SaaS platforms increasingly used to store sensitive data

SaaS Data Management

A Software as a Service platform (SaaS) can prove to be a cost-effective way for organizations to manage information, however risk management teams have traditionally advised their businesses to avoid these platforms as a form of risk control. According to a recent study from Gartner, organizations that are willing to host data within SaaS programs will more likely store sensitive data than mission critical data within these structures.

Initial reluctance against the exposure of sensitive data to SaaS business partners stems from general cloud security concerns. Avoidance was commonly the most widespread tactic businesses used to avoid the risks associated with external data storage, though the Gartner survey demonstrated the many businesses are now creating policies that manage the way their data is shared externally.

As a result, more businesses are able to enjoy the benefits of SaaS data applications without fearing undue risk. The study surveyed 425 respondents from IT risk management teams in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Canada last winter. Twenty-six percent of respondents said they have a policy that prevents putting sensitive data into the cloud via an SaaS platform.

“These results make sense, given that sharing data with a partner almost certainly means that one or more of its employees will be accessing the data, while in a SaaS scenario, the data is typically only accessible to the primary customer,” said Jay Heiser, research vice president at Gartner.”

Many more businesses today turn to SaaS lending software as a stronger alternative to traditional financial management tools, such as simple Excel spreadsheets. Monica Ross, an executive with Parsons Electric, told TechTarget that her business adopted SaaS financial management software out of a desire for more sophisticated financial analysis, which traditional spreadsheets could not offer.

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