As cloud adoption accelerates, SaaS-based products have also exploded to fill the agility, scalability, and flexibility gaps of legacy solutions. McKinsey estimates that by 2024, the market for SaaS products will reach $200 billion, and according to BMC, more than three-quarters of SMBs have already adopted a SaaS product. While certain SaaS-based services are relatively mature, others – like data access control – are still emerging.
But for organizations aiming to create, leverage, and monetize their data assets without sacrificing security, compliance, or performance, investing in a SaaS-based data access control platform is key to keeping up with the speed and scale of the cloud.
In this blog, we’ll take a deeper look at the benefits of SaaS data access control deployment methods, and what to look for when choosing the right solution for your data goals.
What is SaaS-Based Data Access Control?
Software as a service (SaaS) is a cloud-based deployment method that allows users to connect to applications through an externally hosted platform. This service model simplifies set-up and maintenance, while enabling users to access the application on-demand, regardless of where they’re located.
SaaS architectures can be either single-tenant, meaning each customer has its own software instance that can be customized but not shared, or multi-tenant, meaning that many customers share the same software instance. The latter is more common for today’s enterprises because it is more cost effective, efficient, and easy to set up and maintain.
SaaS-based data access control simply refers to a solution that users can integrate with their existing cloud data infrastructure to control who can access data and what they can do with it. Unlike self-managed access control deployment methods, SaaS data access control requires minimal maintenance and can be up and running in minutes.
Benefits of SaaS-Based Data Access Control
The benefits of SaaS-based solutions in general are well documented, which is part of the reason they are so prominent in cloud computing. But without an efficient approach to data access control, even the most innovative tech stack will still face barriers. As data ecosystems become more diverse and complex, an agile solution that can scale data policy enforcement consistently across all platforms is imperative.
SaaS data access control does just that, helping to unlock data across enterprise data platforms such as Databricks, Snowflake, and more, so you can maximize the value of your current and future technology investments.
Some of the key benefits of a SaaS-based data access control solution include:
Flexibility and Agility – Flexibility and agility are key tenets of any SaaS platform, but the impact is multiplied with data access control. A SaaS data access control solution allows you to implement, manage, and dynamically update data access policies consistently across any cloud data platform, service, application, or location.
Seamless Implementation and Scalability – A SaaS-based access control solution that separates policy from platform allows you to write policies once and enforce them across any cloud data platform. With many organizations adopting and integrating several SaaS applications, adding a data access control solution with similar functionality to the tech stack makes for a seamless user experience.
Minimal Overhead – Unlike self-managed data access control solutions, SaaS versions are almost entirely maintained by the host. This vastly reduces the burden on data teams to keep up with infrastructure costs, maintenance, and upgrades. SaaS-based data access control solutions roll out updates and bug fixes as soon as they are available, so users are always running on the most up-to-date version of the software.
Increased Time to Value – Since SaaS data access control platforms are built to deploy quickly, data teams are able to get up and running faster than would be possible with a self-managed. As a result, they are able to start creating and enforcing dynamic policies sooner, which in turn facilitates efficient, secure access to data. The sooner users are able to access data, the sooner they can start deriving value from it.
A SaaS data access control platform delivers all the benefits of a typical SaaS solution, but uniquely delivers something that few others can on their own: Accelerated time to value of all cloud data investments.
What to Look for in a SaaS Data Access Control Solution
As the need for scalable, cloud-based data access control quickly becomes an imperative, organizations are faced with a wide range of features and capabilities. How do you distinguish the must-haves from the nice-to-haves?
Perhaps the most important consideration for SaaS access control solutions – and the one that makes organizations most hesitant to invest in them – is security. As cloud adoption becomes increasingly mainstream, the ability to guarantee the security and privacy of cloud data remains a sticking point for some companies who are highly cautious about avoiding data leaks and breaches. In reality, though, cloud data platforms and SaaS solutions are often more secure than on-premises environments, which require more manual attention to control data access.
To mitigate any doubt, when choosing a SaaS access control platform, look for one that is SOC 2 Type 2 certified. A SOC 2 Type 2 certification indicates that an organization’s internal controls are sufficient to safeguard customer data. SOC 2 Type 2 reports are issued by independent third-party CPA auditing firms and include descriptions of the controls in place, the tests performed to assess them, the results of those tests, and a general evaluation of the controls’ designs and effectiveness. The areas that auditors assess include security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and/or privacy, and audits are performed annually.
In addition to verifying data security measures through a SOC 2 Type 2 certification, SaaS-based access control solutions that store only required data and only for as long as is necessary can help mitigate the risk of unauthorized data access or use. For instance, Immuta stores just the metadata needed to make policy enforcement decisions, and holds customer data for only as long as its services are requested.
Finally, as with any other data platform investment, it’s critical that the SaaS access control solution you choose is able to migrate an existing on-prem deployment to SaaS if necessary, and that it easily integrates with the rest of your data stack. Modernizing and connecting technologies across your data ecosystem is a best practice for ensuring you’re able to maximize the value of your cloud data.
For organizations looking to streamline and scale efficient, secure data use in the cloud, a SaaS-based data access control solution should be a key part of the data stack. A SaaS deployment method will help ensure data access control is able to keep up with the speed and flexibility of the cloud.
Tools like Immuta, the leader in automated data access, can help ensure that organizations are able to reap the benefits of low-maintenance data access control that is easy to implement, while accelerating time-to-value – all with the peace of mind that data security is robust and verifiable. As one of the only SaaS-based automated data access control solutions on the market with a SOC 2 Type 2 certification, Immuta provides the flexibility, scalability, and speed that organizations need to keep up in today’s fast-paced, cloud-first world.
For organizations like Pumpjack Dataworks, which enables customers like the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks to efficiently manage customer data, the ability to provide real-time access to data without sacrificing security made the decision to adopt Immuta’s SaaS deployment an easy one.
“In this dynamic privacy environment, Immuta’s SaaS deployment option enables us to provide the highest standards of protection for fan data,” said Tom Tercek, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Pumpjack Dataworks.
To find out more about Immuta’s SaaS access control solution, visit our SaaS deployment page.