Granting 3rd-Party Apps Access to Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace Presents Major Security Risks, According to Adaptive Shield Report - Adaptive Shield

Granting 3rd-Party Apps Access to Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace Presents Major Security Risks, According to Adaptive Shield Report

Adaptive Shield Team

Tel Aviv, February 27, 2023Adaptive Shield, the leading SaaS Security company, today announced the release of its SaaS-to-SaaS Access Report. According to the research, employees are granting thousands of third-party apps access to the two most dominant workspaces, Microsoft 365 (M365) and Google Workspace. With no oversight or control from security teams, companies have no way to quantify the risk that these SaaS-to-SaaS connections present to their businesses.

While these SaaS-to-SaaS connections provide enhanced features that boost workflow efficiency, they also give permission for apps to read, update, create, delete, or otherwise engage with corporate and personal data. In its report, Adaptive Shield identifies how many SaaS apps are being connected to the core SaaS stack, specifically M365 and Google Workspace and business-critical apps such as Salesforce and Slack, the types of permissions being granted to these applications, and the risk level these apps present.

According to the research, companies with 10,000 SaaS users average 2,033 applications connected to M365 and 6,710 connected to Google workspace. For the companies using Google Workspace, that figure jumps to an average of 13,913 connected apps for 10,000 – 20,000 SaaS users.

While the risk level for permissions varies from one app to the next, Adaptive Shield researchers found that 39% of apps connected to M365 and 11% to Google Workspace have ‘high-risk’ permission access. Additional details on these include

“The simple app-to-app connectivity that makes SaaS apps vital productivity tools also makes them significantly dangerous,” said Maor Bin, CEO of Adaptive Shield. “While it’s clearly unrealistic to expect businesses to curb their reliance on SaaS apps, they cannot allow this adoption to go unchecked. To eliminate these risks companies must develop policies for integrating apps, prioritize employee training, and deploy monitoring solutions that help over-taxed security teams identify and eliminate high-risk permission sets before it’s too late.”

While these challenges are most prominent in M365 and Google Workspace, they are not exclusive to these apps. As part of this effort, Adaptive Shield examined two other business-critical apps, Slack and Salesforce. The research shows that organizations have an average 222 SaaS-to-SaaS apps for Slack and another 41 apps for Salesforce.

A final area of research are app categories that are connected most frequently. According to the research, email applications are far and away the number one connected category followed by apps related to file and document management, communications and meetings, and calendars and scheduling.

The Adaptive Shield full report, 2023 SaaS-to-SaaS Access Report: Uncovering the Risks & Realities of Third-Party Connected Apps, is available now.

About the writer

Adaptive Shield Team

Businesses today run nearly every facet of their operations using a wide array of interconnected SaaS apps. Adaptive Shield’s team is here to keep you informed as well as help you secure your SaaS estate.

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