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May 2008

7 Security Questions to Ask Your SaaS Provider

Outsourcing an application means your organization relinquishes some control; don't, however, loosen your grip on security. In a bizarre way, the high-profile phishing attack against Salesforce.com last fall suggests the software-as-a-service (aka SaaS) model has come of age. In that attack, a spoofed email message was apparently used to lure a Salesforce.com employee to release certain customer information, which was in turn used to launch a secondary phishing campaign. While the breach was certainly embarrassing, it illustrates the power of the Salesforce.com brand. It also reminds businesses of all sizes that just because they've outsourced an application doesn't mean they can be any less vigilant about defining a security policy. The difference is now they'll need to entrust enforcement to someone else. "A lot of time, I find I'm putting myself in the role of a chief security officer," says Mathew Hegarty, director of infrastructure and security for Net@Work, an IT services firm in New York that often recommends the SaaS ...

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