Modern SaaS Data Protection Requires Greater Granularity

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Different Departments Pose Different Organizational Risk

Organizations around the world leverage SaaS applications to drive business enablement. Employees use these tools to create, share, communicate and collaborate on multiple types of data — customer data, employee data and company data.

SaaS data protection, therefore, has become one of the top priorities for many security and IT teams to ensure no unauthorized person can access any of these critical data points.

SaaS adoption generates two types of threats: insider threats and external threats.

Insider threats. These threats can stem from a number of different sources: 1. Employees downloading sensitive data before leaving the company, 2. Uploading encryption keys and production credentials to shared drives and accessible Slack or Teams channels, 3. Syncing production code from local endpoints to the shared drive or 4. Sharing sensitive data internally to anyone with a link so that, for example, finance and engineering can see each other's data.

External threats. These threats arise when employees collaborate with customers, partners and vendors to push business enablement to the limit. Over time, these different groups tend to share information with their personal SaaS accounts and with fourth parties (the vendor's vendors). In many cases, these business relationships come to an end as employees leave the company and vendor contracts get terminated. This creates a huge amount of unmanageable data access that poses significant risk to any organization and increases the likelihood of a data breach.

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