IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

SMBs Want Better SaaS Security. Do You Stack Up?

Managed service providers who include an automated SaaS security solution in their stack can better protect customers without adding more management time. By Derik Belair

SaaS applications have become embedded in business, with 74% of respondents in a global Axionius survey reporting that more than half of their applications are now SaaS. However, the rush to the cloud has brought with it an imbalance between spending and security. SaaS spending is up—66% of Axionius respondents are spending more—while SaaS security ranks fourth or lower on enterprises’ list of security priorities. In the SMB space, however, with budgets and staff already tight, organizations are coming to the realization they need to move SaaS security up on the priority list to prevent damaging data breaches they cannot afford. In a recent survey on the SaaS technology buying process, SMBs were asked what criteria is most important in selecting SaaS applications. Security (70%) was the highest priority, with proven technology second at 61%.

The SMB Business Opportunity

The latest statistics from Verizon indicate that SaaS applications are, in fact, becoming more of a contributor to cyberthreats. The Verizon 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report finds that 40% of ransomware incidents involve desktop sharing software. Popular SaaS applications like Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, or even Zoom or Slack, are an entry point for breaches and ransomware.

The reality is SaaS applications are not inherently secure, and SaaS providers cannot be relied upon or expected to provide all the needed security. To serve their SMB customers, channel pros should look to add partner solutions that can bring efficient, automated security, visibility and monitoring, and improved cloud application management to their stack.

Managed service providers can resell the solution to their end-user customers who are struggling with staff shortages, cloud misconfigurations, and the nagging sense they aren’t keeping up with the security protection needed for the explosive number of SaaS applications. The endgame will be a more secure SaaS environment for the customer, a new means of monetizing SaaS security services for the channel, and a way to differentiate one MSP’s offering from another. Plus, MSPs will receive a perceived uptick in value on the part of their end-user customers.

Automation and Visibility Are Key

In seeking partner solutions to add to their stack, MSPs, like the SMB organizations they serve, are having to conserve limited staff time. They do not have the resources to manually review scores of SaaS-related security settings. They want an automated SaaS security solution that will help them improve security for their customers without adding more management time to their day.

A good example of the need for more security is Microsoft 365, a main target of cybercriminals with millions of incidents each day. An automated system that monitors Microsoft 365 applications can detect suspicious events and trigger alerts to help eliminate threats before sensitive data is stolen or corrupted. Log monitoring, for example, can be used to learn about potential threats and discover events that lead to a security breach. Monitoring alerts can detect when a user logs in from different locations that are impossibly far apart to travel to within a given time frame, when a new inbox rule is created on a user’s account, or when there are excessive failed login attempts. 

These incidents can be automatically rolled up into reports for analysis to identify key vulnerabilities in an SMB’s SaaS application usage. The threat reports can serve as an educational tool for solution providers to demonstrate to customers the need for an enhanced security service.