemium version. It also has a paid option, starting from $110 a year, with access to even more templates and design elements for your team to use.

SaaS Security: Because Canva allows users to login via an existing Gmail account and asks for users to grant permissions for access, there’s a risk of cybercriminals finding potential vulnerabilities through the app. However, it’s important to note that Canva has ISO 27001 certification, which means that its information security management system (ISMS) meets international standards for SaaS security.

10. AWS

This staple application provides organizations with critical tools for databases, IoT, business applications, machine learning, storage, customer engagement, blockchain and so much more. As a cloud computing service, AWS has become an essential part of day-to-day functioning for many companies, but it does come with some security concerns. 

Pricing: With various payment options ranging from freemium to pricy there is a lot to consider. Check out all the AWS pricing options here. Startups may be eligible for AWS credits

Security: A series of major security breaches, including the leak of crucial financial information from credit card company Capital One and sensitive data from 80 U.S. municipalities, have been traced back to misconfigurations of AWS databases. These incidents underscore how important it is for companies to adopt robust, proactive approaches to SaaS application security.

“…the appeal of a too-simple onboarding process can end up exposing your organization to unforeseen risks.”

SaaS Apps Make The World Go Around, So Use Them Wisely! 

The thing that all these apps have in common: Easy onboarding. But sometimes, the appeal of a too-simple onboarding process can end up exposing your organization to unforeseen risks.

Contact us today so we can show you how our approach to SaaS security helps keeps SaaS usage clean, safe, and secure.

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