Why are Free trial SaaS applications considered invisible security risks?

Free Software as a Service (SaaS) applications and trial versions can introduce security risks for several reasons. While not all complimentary services or trials are inherently insecure, certain factors can make them more susceptible to security issues. Here are some specific examples:

1. Limited Security Features:

Free versions of SaaS applications may lack advanced security features present in their paid counterparts. For instance, encryption, multi-factor authentication, or advanced access controls might be absent, leaving users more exposed to unauthorized access or potential data breaches.

2. Data Privacy Concerns:

Free services may rely on ad-based revenue models, raising potential privacy concerns. Service providers might collect and share user data for targeted advertising, exposing sensitive information to third parties without user consent.

3.Limited Support and Updates:

Free applications may lack dedicated customer support or regular updates, leaving users without timely assistance or patches for newly discovered vulnerabilities. This makes it easier for attackers to exploit known vulnerabilities.

4. Security by Obscurity:

Some providers might assume their services are not attractive targets for attackers due to being free. Consequently, they may not invest as much in security measures, making them more vulnerable to exploitation.

5. Malicious Free Trials:

Cybercriminals may offer seemingly legitimate free trials to distribute malware or gain unauthorized access to user systems. Users who download and install such trials may unknowingly compromise their security.

To mitigate these risks, users should thoroughly evaluate the security features, terms of service, and privacy policies of free SaaS applications or trials before adopting them. Additionally, staying informed about the security practices of service providers is crucial.

Common threat vectors targeted by threat actors revolve around exploiting customer-side misconfigurations.

Frequently exploited SaaS App attack vectors include:

  • Lack of multi-factor authentication enforcement
  • Inappropriately stored secrets
  • Over-provisioned or stale SaaS-to-SaaS connections
  • Excessive Guest User permission sets
  • Overprivileged access to classified data

Let's get you started

If SaaS Security is a relevant topic for you and your team, we want to hear from you. Let's schedule a demo together and discuss your current challenges securing the hundreds of apps used by your team.

Prefer to send an email directly? No problem! You can reach us at contact at zygon.tech Whether you have questions, suggestions, or just want to say hello, we're here to respond promptly to your emails.

"Zygon is going to improve our overall security posture by inventorying and controlling 90% of SaaS that usually remain uncovered by Security Teams."
Arnaud, CISO,  Large Global Group

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