In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, one critical aspect often gets overlooked – insider risks. While we’re bombarded with news of external threats and cyberattacks, it’s important to recognize that some of the most significant risks to an organization come from within. In this blog post, we’ll explore the world of SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) and how it can be instrumental in mitigating insider risks.
Significance of SaaS
Before we delve into the intricacies of insider risk management and SSPM, we should acknowledge that SaaS is quick, accessible, and solves business problems efficiently. However, amid the SaaS boom, we can’t turn a blind eye to the challenges it brings. SaaS’s decentralized nature allows anyone in an organization to connect applications, often bypassing security measures and IT oversight. The result? A significant increase in insider incidents, which have surged by 44% in recent years. What’s more, a striking 56% of these insider threat incidents are attributed to negligence rather than malicious intent.
As organizations embrace SaaS, it’s crucial to address these challenges head-on, and that’s where SSPM comes into play.
Understanding Insider Risk
Insider risk management is all about addressing the potential threats posed by individuals who have authorized access to an organization’s systems, data, or resources but misuse or abuse their privileges. These individuals can be current employees, contractors, or even former employees who still retain access after leaving. The consequences of insider risks can be dire, ranging from data theft and unauthorized access to sabotage and unintentional actions that result in data breaches or operational disruptions.
It’s important to note that insider risks aren’t solely the result of malicious intent. Negligent insiders, who may lack security knowledge, show indifference to security measures, or prioritize efficiency over security, can unintentionally introduce risks. For example, a finance department employee sharing sensitive data via Google Drive without proper access restrictions is a classic example of negligence.
On the other end of the spectrum are malicious insiders who deliberately exploit their legitimate access for personal gain or to harm the organization. In an era marked by layoffs and workforce changes, the potential for former employees with lingering access to become malicious insiders is a real concern.
What is SSPM?
To effectively address insider risks in a SaaS-driven world, we need tools and solutions that can provide comprehensive security coverage. That’s where SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) comes into play. SSPM is a cloud-based, automated security solution designed to safeguard SaaS environments.
The key word here is “automation.” Organizations often find themselves bogged down by manual and error-prone processes. SSPM offers a way to streamline and enhance security measures.
SSPM Gives You Control for Combatting Insider Risk
According to Wing’s own research, the average employee today uses a staggering 28 applications. Multiply that by the number of employees in your organization, and you’ll realize the magnitude of SaaS usage. The ease with which employees can install applications, often bypassing security protocols, results in a shadow network of unvetted applications operating within organizations. Many of these applications may pose security risks and fail to meet security standards.
SSPM steps in to discover Shadow IT and risky applications while collaborating with end-users to mitigate these risks. It also uncovers insider risks by identifying who is sharing what and with whom, all in a non-intrusive manner.
SSPM Prioritizes Security for Insider Risk
Among its various advantages, SSPM places a premium on security. Through its automated discovery and remediation capabilities, SSPM not only enhances security but also saves valuable resources, time, and money.
Four Ways to Use SSPM to Reduce Insider Risk
Now that we understand the significance of SSPM, let’s explore four key strategies for using it to mitigate insider risk and improve security.
- Uncovering Insider Threats Associated with Shadow IT
- Shadow IT can pose a substantial challenge when coupled with insider risks. This issue arises when employees install unsanctioned SaaS applications without IT and security team approval, inadvertently introducing potential risks. SSPM helps by providing a comprehensive view of your organization’s SaaS landscape, enabling proactive threat identification and mitigation.
- Revoking Unnecessary Access to SaaS Applications
- Reviewing and managing user access rights is essential to secure your organization against potential insider threats. SSPM facilitates user access management through automated access reviews, ensuring that only authorized individuals have access to critical information and applications.
- Monitoring for Abnormal User Behavior
- Continuous monitoring of abnormal user behavior is crucial for proactive insider risk management. Detecting unusual data transfers, deletions, or access attempts can help prevent security breaches. Advanced SSPM solutions like Wing offer real-time monitoring and remediation capabilities, allowing organizations to stay ahead of potential threats.
- Offboarding Outgoing Employees Effectively
- Effectively managing the offboarding process is essential to prevent outgoing employees from retaining access to critical business information. SSPM solutions that can detect who has access to what will be able to ensure that should an offboarded employee still have access, he/she is known to the relevant security or IT team, reducing the risk of insider threats and enhancing overall security.
SSPM is a vital tool in managing insider risk in a SaaS-dominated environment. By automating security measures and providing comprehensive visibility, SSPM empowers organizations to safeguard their data and resources against both negligent and malicious insiders. As the SaaS landscape continues to evolve, embracing SSPM becomes essential for maintaining robust cybersecurity practices.