Mitigating SaaS Attack Surface Risks: Understanding the Dangers of Public Links

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Mitigating SaaS Attack Surface Risks: Understanding the Dangers of Public Links

SaaS applications’ collaborative features, such as those offered by Microsoft, Github, and Miro, play a pivotal role in enhancing productivity and teamwork. The ability to share links to files, repositories, and boards fosters collaboration among geographically dispersed teams. However, the open nature of data sharing in SaaS platforms poses security challenges, as evident from a 2023 survey by the Cloud Security Alliance and Adaptive Shield, revealing that 58% of security incidents in the past two years involved data leakage. While collaboration is essential, it must be accompanied by stringent controls to prevent unauthorized exposure of sensitive information. This article explores three common scenarios of data leakage and offers best practices for secure sharing.

1. Turning Proprietary Code Public

GitHub repositories have a historical track record of unintended data leaks, often stemming from user errors or misconfigurations. These leaks, which include sensitive data such as OAuth tokens, API keys, and security certificates, pose severe risks to business continuity. Securing code within GitHub repositories should be prioritized to prevent inadvertent exposure of proprietary code and company secrets.

2. Surprising Risks of Publicly Accessible Calendars

Publicly shared calendars, seemingly innocuous, contain valuable information that can be exploited by cybercriminals. Details like meeting invitations with videoconference links and passwords are often overlooked security risks. The information within calendars can be leveraged for phishing or social engineering attacks. Implementing robust controls on calendar sharing is essential to avoid unauthorized access and potential misuse of sensitive materials.

3. Collaborating with External Service Providers

Collaboration with external service providers in SaaS applications can lead to long-term risks if not managed effectively. Sharing documents and collaboration boards with external team members might result in prolonged access even after their involvement in the project ends. Best practices dictate creating individual user accounts for external collaborators, implementing authentication requirements, and avoiding the use of generic links for access. Additionally, organizations should consider employing SaaS security tools to identify and remediate publicly shared resources.

Best Practices for Safe File Sharing

To ensure secure file sharing in SaaS environments, Adaptive Shield recommends the following best practices:

  1. Share files with individual users, requiring some form of authentication.
  2. Avoid using “anyone with the link” sharing options, disabling this capability whenever possible.
  3. Implement expiration dates for shared files and invitations.
  4. Regularly review and remove share permissions for public documents that are no longer in use.

Organizations are encouraged to adopt SaaS security tools that can identify publicly shared resources, providing insights into potential risks and facilitating remediation efforts. By adhering to these best practices, businesses can strike a balance between collaboration and security in the SaaS landscape.