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13 April 2022

3 Steps to Managing Cloud Computing Risks

3 Steps to Managing Cloud Computing Risks

When you choose to adopt SaaS applications to power business-critical operations, you don’t have to worry about hosting or maintaining the application, plus you gain cost savings, agility, and scalability. Right? Well, yes and no. As with most things in life, the rewards come with risks.

In this blog we deep-dive into the key Cloud Adoption Risks and provide industry best practice advice for Cloud Risk Assessments & Cloud Risk Management.

We’ll discuss how to De-Risk Your SaaS Applications, how to avoid some of the pitfalls of SaaS by being prepared, taking the proper precautions, and creating a resilient SaaS environment.

What should you be aware of when purchasing a new SaaS application

It’s important to pay attention to these four areas as you enter into agreements for business-critical SaaS applications:

The threat of Data Loss

With the extreme growth of SaaS adoption, the risks of data loss increase exponentially. And although SaaS tools may be able to bring back a snapshot of your data, it could be in a format that isn’t usable for your business.

Data loss can happen for a multitude of reasons. Ransomware and supply chain breaches are continually in the news. In addition, if your SaaS application is hosted in a multi-tenant instance, if someone hacks into one tenant’s database, it can also influence and damage other tenants’ privacy and data within the shared environment. It’s important to have a plan in place and be adequately prepared for the risk of data loss.

You don’t own anything

With SaaS, you don’t physically possess software applications, operating systems, or infrastructure. If your SaaS provider ceases operations or suffers a service failure, what's your plan to get the application back up and running so you can continue to maintain operations?

With on-premises software, the Software Asset Management (SAM) function regularly recommends a Software Escrow Agreement to safeguard the software source code in the event that the software supplier is unable to meet its contractual obligations. And, although there are strong options for SaaS Escrow, Software Asset Managers are still coming up to speed on the best ways to protect SaaS applications and data. According to a Flexera report, dealing with new environments such as SaaS, cloud, and containers is a challenge for three-fourths of SAM teams, and only one-third of SAM teams track SaaS usage.

Don’t assume your applications and data are protected because they are in the cloud

Just because your critical assets are hosted in the cloud, doesn’t mean you are guaranteed resilience. A report on Demystifying the Cloud Shared Responsibility Security Model by Oracle and KPMG points out that digital transformation initiatives have gone into overdrive to support remote workers who rely on cloud services more than ever. The report goes on to explain why it is critical that organizations understand the shared responsibility model associated with the consumption of cloud services. According to their study, 67% of respondents found the shared model for securing SaaS applications confusing. From this confusion comes data loss, malware, and stolen credentials.

Understand key regulations and ensure Cloud Compliance

IT Outsourcing Third-Party Risk Management Regulations & Compliance is a serious issue. Regulators across different industries emphasize the need to maintain visibility over the data you process and protect SaaS applications due to the potential impact of an application failure. This is especially difficult if the third-party environment is multi-tenanted. Since your data could be in a database with thousands of other organizations, all it takes is for one of these organizations to be breached and you’re now at risk. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your SaaS vendor and cloud services provider are meeting and maintaining compliance with applicable regulations

According to the Oracle and KPMG report, subscribers in regulated industries need to consider whether what they put in the cloud will be in regulatory scope and apply the appropriate controls and processes regardless of whether or not the service provider provides attestation of compliance with the same regulation.

Free Guide

De-Risk your SaaS Applications with SaaS Escrow

Discover how Software Vendors & End-users can proactively manage Cloud Computing Risks & ensure Cloud availability with SaaS Escrow.

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De-Risk your SaaS Applications with SaaS Escrow

How to de-risk your SaaS Environment

Step 1 - Identify and Assess Cloud Risks

You need to understand your risk exposure in four areas: the SaaS vendor’s own capabilities and resilience; the SaaS application itself; your own internal technical capabilities; and your internal operations that rely on the SaaS application.

A comprehensive Cloud Risk Assessment of these four areas should let you identify and classify the use of the SaaS application as a high, medium, or low risk to your organization. These risks need to be tracked and managed because, unfortunately, they are not static and will change over time.

Step 2 - Implement Cloud Risk Management Solutions

Engage a third-party escrow provider to implement a Cloud Escrow solution that delivers access to, or a fully replicated version of, your cloud environment and data to ensure a faster recovery should an incident happen.

Critical materials such as source code should be held in escrow and stored in line with regional data protection and privacy legislation and actively monitored so that it doesn’t become vulnerable to attackers who might look to steal or misuse your data.

Step 3 - Test your SaaS Continuity Plan

As your software requirements change and your portfolio of software providers changes with it, you must ensure that you monitor, test, and validate your SaaS applications so you have the reassurance that, even with the changes, patches, environment updates, etc., you are able to recover critical data and redeploy the application should your SaaS vendor suffer downtime or cease operations.

Only with Software Escrow Verification testing can you ensure that your Cloud Business Continuity plan and vendor Exit Strategy actually work.


To successfully operate business-critical SaaS applications, you need to be aware of the risks and put the proper protections in place.

When you understand how to safeguard your SaaS application and data – even though they reside in the cloud – you’ll gain the ability to access, restore, or rebuild your SaaS applications and unique data if needed.

Download our Guide: De-Risk Your SaaS Applications with Cloud Escrow Services

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