Back to Blog December 1, 2022

    SaaS Security Challenges in Healthcare and How to Solve Them

    Healthcare is one industry feeling the profound impact of SaaS adoption — particularly following the COVID-19 pandemic, when it became heavily reliant on SaaS. 

    SaaS provides unquestionable benefits to healthcare by reducing inefficiency, improving access to healthcare services, and providing an expedited personalized response to patients’ requests. 

    However, the decentralized nature of SaaS applications and the distribution of data between SaaS apps have created a significant challenge for healthcare IT and security teams. And that’s even before you think of increased pressure coming from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and regulations around healthcare (e.g., HIPAA, SOC-2, ISO 27001, NIST, or CIS) and patient data (electronically protected health information (ePHI)) these teams need to adhere to.

    Complying with those regulations and standards for IT and security teams means that they first need answers to some fundamental questions around SaaS apps like:

    • Where does all the data reside, and how is sensitive or personally identifiable information being processed?
    • Who has access to the data, and how secure is it?

    Taking a new approach to SaaS management 

    While solutions for managing SaaS applications have been out on the market for a while, the vast majority of them focus on tackling SaaS challenges in isolation from one another, focusing on SaaS misconfigurations, shadow IT discovery, and user access. As a result of this singular focus, these solutions don’t provide a single source of truth into the SaaS application landscape given the healthcare industry-specific requirements and expansion of SaaS applications. 

    Given the surge in SaaS adoption and the existing challenges the industry is facing, an effective approach to SaaS management for global healthcare organizations should incorporate the following key capabilities:

    • Visibility into the entire SaaS app environment (including unknown and shadow SaaS apps) to understand where the data resides.
    • Monitoring how data flows between SaaS apps in the connected healthcare environment — in order to know who has access to the data and whether the SaaS environment is properly configured and secured.

    How Axonius is helping healthcare customers secure SaaS

    With its comprehensive approach to SaaS management, Axonius enables IT and security teams to gain full control and combat security risks across their entire SaaS applications environment. 

    Axonius helps healthcare customers: 

    • Discover the organization’s entire SaaS application stack
      • Identify sanctioned, unsanctioned, shadow, and unmanaged apps, and fourth-party app extensions
    • Gain actionable visibility into SaaS utilization and interconnectivity flows between SaaS apps
      • Understand SaaS app provider data encryption policies 
      • Track SaaS app users, including their access level and permissions
    • Uncover and mitigate misconfigurations and data security risks, while streamlining  compliance to major frameworks and certifications, like HIPAA, SOC-2, CIS, ISO27001, NIST, and others. This includes a review of: 
      • Authentication protocols and app-specific authentication measures to enforce strong passwords, session timeouts, etc.
      • Data-centric configurations to ensure users don’t have access to export or share data from apps that process ePHI

    Combined with Axonius Cybersecurity Asset Management, Axonius SaaS Management provides a comprehensive solution that unifies and provides valuable data insights across SaaS apps, cloud services, devices, and users. Customers can easily and effectively control complexity across their entire IT environment.

    To see how Axonius can help you gain full control, and combat complexity and risk across your entire SaaS application environment, request a demo today. 

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