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Safeguard Your Data: The Importance of Mindful Sharing in SaaS Applications

The core of SaaS applications revolves around collaboration, making it easier than ever to work with others. With content stored in the cloud, these applications provide immediate shareability. However, this shareability can be a double-edged sword, as sensitive links on public-facing websites can be easily accessed, leading to potential exposure and harm.

Sharing Files and Documents

Generally, there are two methods to share files and documents within SaaS applications. The file owner can either make the resource available to specific users or make it available to "anyone with a link". Sharing with specific users can be time-consuming and cumbersome, while sharing with anyone who has the link is more convenient but increases the risk of a data breach.

Real-Life Breaches and Their Consequences

Several incidents have demonstrated the dangers of link sharing. In 2021, New York City school officials experienced a data leak that exposed sensitive information of over 3,000 students and 100 staff members. The leak occurred when a student gained access to a Google Drive containing the data.

Security researchers found in 2019 that dozens of companies, including Amadeus, Apple, Edelman, and Herbalife, were leaking sensitive corporate and customer data stored in Box. This data could have been protected had the companies used access controls within the platform.

Best Practices to Prevent Data Leakage and Data Loss

To ensure data security in SaaS applications, organizations should follow these guidelines:

  1. Share files with specific users – Requiring users to login before accessing data reduces the likelihood of unauthorized access.

  2. Add expiration dates to shared links – This prevents forgotten shared documents from causing unintended exposure.

  3. Password protect all links – Require password protection on all external-facing files to add an additional layer of security.

  4. Create a Resource Inventory – Maintain a list of all corporate resources, including each file's share settings, to help security teams evaluate risk and exposure.

Protecting against over-shared links can also be achieved through automated methods, such as using an SSPM (SaaS Security Posture Management) solution. An SSPM identifies publicly shared resources at risk and helps organizations protect against data loss. Once the security team is aware of the attack surface, they can remediate and secure the link as needed.

Securing links is a vital measure to limit the risk of data exposure in SaaS applications. By following best practices and implementing proper security tools, organizations can significantly decrease the chances of data breaches and maintain the integrity of their data.

Don't let your organization fall victim to data leaks and breaches. Reach out to BVTech LLC today for expert guidance and assistance in securing your SaaS applications. Contact us by email at or call us directly at (210) 538-3669. Let us help you safeguard your data and strengthen your organization's security posture.

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