Is SaaS Ultimately Safe?
For IT and even QA managers, the question is much more related to how SaaS is adopted than just the concept itself. To avoid having headaches with the modernization of your IT structure with the help of SaaS, it is worth putting the following tips into practice:
SaaS has revolutionized the world of cloud computing, enabling companies to move from on-premise solutions to on-demand. By allowing an application to run on a remote server, SaaS technology gives the user the ability to periodically pay only for those features used in their subscription. SaaS has become well-known as a business advantage, thanks to its scalability, flexibility, license cost reduction, automatic updates, and more that can be extremely useful in the IT universe.
However, there is a big reason why managers are afraid of moving to SaaS: data security. Companies fear that their data will be unsafe because it is not managed internally anymore – which is a big misconception. In fact, both SaaS companies and cloud service providers have strict data security policies, making them rarely prone to breaches in their systems. All in all, the responsibility is split between the customer and the SaaS provider, and each party has to know how and what their role is in ensuring a safe environment.
Since this type of service has taken the place of on-prem applications, it is more than natural to imagine that the entire information security framework has also been transformed. This leads us to the following question: How should managers and employees adopt it within their organization?
Choose a trustworthy SaaS platform
Whether you are looking to acquire quality management software, an ERPs, or a codeless test automation tool, it is your responsibility to check if the SaaS is safe. This means that you must determine whether it was deployed on a safe cloud server, has the proper certifications, ensures data privacy, and satisfies other major security concerns.
Control access to cloud computing within your organization
A recent Shred-it survey showed that negligent employees are the biggest threat to endpoint security. Therefore, controlling and monitoring how your employees use SaaS solutions is probably the most important safety measure you can take. Some best practices for controlling cloud access in your company can include:
- Setting a time and day of allowed access with automatic locking systems
- Security enhancement layers such as two-step authentication
- Hierarchical access according to the employee’s function within the company
- A possibility of access to systems and applications via mobile or just through corporate computers
Additionally, frequently training your employees about the responsibilities of access and use of computers or phones, should be a daily practice in organizations that want to avoid IT security headaches.
Think about the architecture before implementing a SaaS
Choose a SaaS provider that can fully integrate with your enterprise with identity verification services, positioned behind the firewall of enterprise networks. It’s no use worrying about software alone. It is essential that your entire IT architecture is taught to work well while monitoring continuously. This way you can receive security alerts at the slightest signal of suspicious activity, and take the necessary measures to avoid great damage.
Avoid recording overly sensitive or critical data
The greatest fear of systems developed in the cloud is the possibility of integrating different data from various sources. That means you can work with almost all of your company’s most critical information on a single platform. But that does not necessarily mean that you need to leave them saved in your virtual environment. It is worth having a filter and another type of storage to keep the keys on what is most precious to the company.
Make sure you have extra internal security solutions
In general, data security solutions are included in the cloud service provider packages that host SaaS platforms. However, if they are not automatically present, do not give up features like periodic backups and regular audits. It is always good to remember that governance in information security is a kind of race against the development of new tactics by hackers and other types of virtual criminals.
What to expect from a complete SaaS testing solution
In short, SaaS is safe as long as the company knows how to implement it. However, you should not let yourself be overly cautious before you know what an on-demand solution can offer in terms of security.
Safety in a SaaS codeless test automation platform
As a test automation platform, we understand the sensitivity of our customers’ data. There is a latent need to automate and move to SaaS, but at the same time, the fear of exposing private information prevents most managers to take this step further and enhance their QA process. Below you will find three ways our SaaS testing platform ensures a safe network, followed by three extra security measures taken for granting safe access to your network.
TestCraft holds an ISO 27001 certification, which confirms the company’s adherence to a wide range of information security best practices. These best practices range from operational security to backups and employee security training. When searching for a test automation tool, it is important to ask if they have any certifications, especially from a widely respected, independent body.
End-to-end encryption cycle
Both the data in transition and the data at rest (sensitive information like users credentials) are encrypted end-to-end, plus all interaction with servers happens over Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) transmission, which is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. SSL terminates within the Amazon Web Services (AWS) network.
AWS secure infrastructure
Extra Steps to Secure a Safe SaaS Network Access
Customer-specific VPC option
As an extra step of security, TestCraft offers the option to set up a dedicated AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), as well as use VPN tunneling to connect this VPC to the applications under test in the customer network. Users will be able to have complete control over their virtual networking environment, including a selection of their own IP address ranges, the creation of subnets, the configuration of route tables, and network gateways. This offers an easy, yet a very secure option for establishing a connection between the test automation platform and tested applications.
Strong authentication to network resources
Our platform may set up a proxy server on the way into the user’s network that requires two-factor authentication (2FA). We offer the user to login with username and password, and once this authentication is completed, it will send a token to use as a second factor to grant the company access to our platform.
Network IP whitelisting
IP whitelisting means that on your firewall, you can grant access to a single IP address that allows a computer from that IP to enter this network. TestCraft, for example, uses a single, static IP address for each of its platform deployments (US and Europe). Therefore, it is easy to whitelist those IP addresses on the firewall to grant secure access, while still preventing unwarranted access from other IPs.
SaaS is Secure
QA managers are advised to follow or check for these guidelines when they wish to implement a secure SaaS platform. There are several options for test automation platforms in the market, and one should evaluate which solution fits best with the company’s architecture. The liability of ensuring a safe SaaS falls on the hands of the QA manager, the employees, and the SaaS service provider, and each party should know and practice their duties to guarantee no security breach.
Editor’s Note: The post was originally published in September 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.