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December 21, 2023 Prioritizing Security in Cloud Integrations

Building secure connections by prioritizing security in cloud-based integrations.

Across industries, cloud computing is used consistently for its convenience, flexibility, and cost efficiency. However, with the increasing threat of cyberattacks and the amount of sensitive data passed between applications and integrations, selecting a cloud-based provider is no longer just a matter of convenience and profitability. Data and infrastructure security are also high priority considerations as the threat landscape continues to evolve.

In the past year, the average cost of a data breach reached an all-time high, with estimates of $4.45 million per breach, up 15.3% since 2020, as reported by IBM. As cyberattacks increase and the financial consequences of these breaches continue to rise, it is critical organizations prioritize security as they adopt cloud-based SaaS solutions that integrate processes and applications across a company’s entire ecosystem.

security in cloud-based integrations

Enterprise-Wide Risks of Security Vulnerabilities

When selecting enterprise-wide integration software, organizations will benefit long term by prioritizing not only functionality, but security.

With the increased amount and sensitivity of data housed and filtered through cloud software, companies are at greater risk of data breaches, malware attacks, and “denial of service” attacks. These attacks can damage businesses’ reputations, internal infrastructure, supply chain operations, and violate compliance requirements. Since establishing cloud-based connections across myriad SaaS solutions often involves multiple APIs and EDI-based integrations, security considerations are paramount to protecting data. Too often, organizations may sacrifice security aspects of software to benefit from price points, certain desired capabilities or features, or integration speed. However, this can often lead to increased vulnerabilities and safety concerns.

When they don’t consider safety when choosing enterprise-wide cloud solutions, organizations are potentially leaving their customers’ data exposed, or literally in the line of fire. The consequences of failing to protect sensitive data in the cloud can be severe. On the one hand, businesses put themselves at risk of financial losses which can potentially affect share prices and valuation. On the other, recovering after a data breach, investing in new security measures and potential legal fees can mean incurring hefty, unexpected expenses. Additionally, evolving data regulations across the world can have a significant financial impact when organizations are non-compliant. Lastly, organizations must note that their reputation among customers and competition following cyberattacks can tarnish a business’ image for years to come; in some cases, operational downtime following data breaches can be so detrimental as to result in extreme consequences such as bankruptcy.

Security Features for SaaS Solutions

As different data sources, partners and systems connect within a shared infrastructure, vulnerability to cyberattacks increases. Businesses therefore need to prioritize security and take a proactive approach when integrating multiple cloud-based applications. This includes implementing strong authentication and authorization mechanisms to control access to cloud-based applications and data. Organizations must also conduct a thorough security assessment of all cloud-based applications and services before integration to identify any security risks and mitigation strategies. They should also ensure the integration uses encryption to protect data in transit and at rest in the cloud. Finally, organizations need to understand that these integrations require constant monitoring for suspicious activity and require prompt response to security incidents and update accordingly.

IT decision-makers must prioritize data security by employing key features such as data connectivity, data encryption, authentication and authorization, and secure identity management as they select an integration platform for their organization:

  • Data Connectivity: Minimize risk of data exposure during data sharing by requiring secure connections, customizing connection timeout, and protecting access with password expiration and checkpoint restarts.
  • Authorization: Restrict authorization with access tokens and a credentials vault to ensure that only authorized users or applications are accessing important platforms, reducing the risk of a security attack.
  • Authentication: Verify users through multi-factor authentication (MFA) and identity verification platforms to protect data and information from unauthorized access.
  • Encryption: Convert data into a secure format to protect it from exposure during transit and utilize tokenization to reduce the chances of accidental exposure of encrypted data.
  • Secure Identity Management: Provide a centralized framework to manage identities and access to cloud based systems protects permissions and secures against vulnerabilities as well as enabling safe onboarding and offboarding practices.

Key Takeaways

Prioritizing security considerations when assessing cloud-based integrations is critical for protecting businesses’ credibility and profitability. The benefits of weighing the security priorities of integrations for SaaS software are just as important as the services provided by the software. Secure cloud software protects sensitive data and information from theft or destruction while upholding regulations and compliance standards across industries. It also builds and maintains trust with customers and partners by demonstrating commitment to data protection. Data safety and security concerns are top priority for customers, and implementing well-protected cloud integrations can provide them with peace of mind in business operations. Organizations can cement partnerships and support financial stability by implementing security measures that reduce the risk of compliance violations and business disruptions while providing customers with reliable software.

dave brunswick cleo
Dave Brunswick

About the Author:
As Senior Vice President, Products, Dave Brunswick leads Product Strategy, Product Management and Product Marketing for Cleo, driving innovation via the Company’s product roadmap, vertical-market solutions, and key Services offerings. Dave brings more than 25 years of integration industry experience to his role, including roles in technical sales, pre-sales, technology strategy, engineering, product management, and product development.  With Cleo since 2015, he previously served as Vice President, Products, and prior to that was Vice President, Solutions for the Company. In these roles Dave has overseen Cleo’s Pre-Sales, Solutions support, and Product Management functions, managing teams in the U.S., EMEA, and India. Before joining Cleo, Dave was Senior Director, Horizontal Pre-Sales for Axway; Regional Director, Field Engineering, for Tumbleweed Communications; and Lead Architect, Operational Control Systems for ICL Fujitsu.  He also has led systems research and development teams for a range of government, manufacturing, and transportation customers, including five years as Principal Knowledge Engineer with British Airways. A native of England, Dave holds an M.A. in mathematics from Oxford University.

 

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