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CSA Official Press Release

Published 06/05/2023

New Cloud Security Alliance Survey Finds SaaS Security Has Become a Top Priority for 80% of Organizations

New Cloud Security Alliance Survey Finds SaaS Security Has Become a Top Priority for 80% of Organizations

More than half of security executives experienced a SaaS security incident in the past two years

Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit, National Harbor, Maryland – June 5, 2023 – The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the world’s leading organization dedicated to defining standards, certifications, and best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment, today released the findings of its latest survey, SaaS Security Survey Report: 2024 Plans & Priorities. Commissioned by Adaptive Shield, the leading SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) company, the survey gathered responses from 1,000-plus C-level security executives and professionals from all over the world, with the majority from North American enterprises.

“Many recent breaches and data leaks have been tied back to SaaS apps. We wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the incidents within SaaS applications, and how organizations are building their threat prevention and detection models to secure their SaaS ecosystem," said Hillary Baron, lead author and Senior Technical Director for Research, Cloud Security Alliance. “This explains why 71% of respondents are prioritizing their investment in security tools for SaaS, most notably turning to SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) as the solution to secure their entire SaaS stack.

“The attack surface in the SaaS ecosystem is widening and just as you would secure a cloud infrastructure with Cloud security posture management, organizations should secure their SaaS data and prioritize SaaS security,” asserts Maor Bin, CEO and co-founder of Adaptive Shield. “In last year’s survey, 17% of respondents said they were using SSPM. This year that figure has soared, with 80% currently using or planning to use an SSPM by the end of 2024. This dramatic growth is fueled by the fact that 55% of organizations stated they recently experienced a SaaS security incident, which resulted in ransomware, malware, data breaches, and more. Threat prevention and detection in SaaS is critical to a robust cybersecurity strategy spanning SaaS Misconfigurations, Identity and Access Governance, SaaS-to-SaaS Access, Device-to-SaaS Risk Management, and Identity Threat Detection & Response (ITDR).”

Among the survey’s key findings:

  • Current SaaS security strategies and methodologies don’t go far enough: More than half (58%) of organizations estimate their current SaaS security solutions only cover 50% or less of their SaaS applications. This gap cannot be filled using manual audits and cloud access security brokers (CASB), which are not enough to protect companies from SaaS security incidents.
  • Investment in SaaS and SaaS security resources are drastically increasing: 66% of organizations have increased their investment in SaaS apps, with 71% increasing their investment in security tools to protect for these business-critical appsSaaS. This can be attributed to the fact that SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) provides coverage in areas where other methods have fallen short.
  • Stakeholder spread in securing SaaS apps: CISOs and security managers are shifting from being controllers to governors as the ownership of SaaS apps are spread out through the different departments of their organization.
  • How organizations are prioritizing policies and processes for their entire SaaS security ecosystem: Organizations are expanding their SaaS security to address a broad range of concerns in the SaaS ecosystem, including SaaS-to-SaaS Access, Device-to-SaaS Risk Management, Identity and Access Governance, and ITDR, etc.
  • Companies recognize the importance of human capital in safeguarding SaaS ecosystem but more is needed: While 68% of organizations are ramping up investments in hiring and training staff on SaaS security, only 51% have established communication and collaboration between security and app owner teams, and an abysmal 33% currently monitoring less than half of their SaaS stack.
  • More focus must be dedicated to device hygiene: Ensuring the security of devices that access the SaaS stack is critical for preventing unauthorized access and data breaches. Despite this, only 54% of organizations check device hygiene for SaaS privileged users, 47% inspect the device hygiene of all SaaS users, and just 42% identify unmanaged devices accessing the SaaS stack.

The survey gathered more than 1,000 responses from IT and security professionals from various organization sizes, industries, locations, and roles. Sponsors are CSA Corporate Members who support the research project’s findings but have no added influence on the content development or editing rights of CSA research.

To review the complete 2023 State of SaaS Security report, please visit https://cloudsecurityalliance.org/artifacts/state-of-saas-security-2023-survey-report/.

About Adaptive Shield
Adaptive Shield, leader in SaaS Security, enables security teams to secure their entire SaaS stack through threat prevention, detection and response. With Adaptive Shield, organizations continuously manage and control all SaaS and 3rd-party connected apps, as well as govern all SaaS users and risks associated with their devices. Founded by Maor Bin and Jony Shlomoff, Adaptive Shield works with many Fortune 500 enterprises and has been named Gartner® Cool Vendor™ 2022. For more information, visit us at www.adaptive-shield.com or follow us on LinkedIn.

About Cloud Security Alliance
The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) is the world’s leading organization dedicated to defining and raising awareness of best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment. CSA harnesses the subject matter expertise of industry practitioners, associations, governments, and its corporate and individual members to offer cloud security-specific research, education, training, certification, events, and products. CSA's activities, knowledge, and extensive network benefit the entire community impacted by cloud — from providers and customers to governments, entrepreneurs, and the assurance industry — and provide a forum through which different parties can work together to create and maintain a trusted cloud ecosystem. For further information, visit us at www.cloudsecurityalliance.org, and follow us on Twitter @cloudsa.

Media Contacts
Doug Fraim, Guyer Group
[email protected]

Kristina Rundquist
ZAG Communications for CSA
[email protected]

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About Cloud Security Alliance

The Cloud Security Alliance is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to promote the use of best practices for providing security assurance within Cloud Computing, and to provide education on the uses of Cloud Computing to help secure all other forms of computing. The Cloud Security Alliance is led by a broad coalition of industry practitioners, corporations, associations and other key stakeholders. For further information, follow us on Twitter @cloudsa.

For press inquiries, email Zenobia Godschalk of ZAG Communications or reach her by phone at 650.269.8315.