Data Protection & Privacy during the Rise of SaaS

Now that we are some 20+ years into the cloud computing era, SaaS is no longer taboo…it’s the norm.  However, the transition created by digital transformations or cloud-first initiatives has many enterprises thinking “How will we ensure data security and compliance requirements are met?”
Starry sky with hues of purple and blue.

The Rise of SaaS

Twenty years ago, on-prem data storage and integrations were a safe bet considering the new kid on the block:  SaaS (Software as a Service).  The highly-customizable and secure nature of on-prem software seemed to be the gold standard, at least until the internet made its way into the hands of virtually every human being. In simple terms, SaaS is a method of service that distributes a number of different applications via the Internet. This method of service allows you to simply access these applications from the internet without having to go through the usually complex process of installing and maintaining software and other cloud-computing hardware. With the world-wide web proliferating, the possibilities of cloud computing began to grow exponentially.  This gave nearly every entrepreneur the ability to build specialized SaaS products that could meet enterprise-grade process automation needs while drastically reducing technical debt related to on-prem infrastructure.

What is SaaS Security?

Now that we are some 20+ years into the cloud computing era, SaaS is no longer taboo…it’s the norm.  However, the transition created by digital transformations or cloud-first initiatives has many enterprises thinking “How will we ensure data security and compliance requirements are met?”

What is SaaS Security?  If we run a quick Google search on “What is SaaS security?”, we find answers like, SaaS Security refers to securing user privacy and corporate data in subscription-based or cloud-based applications. SaaS Security is also defined as the managing, monitoring, and safeguarding of sensitive data from cyber-attacks. For the sake of this discussion, we will define SaaS Security the combination of relevant processes, best practices, and guidelines from business, Information Technology, and Risk & Compliance stakeholders to safeguard an organization’s data from a danger or threat.

Why is SaaS Security Important?

In Blissfully’s 2020 annual report, they explains that SMB, mid-market, and enterprise organizations have an average 2 Year growth rate for SaaS applications of 27%.  Even more striking, IT & Security, Customer Suport, and HR have rates of roughly 90%, 55%, and 40% respectively.

2 Year Growth Rate graph for industries using SaaS apps


This means that SaaS solutions are trending in a direction that will far outpace the adoption of traditional on-prem software.  With this in mind, here are 3 reasons why SaaS Security is more important now than ever:

  1. SaaS adoption rates are through the roof.
  1. The modern workforce is increasingly more remote.
  1. Data privacy and regulatory compliance rules are increasingly more granular with stiffer penalties for violation.

At the rate SaaS’ impact is growing, any organization will have to think on its feet in order to secure and balance all of the benefits of SaaS with the risks it introduces.

How Do You Ensure Your SaaS Solution is Secure?

One tangible benefit of widespread internet adoption is that hybrid cloud computing solutions are widely available and affordable.  For those with a “cloud-first” approach, it may be beneficial to consider the following questions:

  • Do we really need SaaS solutions, or are we simply attracted to the ease of implementation & maintenance?
  • Am I OK with entrusting my data to a 3rd party?
  • If I go “all-in” on SaaS, is my corporate regulatory posture mature enough to support the accessibility and security requirements within a complex regulatory environment?

At the end of the day, neither SaaS nor On-Prem are inherently “right” or “wrong”.  Wisdom and experience would suggest, perhaps, that a hybrid approach provides a level of flexibility and granularity that neither option can achieve alone.

SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) as it Relates to Salesforce Data Management & Enablement 

A word of wisdom about backups, recovery, and data management with SaaS products:  Anyone with entry-level knowledge in the IT world will assume that most SaaS solutions have DR/BCP components strategically built into their core offerings. What is not as widely known, however, is the lack of visibility, fidelity, or validation provided by most SaaS solutions as they pertain to tactical use of the backup & recovery capabilities.  Many (not all) of said solutions have a primary objective of keeping customer data as a means of embedding themselves into their customer base.  In other words backup & recovery is an afterthought rather than a foundational requirement.  Before pulling the trigger on purchasing the latest SaaS solution, be sure to do your due diligence research on how fast and easy (or slow and difficult) it will be to recover from problems.

Data Autonomy: CapStorm’s Zero Trust, No Visibility Commitment

By now, you may be wondering “Who is CapStorm? And why do they have so many opinions on this topic?”  CapStorm is a self-hosted Salesforce Data Management platform used to Assure, Enable, and Govern Salesforce data.  Working in the Salesforce ecosystem for the past 11+ years has taught us some very valuable lessons:

  • Most organizations looking for SaaS solutions actually prefer a hybrid cloud approach after learning they can meet security and operational requirements in their own public, private, or hybrid cloud.
  • Most organizations prefer having a DR/BCP plan they can validate on-demand rather than trust it will work in a pinch.
  • Most organizations prefer to hear that their technology vendors will never see or store their data.
    • Most organizations have redundant SaaS technology that they would like to replace with a single, robust platform for Salesforce data management.
    • Most organizations would rather trust their own resources to secure and govern data than a SaaS vendor’s compliance certifications.
  • Most organizations benefit greatly from the ability enable their data across the enterprise when they possess autonomous control over who sees it, how it is integrated, and where it is stored.

While there are always exceptions to every rule, CapStorm remains committed to a culture of Data Autonomy within the Salesforce ecosystem.  If you would like assistance with assuring, enabling, governing, or securing your Salesforce data ecosystem, contact CapStorm and talk with our product experts today.


Drew Niermann

Drew Niermann

Drew excels in presenting deeply technical ideas in a simple way. He supports 50 of CapStorm's top global accounts, helping each company to achieve their desired outcomes while also guiding a team of Enterprise Sales reps to identify and execute on each of their strategic pursuits.

About CapStorm

CapStorm is the most technologically advanced Salesforce data management platform on the market. Billions of records per day flow through CapStorm software, and our solutions are used in every industry from credit cards, telecom providers, insurance agencies, global banks and energy providers.

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