Effective marketing operations today are driven by the use of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. Marketing apps such as Salesforce, Hubspot, Outreach, Asana, Monday, and Box empower marketing teams, agencies, freelancers, and subject matter experts to collaborate seamlessly on campaigns and marketing initiatives.
These apps serve as the digital command centers for marketing professionals. They house essential go-to-market strategies, and are often connected to live payment systems authorized to spend substantial budgets. Ensuring their security is a complex task, given the multitude of applications, application owners, configurations within each app, users, interconnected apps and more. In this article, we explore the top Marketing SaaS application use cases, from external users and publicly shared links to connected apps and credit cards — and how to ensure the security and integrity of the data stored within them.
1 . External Users
Marketing departments frequently grant administrative or high-access permissions to agency and freelance partners who need access to sensitive reports and data in order to perform. However, managing these external users can be a daunting task. It's vital to closely monitor their permissions and trim them down to the minimum necessary level. Additionally, there's often a gap between the time an employee leaves an agency and when the agency notifies the client. During this period, former employees can retain their access.
2. Publicly Shared Links
Collaboration with agencies often requires sharing files, project management boards, and folders with various team members. Using one set of public links for all users is a tantalizing option, as it cuts down on administrative tasks every time a new user is introduced into the project.
However, this approach can inadvertently expose sensitive assets to former agency employees or other unintended recipients, as public links can be used by anyone.
3. Connected Credit Cards
Marketing budgets often involve significant sums of money, and this financial data is highly sensitive. It's not uncommon for external agencies to manage these budgets, and if left unsecured, it could lead to malicious activities like unauthorized data access or the running of negative campaigns. Organizations need to ensure that access configurations are tightly controlled, with Identity Threat Detection & Response (ITDR) mechanisms sending alerts when users exhibit anomalous behavior.
4. Highly Sensitive Data
Marketing departments rely heavily on prospect and customer data, which is stored and analyzed in SaaS databases like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, Marketing Automation Hubs, and Sales Development Representative (SDR) tools.
Protecting this sensitive data is highly important and requires robust access controls, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and constant monitoring of internal user behavior.
5. Connected Apps
Marketing teams utilize a wide array of connected applications to support their daily operations. These range from calendar apps, to video conferencing plugins, design, project management tools and ad optimization apps. Each of these applications requests different levels of permissions to access company data, some of which are quite intrusive. Organizations need visibility to quantify the risk from these applications.
Securing Marketing Apps with a SaaS Security Posture Management Solution
SaaS apps hold the key to productive and efficient work. Any potential data leak or breach is not only a problem for the organization at large, but especially for the Marketing department, who retains the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the brand. Any reputational damage, especially if caused by a MarTech solution, would bring severe impact.
SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) platforms enable security teams to work collaboratively with Marketing and ensure the security of these applications. SSPMs monitor and manage internal and external users, ensure tight access controls across the SaaS stack, and safeguard sensitive data. The right SSPM solution will ensure that no operational workflows are disrupted and that all marketing stakeholders remain efficient and productive.