IT Innovation | February 20, 2020

SaaS Security Checklist for Business Managers

By: Yaldah Hakim Rashid | Director, Cloud Applications Product Marketing


Cybersecurity hacks. Data breaches. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA). Yikes! As a business manager, all this data security and compliance talk can sound like a word salad, right?

However, there has never been a better time for a business manager to hone in on the implications of SaaS data security and compliance.

According to a recent ZDnet article[1]

“160,000 data breaches have occurred since
 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect.”

In the world of GDPR and CCPA, it is important to know that data privacy violations and non-compliance with worldwide data security standards come with a heavy price tag. Here is a website [2] that cites recent GDPR violations, their location and associated costs.

And there likely seems to be more hefty fines coming. Only 1/3 of organizations worldwide are said to be fully “GDPR compliant.” Essentially a #fail in security or data privacy compliance can affect your business’s bottom line.

As business managers subscribe to more and more cloud software, often without the help of the I.T., it helps to know some top considerations when choosing a SaaS cloud provider. This can help to reduce risk in your decision.

Top Security/Compliance Considerations When Choosing a SaaS Applications Provider:

1.    Provider viability- Is your cloud applications provider viable? How long have they been developing cloud security and data compliance services for their customers? What is the cloud provider’s rate of investment in protecting data and building compliance tools for every aspect of business? Do they invest in and develop a full complement of advanced data security/privacy tools at every layer of the stack; from financial risk management cloud software to machine-learning based, malware resistant hardware running in highly performant, scalable servers?

2.    Secure data isolation- Does your cloud provider co-mingle your data with all their other customers? A secure data isolation architecture reduces risk and increases performance eliminating the effects of degraded performance from noisy neighbors.  Does your cloud provider use multitenant database technology to easily extend applications/databases faster and more securely manage and relocate your data; (i.e. for growth expansion into other countries with data residency/regulations requirements?)

3.    Global unified access controls - Can you easily and consistently control access across all your cloud applications? Or do you have silos of cloud applications scattered around, being accessed all across your company? What if users leave or join your company – how fast is it to onboard and offboard users across all cloud applications to which they need/have access? Does your cloud provider have a unified data access strategy when integrating with on-premises systems or other clouds?

4.    Compliance & GDPR- Compliance and data privacy regulations are top of mind for many organizations worldwide. Now, with GDPR and CCPA – many organizations are finding it even harder to meet ever-changing data privacy requirements for their organizations. In addition, many industries require industry-specific data privacy controls such as PCI, HIPAA, etc. Does your cloud provider have strategies and controls in place to help support you in meeting changing regulatory requirements? Do they have built-in security tools to help you with audit-based risk management and compliance?

5.    Global cloud operations- Many organizations worldwide have data location requirements- where their business data needs to be within certain country or regional boundaries. This can be a challenge if your cloud provider doesn’t have a worldwide presence with data centers in those regions. Does your cloud provider operate enterprise-grade cloud data centers around the world? Do they have redundant and highly performant infrastructure to help support customers of all sizes with their changing business needs? Do they employ 24x7 cloud security experts that proactively look after data security globally or do they contract with security contractors?

6.    Advanced security options- What if your business requires additional levels of security beyond what is built-in? Does your cloud provider offer additional advanced security options? Often businesses require additional levels of security such as alerting/monitoring tools, or even tools to manage identity and access controls across multiple applications or between on-premises and cloud applications. Certain industries require even further levels of security. For example, in the financial services industry you may require additional software to concretely manage risk and compliance requirements. Does your cloud provider offer additional products and services to help you with the audit and risk management process?

These are some of things to consider when it comes to SaaS data security, data privacy regulations and compliance reporting. Please note some of your considerations will vary depending upon the country or state of origin of your customer and/or employee data.


Oracle as a Top Security/Compliance Cloud Provider
Oracle develops database, applications software and hardware in the cloud with a security-first design. With a clear, committed cloud security strategy and ongoing investment in development and management, Oracle runs enterprise clouds with millions of global business users every day for companies of all sizes,  with some of its first customers being the CIA, NSA among other government agencies.

For more detailed information on Oracle’s SaaS Security Strategy click here .


[1] https://www.zdnet.com/article/gdpr-160000-data-breaches-reported-already-so-expect-the-big-fines-to-follow/
[2] https://www.enforcementtracker.com/






Director, Cloud Applications Product Marketing
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