What is SSPM – SaaS Security Posture Management. The Next Big Thing.

What is SSPM – SaaS Security Posture Management.

Researchers Report First Instance of Automated SaaS Ransomware Extortion

The 0mega ransomware group has successfully pulled off an extortion attack against a company’s SharePoint Online environment without needing to use a compromised endpoint, which is how these attacks usually unfold. Instead, the threat group appears to have used a weakly secured administrator account to infiltrate the unnamed company’s environment, elevate permissions, and eventually exfiltrate sensitive data from the victim’s SharePoint libraries. The data was used to extort the victim to pay a ransom.

The Next Big Thing.

SSPM is not CIEM or CSPM, CNAPP, CASB, WAF or CIEM

Why SaaS and Google Chrome/ Workspaces

No security team can mitigate all of the following risks in your network, you need to reduce you exposure and the only options is to move to SaaS. Digital Transformation is a big word, meaning move to SaaS, yet people forgot a critical item, the biggest Threat is your General Purpose Operating System

What is SaaS Security

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud is an application service delivered by the cloud. Most of the infrastructure is managed by the provider. Examples include Office 365, Dropbox, Gmail, Adobe Creative Cloud, Google G Suite, DocuSign, and Shopify. Here, you are only responsible for your logins and data. Primary threats include phishing, credential stuffing, and credential theft. These can be controlled via solutions such as multi-factor authentication, application configuration hardening, and data-at-rest encryption (if available).

Software as a service or briefly SaaS is a business model that provides access to applications over the internet or cloud. It’s an alternative to buying and installing software locally.

SaaS implies a subscription-based and centrally-hosted model of software licensing and deployment. For this reason, it is also referred to as rentware, subscribeware, or on-demand software. Software as a service is part and parcel of the terminology of cloud computing. It is an umbrella term that contains other related expressions of the same nomenclature, namely infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).

What is SSPM

Cloud security is the umbrella that holds within it: IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. Gartner created the SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) category for solutions that continuously assess security risk and manage the SaaS applications’ security posture. 

The SaaS architecture allows companies to focus on their core business while the third-party provider focuses on managing the security.

SSPM is required as traditional methods to detect threats don’t work well with API/SaaS data.

Why Do Businesses Need SaaS Security?

Simply put, SaaS security refers to a set of practices put into place by an organization to protect its assets that are involved in the software as a service architecture.

All organizations using SaaS need the right processes and tools in place to secure the data housed in their SaaS applications, and to keep it secure over time.

SaaS applications now house massive amounts of sensitive data and run critical business processes. As the footprint and complexity of an organization’s SaaS environment grows, the exposure to risk increases.

Threat actors are particularly attracted to environments that deploy software-as-a-service products because of the volume of sensitive data that it’s stored there. Data like payment card numbers or even PII (personally identifiable information) trigger hackers and that is why security for SaaS applications becomes vital, as it’s needed to avoid data breaches, because, even if the platform, network, apps, operating system, and physical infrastructure are all under the control of the SaaS provider, what this does not do is to protect customer data.

So what is the difference between SSPM and OWASP

Good question, while SSPM and OWASP are related in terms of security and protecting data, the responsibility of OWASP is soley with the SaaS developer and SSPM is aligned to the SaaS Consumer only.

SaaS Risks;

  • Lack of control over the growing SaaS app estate
  • Lack of governance in the lifecycle of SaaS apps
  • Lack of visibility of all the configurations in SaaS stack
  • Skills gap in ever-evolving, accelerating, complex cloud security
  • Laborious & overwhelming workload to stay on top of  all settings and permissions
  • SaaS Account Compromise
  • SaaS Configuration and Compliance
  • Access Privileges and Right sizing

SaaS SSPM and MITRE

  • https://attack.mitre.org/matrices/enterprise/cloud/saas/
  • https://attack.mitre.org/matrices/enterprise/cloud/googleworkspace/
  • https://attack.mitre.org/matrices/enterprise/cloud/azuread/

Saas Security Risks. What Are Some Challenges in Implementing Software-as-a-Service Security?

The Challenge with Access Management

Before buying a SaaS product, you should be aware, from a customer perspective, if this shows particular network issues such as the lack of monitoring or an improper patching strategy. Access management is essential because when we talk about software as a service we talk about sensitive data stored in the cloud, therefore its exposure would do no good and cloud SaaS security becomes thus essential.

Misconfiguration Might Represent a Risk for the SaaS Cybersecurity

Because of the large number of complexity layers that software as a service products encompass, this might also trigger the risk of the emergence of misconfigurations impacting consequently the cloud infrastructure.

Check Data Storage Policies

When purchasing software as a service, an aspect that should be considered in terms of software as service security is that data encryption should be available in all data storage stages (in transit, or at rest), how your software as a service provider stores that data whether using a cloud service provider or in a private data center and aspect regarding the files sharing between end-users.

Recovery in Case of Security Disaster

Recovery in case of cybersec disaster is an essential aspect that might challenge the SaaS application security. You need to be aware of some aspects like: what’s the backup plan in case something happens and if and how you benefit from a complete restoration in this kind of situation.

A disaster might mean a data breachransomware attacksmalware infiltration, and so on can critically impact a business. That is why you need to know what’s the prevention plan of your software as a service provider and how they can address these types of potential risks and what are the means of proper and timely identification of such a risk.

The Complexity of the Applications

SaaS applications are normally both complex and unique that show features like proprietary data logs, permissions, roles, or configurations. Protecting these applications in an efficient manner means that security teams take into account each particularity which can become challenging and raise some SaaS security concerns if they don’t have a proper overview into the SaaS environment. This can be achieved by giving them more insight into the apps and letting them get access to information linked to SaaS environments

Key SSPM Vendors

Relevant Security Frameworks

  • SOC 2
  • CIS Azure Foundation
  • CIS Zoom Benchmark
  • ISO/IEC 27001
  • CSA CCM
  • CIS Microsoft 365 Foundation
  • NIST SP 800-53
  • ISM/Essentials 8
  • IRAP

Mitigation, Detection and Response

Monitor human and service identities, effective permissions, and exposed secrets across cloud environments. Analyze risk and generate least privilege access policies to efficiently remove any unused, risky or excessive privileges.

  • Admin role assigned or revoked.
  • API token created or revoked.
  • Application modified.
  • Look for impossible travel (UEBA) and based on ASN Address, expiry sessions to admin panels or admin api/users immediately.

Salesforce Exploites

Reference Article

https://appomni.com/resources/articles-and-whitepapers/guide-to-saas-security-management/