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Cybersecurity for Competitive Advantage

The world is moving online, and that comes with added security risks. Companies across a range of industries have been steadily investing in cloud storage and third-party software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers over the last few years. However, this can leave sensitive information vulnerable to malicious hackers and malware. We saw dozens of high-profile data breaches in 2016 targeting companies of all sizes, resulting in billions of dollars in damages.

To reduce the risk that comes with storing information online, companies need to partner with SaaS providers that harness the latest trends in vulnerability management software. Learn more about the latest cybersecurity threats and how to gain a competitive advantage in today’s digital world.

Cybersecurity for SaaS Providers

Much of the world runs on Saas, including popular assets from Adobe, Microsoft, Google, and other major software developers. SaaS providers often value two components when advertising their services to various corporations: uptime and security.

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Uptime is crucial in today’s fast-paced world. The information stored in these systems needs to be accessible 24/7. SaaS providers will try to get as close to 100% uptime as possible to make sure their customers can use the system at all times. However, a security threat or ransomware attack could bring the system down for anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks, depending on the severity of the threat. These kinds of attacks damage the provider’s reputation in the industry. Their customers won’t store their information on their network unless they know it’s secure.

Security often goes hand in hand with uptime, but a potential hack or attack may not bring the system down entirely. In some cases, the hacker will steal sensitive information and sell it to third parties to make a profit. They may also use this information to gain access to valuable trade secrets that could damage both the SaaS vendor and its clients.

That’s why security should be every SaaS provider’s first priority. Most providers use automated vulnerability management tools that automatically scan for potential threats on a continuous basis. The system will then prioritize health risk and the threat based on the potential risk level. The most pressing attacks target assets or files containing sensitive information.

SaaS providers tend to be vulnerable to a wide range of threats and vulnerabilities. Generally, the more popular the software, the more hackers will target it.

They tend to get targeted with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which is when the hacker creates artificial traffic to overwhelm the system, thus shutting it down. This cuts into the SaaS provider’s uptime. It may take them several hours or days to resolve the issue.

There were several massive DDoS attacks in 2016, including the notorious protocol-based DDoS attack on the Sony PlayStation gaming network. Hackers artificially inflated traffic to bring the system down. The total cost of DDoS attacks in 2016 was $1.6 million. SaaS providers calculate the cost of downtime using different time intervals. The estimated cost of downtime ranges from $100,000 per hour to over $540,000 per hour, but these costs vary widely based on the provider’s industry and popularity.

Gaining a Competitive Advantage

Studies show that providers face an average of 18 vulnerabilities per asset. It takes SaaS providers, on average, 50 days to remediate each vulnerability.

These statistics should leave SaaS users concerned for their safety. Companies should focus on partnering with SaaS providers that share their commitment to safety and vulnerability management. They should research the company in question to make sure that it is using a reliable scanning tool as well as the latest vulnerability management services and remediation tactics.

Companies have no shortage of options when it comes to storing their information online. SaaS providers should focus on improving their approach to security to gain a competitive advantage in today’s increasingly digital world. That means using an automated vulnerability management tool and expediting the remediation process, so that the system gets patched before an outage occurs.

Download the full Cybersecurity for Competitive Advantage Report from NopSec to learn more about the  current challenges in demonstrating security compliance and how SaaS providers are using cybersecurity to radically differentiate their offering and transform their business.

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