How to Secure SaaS Apps in the Modern Workplace

Tathagata Chakrabarti

27th September, 2023


SaaS applications must be protected as they hold huge amounts of sensitive information related to the organization. Any data breach in this can result in financial loss, legal consequences, and reputational damage. 

As an IT manager, you can take certain measures to secure SaaS apps and organizations' data. 

According to Gartner's report, 99% of cloud security breaches will be the user's fault. Factors like lack of centralized SaaS management, poor visibility over SaaS users' data, and improper access distribution are some of the reasons why cloud failures happen.

This is why you will need to track high-risk apps and users who access them, their access levels, and the kind of data shared. 

This article will walk you through the various ways to secure SaaS apps.

4 Ways to Secure SaaS Apps

Let us explore the 4 ways to secure your SaaS apps.

1. Conduct a manual security audit 

Conducting a manual security audit provides a clear picture of an organization's SaaS environment's current security posture, including any vulnerabilities that need to be addressed. IT admins can use the results of a security audit to make informed decisions about which security measures to implement and prioritize.

By conducting a security audit of SaaS apps, IT admins can identify potential security risks such as weak passwords, unauthorized access, or data breaches. You can then take steps to strengthen security measures and ensure that your organization's data is safe from cyber threats.

In addition, a security audit of SaaS apps can also help IT admins ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards. For example, many organizations are subject to specific data privacy and security regulations; a security audit can help ensure they meet those requirements.

However, performing security audits manually may result in a higher degree of inaccuracy. This is because IT admins may overlook critical points that could compromise the security of an organization's SaaS applications.

2. Use a cloud access security broker (CASB) to secure cloud data

CASB helps IT admins secure the organization's data in the cloud by providing a range of security features and functions. One of the primary benefits of using CASB tools is that they can help IT admins gain visibility into cloud service usage, including SaaS app usage within their organization.

CASBs can identify which SaaS apps are being used and by whom and provide insight into how those apps are being accessed. This visibility can help IT admins to identify potential security risks and take necessary steps to address them.

Also, with a CASB, IT admins can create custom security policies that apply to all cloud services, including SaaS apps. These policies can include restrictions on data sharing, access controls, and malware detection, among others. 

In addition, CASBs can provide real-time alerts to IT admins when security incidents occur in the cloud environment. 

For example, a CASB can detect when sensitive data is being accessed from an unapproved location or when an unauthorized user attempts to access a cloud service. These alerts can help IT admins quickly respond to security events and prevent data breaches.

Although CASB systems offer visibility into cloud services, primarily focusing on IaaS and PaaS, and may need to provide complete visibility of SaaS apps. As a result, IT admins may need more information to secure SaaS apps.

For instance, if an organization uses Slack with multiple channels and teams, a CASB will protect Slack via authentication and may not provide specific information on who is operating these channels or any associated licensing details. This can make it difficult for IT admins to monitor and manage these services effectively.

Further, relying solely on a CASB system can create a single point of failure. If the CASB fails, there may be no other way to secure SaaS apps, leaving the organization vulnerable to security risks.

3. Use a SaaS security posture management (SSPM) tool to maintain SaaS apps' security posture

SSPM is a type of cloud security tool that helps IT admins manage the security posture of SaaS applications used across the organization. It enables IT admins to monitor and identify potential security risks and misconfigurations in their SaaS environments.

SSPM tools can be integrated with various SaaS apps to provide continuous monitoring and real-time alerts in case of any security breaches. These tools can also perform automated security assessments and provide detailed reports that help IT admins identify security gaps and take necessary actions to address them.

SSPM tools provide IT admins with a centralized dashboard that displays key security metrics, such as data access, user behavior, and third-party integrations. This helps IT admins understand their SaaS security posture and take necessary measures to improve it.

While SSPM tools are effective in identifying security risks and misconfigurations in SaaS applications, it's worth noting that these tools may only be able to detect some SaaS applications used by an organization.

This is because many SaaS applications are used outside the IT department's purview, meaning they may not be included in the organization's list of sanctioned applications. As a result, IT admins will lack the ability to manage the security of unsanctioned SaaS apps. 

4. Use a SaaS management platform - The best solution to secure your SaaS apps

Organizations using a wide variety of SaaS applications, each with its own security requirements and settings, IT admin can quickly become overwhelmed. That's where a SaaS management platform comes in. 

By centralizing the management of all SaaS applications used within the organization, an SMP can help IT admin streamline their workflows and better secure their SaaS apps.

Zluri, a SaaS management platform, helps IT admins identify, track, and manage the complete organization's SaaS landscape. Our platform uses five advanced discovery methods to ensure 100% of SaaS apps used in your organization are discovered: SSO, finance, and expense management systems, direct integration through APIs, desktop agent (optional), and browser agent (optional).


Once discovered, Zluri's real-time usage tracking functionality helps IT admins keep tabs on which applications are being used, by whom, and how they're being used.

Moreover, Zluri offers security and compliance information solutions, including events, statistics, shared data, and compliance and security probes for SaaS applications. The goal is to work towards meeting every compliance requirement while helping businesses achieve compliance as well.


Zluri encrypts all sensitive data by using secure encryption algorithms. In addition, it offers a comprehensive and auditable log of key activities, informing you about the apps' security. 

All data is stored in an encrypted state and is backed up for a period of 60 days. In addition, all the data collected, such as SaaS-app usage metrics, is retained indefinitely unless a removal request is made. 

Further, Zluri provides IT admins with a view of critical apps with high threat levels and risk scores. It alerts users not to use critical apps that can impact data confidentiality and prevent data from cyber-attacks.


The threat levels, risk scores, risk, scopes, etc., will determine the risk related to SaaS apps. 

The threat level is based on the data shared between the app and the SSO. For example, if an app has access to Google Drive and can modify or delete the drive files, then the app has a high threat level.  

In addition, Zluri helps you stay secure and compliant with ISO 27001, SOC 2, GDPR, and more compliance frameworks. Such compliance enforcement framework platforms prevent the SMPs or their users from falling prey to any threats posed by internal and external organizational factors, keeping the SaaS apps secure.


Overall, with Zluri, IT admins can have complete control over the organization's SaaS environment, making it easy to identify security gaps and make informed decisions to secure the SaaS apps. 

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