A General Overview of SaaS Compliance

Written By
Rakhi Sethi
Last updated at March 05, 2022
A General Overview of  SaaS Compliance

Some companies view meeting SaaS compliance requirements as a burden. But the truth is, meeting these requirements could bring security to your infrastructure and protect your customers. Being compliant with industry standards could also instil trust with your customers and potential clients and help grow your company.


For, e.g. You lease a car. After you've leased the vehicle, you have essential maintenance covered. But where will you have your vehicle maintained? You've invested in a new car, one that you'll want to keep running reliably. Also, you're responsible for keeping the vehicle in good condition until you return it. So will you want to take your car to any repair shop? Maybe not.


When your car needs a repair, you want to ensure that it's being serviced by someone with the skills and training to do the job right. That's why we partner with certified mechanics after rigorous study and testing.


SaaS compliance works similarly. But what exactly is SaaS compliance? Read more in detail in this article.



What exactly is SaaS compliance?


SaaS compliance means your company meets a certifying organization's set of standards and policies. These policies ensure that you protect your company and your customers' assets and data.


To ensure the public's safety, many industries are required to comply with guidelines set by third-party organizations.



Why implement SaaS compliance?


Compliance is an obligation of law, regulation, custom, policy, or standards. The purpose of compliance is to ensure security and mitigate risk.


As your company grows, new security risks could arise. Without the proper security measures for your team, each new app user could become a potential security risk. New apps developed outside of security requirements could open your or your customers' data to cyber threats or data leaks, leaving your assets vulnerable to cyberattacks.


According to a 2025 forecast by Gartner, 99% of cloud security failures will be the users' fault.


Incorporating third-party SaaS solutions adds responsibilities that software developers didn't have to worry about in the past.


And as proof that you provide a stable, secure SaaS service, your customers might require third-party certification of your service.


You may need to file paperwork or hire an outside vendor. Nevertheless, the benefits could be worth the cost because compliance may lead to:


  • Opening up new markets
  • Making quicker sales
  • Establishing trust with customers that ensures renewal
  • Building up your company's data security


Compliance regulations and data security can be complicated, and we can help you navigate these. We'll ensure your business is compliant with industry regulations. This way, you can focus on building your business and growing your data security.



Examples of SaaS compliance


General Data Protection Regulation


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive European regulation that provides data rights for individuals and increases compliance responsibilities for organizations. The GDPR grants European Union (EU) residents greater control over their data at its core. It also gives national regulators new powers to impose significant fines on organizations that breach this law.


Under the GDPR, EU residents can:


  • Access their data
  • Correct errors in their data
  • Erase their data
  • Object to the processing of their data
  • Export their data



ISO/IEC 27001


The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) establishes standards worldwide through technical committees. ISO collaborates with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on electrotechnical matters. Specifically, ISO provides cybersecurity standards for information security management systems (ISMS). ISMSs provide a framework that identifies, analyzes, and mitigates information risks.


As a world leader in security management systems, ISO/IEC 27001 makes sure you have the framework to manage compliance, reduce risk exposure, and increase reliability.


Service Organization Control 2


The SOC 2 is a data security standard. It's based on the Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) existing Trust Services Criteria (TSC). A SOC 2 report evaluates an organization's information systems to check if it follows its principles. A SOC 2 compliant organization adheres to a strict set of principles to manage customer data securely.


SaaS companies often comply with SOC 2 first because it's a simple compliance framework designed for businesses that store customer data in the cloud. To be SOC 2 certified, you must build and follow strict information security policies and trust service criteria.



Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard


The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a multifaceted security standard developed by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. PCI DSS includes requirements for systems that store, process or transmit credit card information.


The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is designed to help organizations protect customer account data by including requirements for:


  • Network architecture
  • Policies
  • Procedures
  • Security management
  • Software design and more


SaaS compliance tips


1. Appoint a chief compliance officer (CCO).


Appoint a chief compliance officer (CCO) to oversee and manage regulatory compliance issues.


The CCO would be responsible for:


  • Leading your company's compliance efforts.
  • Issues related to risk management. Formulating and implementing policies and procedures for risk mitigation.
  • Ensuring your company can manage compliance risk, audits, and investigations into relevant regulatory and compliance issues.
  • Responding to requests from certifying and regulatory bodies.


2. Ensure collaboration between the compliance and IT teams.


Your compliance team should collaborate with IT and HR to ensure your SaaS environment's security and organization-wide compliance with security regulations and rules. It should also develop and provide compliance training for relevant team members.


3. Form a code of conduct.


A company's Code of Conduct is a best practice document that sets expectations for its compliance program, defines its purpose and provides guidance for company behaviour.


4. Follow CIS benchmarks.


To ensure optimal performance, you must deploy your cloud infrastructure following best practices and standards.



How Noetic can help with SaaS compliance


Noetic helps better manage their compliance programs. Noetic's comprehensive platform keeps enterprise software licenses always up to date and can force-push SaaS data back to your systems of record. Noetic's dashboards and workflows can simplify SaaS usage analysis and usage discussions across the enterprise.


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