When was the last time your email went down or your WiFi cut out in the middle of work? It upends your entire day, stops your project in its tracks, and suddenly you realize that technology is vital to modern business operations.
For the most part, that’s a good thing: Technology has brought a lot of good to the world of business, opening the door for innovation and transformation on a grand scale.
At the same time, however, technology has also introduced risk. We hear news reports about large-scale data breaches all the time. Hackers found a way to steal credit card information from 41 million Target customers. Facebook opened the door for third-party apps to snatch your data and that of all your connections. Even something as innocuous as a fitness app can be the target of cyber attack, as Under Armour discovered just last year, when data from 150 million users of My Fitness Pal was stolen.
It’s a well-documented and pervasive problem, but the solution is not to abandon all use of technology; the impact to businesses of all sizes would be catastrophic. Instead, it’s important put systems and processes in place to prevent worst-case scenarios from coming to pass.
That starts with understanding the risks you could face when it comes to technology. Here are three scenarios that can leave your business vulnerable:
Your employees are engaging in “Shadow IT”
You may not know “Shadow IT” by name, but you know it in practice. “Shadow IT” is the use of IT-related hardware or software by a department or individual within a company without the knowledge of that company’s IT or security group. It’s the now-common practice at all levels of an organization of downloading systems or platforms without departmental or organizational tracking and approval.
In the world of “Shadow IT”, SaaS platforms are the biggest cause for concern simply because they are simultaneously ubiquitous and easy to access, promising transformative impact for low cost and commitment.
But, while those third-party platforms may have the best of intentions, the access we grant them can make your business vulnerable to attack.
To combat that threat, some companies take extreme measures and implement security protocols that limit download authority to management or IT leads.
But there are many companies out there with little to no security protocols in place when it comes to policing external software and downloads. They either lack the IT infrastructure to support such a sizable security investment, or they underestimate the risk at hand. And neither situation is an excuse for a lack of protection.
The good news for businesses: There are other options available besides a massive investment in security technology. Consider instead a platform like SaaSTrax, which monitors the cloud-based systems your company subscribes to, tracks how many people in your company are using those systems and how much each one costs. It gives you insight into all the technology your business is using, across every team member and department, which allows you to limit your exposure to unnecessary risks.
Plus, it costs a fraction of the investment required to keep your entire company under technological lock and key.
You trust someone with purchasing and managing software — and that person leaves.
Let’s say an employee signed up for five SaaS platforms during his time at a given company. He was the “owner” of the accounts, with all the usernames and passwords. And then, he left.
Without proper tracking systems in place, that company could be left with five accounts it can’t access. Five bills it’s responsible for paying. Five systems going unused and eating up valuable company dollars.
Businesses need a way to mitigate that risk, and that’s where the technology we’ve built at SaaSTrax can help, providing a centralized platform to track cloud-based platforms and subscriptions. That way, if the employee who signed up for a system leaves, the business can identify what credit card is being charged month after month (and transfer the account to a new one), how frequently the platform is being used (and whether it’s worth the continued investment) and what information is needed to access the account.
It keeps you up to speed on everything happening in your business, and when it comes to your business, knowledge is power.
You don’t know how much money you’re spending — and how much is being wasted.
Typically, when we sign up for SaaS services, we do so with the best intentions. We’ve honed in on a system that could transform the way we work, and our goal is to use every last feature we’ve paid for.
Often times, those good intentions don’t translate into solid action, and if companies aren’t paying attention, they can see lots of money go out the window when those systems sit idle, or when the people who signed up spent more than they should have.
Payments for cloud-based platforms are likely included on expense reports, but they’re limited to a dollar amount, nothing more. That doesn’t show you how many users you’re paying for, measured against how many users are actually taking advantage of the system. It doesn’t tell you what systems are sitting idle. In short, you don’t know what you’re spending, and what you’re wasting.
We built SaaSTrax to solve for that. We advocate investing in systems if they’re helping your team and your business move forward. But if a system is being under-utilized or not utilized at all, it’s got to go. No business can afford to open itself up to increased risks and increased costs for no good reason.
Want to learn more about how SaaSTrax can help protect your business against risk? Sign up for a free trial today!