How to reduce the risk of third-party SaaS apps - Help Net Security

How to reduce the risk of third-party SaaS apps - Help Net Security

Third-party SaaS apps (and extensions) can significantly extend the functionality and capabilities of an organization’s public cloud environment, but they can also introduce security concerns. Many have permission to read, write, and delete sensitive data, which can have a tremendous impact on security, business, and compliance risk.

Assessing the risk of these applications is the key to maintaining a balance between safety and productivity. How can organizations take advantage of these apps’ convenience while also maintaining a secure environment?

Understanding the risk

In an ideal world, each potential application or extension would be thoroughly evaluated before it is introduced into the environment. However, with most employees still working remotely and administrators having limited control over their online activity, reducing the risk of potential data loss is just as important after the fact. In most cases, the threats from third-party applications from two different perspectives:

The third-party application may try to leak your data or contain malicious code
The application may be legitimate but be poorly written, leading to security gaps – poorly coded applications can introduce vulnerabilities that lead to data compromise

Google takes no responsibility for the safety of the applications on Marketplace, so any third-party app or extension downloaded by your employees becomes your organization’s express responsibility.

Application security best practices

While Google has a screening process for developers, users are solely responsible for compromised or lost data. Businesses must take hard and fast ownership of screening third-party apps for security best practices. What are the best practices that Google outlines for third-party application security?

Properly evaluate the vendor or application
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