Skip to main content

Leveraging SaaS solutions to become a data-driven enterprise, and boosting security

from  November 21, 2023 | 4 min read

Moving to the Cloud can be an intimidating process, especially if you're worried about security and compliance. However, with the right guidance, you can make sure that your SaaS solutions are safe and compliant. Don't let security and compliance concerns keep you from taking advantage of all the benefits that Cloud migration can bring. In this blog post, I would like to discuss the importance of taking the necessary steps to ensure the security and compliance of your Cloud-based solutions.

Why migrate to the Cloud?

Organizations of all sizes are turning to the Cloud for its ability to provide flexibility, scalability, and cost savings. Cloud computing offers a wide range of benefits over traditional IT models, including the ability to rapidly develop new applications and services with minimal capital investments. Additionally, organizations can leverage Cloud-based services to optimize operations, reduce costs, and increase security.

The Cloud also provides access to software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that enable organizations to reduce the complexity and cost associated with deploying and managing applications. With SaaS, organizations can easily roll out new services without making additional capital investments, allowing them to respond quickly to customer demand and market changes. Cloud-based solutions allow organizations to take advantage of the latest advances in technology, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. By leveraging the Cloud, organizations can gain access to powerful analytics capabilities that can help them make better decisions and gain competitive advantages. 

In short, the Cloud has revolutionized the way businesses operate and is becoming an increasingly popular choice for organizations looking to become more agile, flexible, scalable, and cost-effective.

The benefits of Cloud migration

Migrating to the Cloud is becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes. There are numerous benefits associated with moving your operations, applications, and data to the Cloud. It allows you to scale resources quickly and easily, reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Here are just a few of the key benefits:

1. Cost savings – One of the primary advantages of Cloud migration is cost savings. By leveraging the power of the Cloud, businesses can reduce the costs associated with on-premises infrastructure and personnel. The elastic nature of the Cloud makes it easy to scale resources up or down as needed, enabling businesses to optimize their budget and save money over time.

2. Increased agility – It enables businesses to rapidly deploy applications and services, allowing them to adapt quickly to changing market conditions. It also enables developers to test new ideas quickly and efficiently without having to worry about managing hardware or software requirements.

3. Enhanced security – Cloud Services both develop and run and their own software. As such they have the deepest possible insight into Security Vulnerabilities and the most optimum way to configure the software in the most secure way. The direct links within Development and Operations overlayed with Security oversight from the Security teams means that the software is configured and secured in the most optimal way, further to this the continuous release of features and security patches being rolled out minimizes exposure to vulnerabilities all within a highly standardized environment that is regularly audited and certified to ISO27001 / ISO27017 as well as SOC1 and SOC2.

4. Improved collaboration – By leveraging the Cloud, teams can collaborate more easily, regardless of their location.  It enables real-time collaboration between teams, allowing them to work together more efficiently and effectively.

5. Enhanced scalability – Businesses can access a virtually limitless pool of computing resources. This makes it easy to scale applications and services on demand, eliminating the need to purchase new hardware when additional capacity is required. 

The benefits of Cloud migration are numerous, but it’s important to understand the potential security and compliance concerns before making the switch. Before migrating to the Cloud, businesses should conduct a thorough assessment of their current environment and develop a plan for addressing any security and compliance issues that may arise.

Click to read How Cloud ERP can change your organization for the better gated

How to overcome security and compliance concerns

The Cloud offers organizations a secure and cost-effective solution to digital transformation, but security and compliance issues remain a key challenge. It is essential that organizations take the right steps to ensure their data is secure before, during, and after migration. 

Organizations should review their existing security policies and procedures. It is important to assess any potential gaps in technology, architecture, personnel, or processes that could be used to attack the system. Businesses should also create a comprehensive risk management plan to address any potential issues that arise during the migration process.

Migration teams should understand all of their industry’s legal requirements and best practices for data protection. This includes understanding how data must be stored, how it can be accessed, and who has permission to do so. Companies must also ensure that any third-party vendors they use meet their security and compliance standards.

Finally, businesses should invest in advanced technology solutions to ensure their data remains safe throughout the cloud migration process. These solutions should include encryption technologies, authentication methods, automated software updates, and sophisticated analytics tools to identify suspicious activity. By leveraging the right technology and taking the right steps, businesses can ensure their data is secure during Cloud migration.

How Unit4 solves these challenges for our customers

It’s important that organizations focus on several aspects – compliance, security, privacy, and transparency. Responsibility for security shifts more towards the Cloud provider when using SaaS, so in our shared responsibility model, so there is less onus on the customer for host infrastructure, network controls, application level controls, and identity and access management. 

Working with our partners, Microsoft, we help to protect your data: 

  • They develop, implement and maintain a comprehensive security posture. 
  • They have a large, dedicated workforce of security professionals to secure data centres and hunt down attackers based on their unique insights into the threat environment. 
  • They continuously develop and provide customers with innovative security controls to ensure optimal resilience. 

Maintaining on-premise systems takes time and money. Unit4 SaaS solutions leverage Microsoft capabilities which are best in class, and then Unit4 produces the high-quality people-focused software. 

  • Reduces workload and overheads
  • More security and less vulnerability
  • Continuous updates with the latest features
  • Protection dynamics
  • 24/7 support
  • No need to harden the back-end
As an example, I would like to mention a recent report by HFS on NRS’s (formerly Magnox) success in using Unit4 SaaS to become a data-driven enterprise, and boosting security. 

The Bottom Line: Magnox’s story is about making a successful leap by using SaaS to switch from a technology-centric to a people-first approach. Along the way, it showed that if a security-sensitive industry like nuclear and energy can embrace SaaS, other industries can too.

Read the full report here

HFS describes NRS’s thoughts around Cloud security like this: “Adopting a software-as-a-service model was also about improving security. While some firms continued to worry that SaaS created a larger security risk, NRS viewed Unit4 as more capable of quickly tackling and remediating security concerns than its internal team could. While it developed a clear escalation path as part of its new operating procedures, it kept the core SaaS ERP instance free of customization and made it a push-button experience to instantly roll out security patches without impacting the workforce.” 

Information security benefits in SaaS

The information security benefits in Unit4 SaaS include lower upfront costs, scalability, flexibility, automatic updates, and security measures such as data encryption, multi-factor authentication, access controls, regular security audits, and disaster recovery. 

Information security impacts of a breach 

The advantage of using a SaaS provider means you are spreading the risk rather than all the risk being with your on-premise system. The impacts on your organization include: 

  • Business disruption – from cyberattacks, operational issues, hardware failure, and recovery of data. 
  • Data integrity – improper use of the database access and reliance on legacy customizations. 
  • Reputational, confidentiality, and privacy – impact on the reputation of the business and regulatory fines (GDPR).
  • Regulatory requirements – New regulatory surprises and or challenges. 

How Unit4 SaaS offers protection 

Business disruption 

  • Regular DR tests.
  • Use of redundant Regional capability.
  • Guarantees our SLA and RTO / RPO. 

Data integrity

  • SOC1 (Financial reporting), SOC2 (Cloud operations).
  • Unit4 consultants are trained and aware - Cloud certification.
  • Cloud Migration Assessment and customization review during onboarding.

Reputational, confidentiality, and privacy

  • SOC2 and GDPR compliance. 
  • Penetration test.
  • ERP/U4F latest functionality

Regulatory requirements

  • Always on the latest releases of ERP/U4FbC. 
  • Localizations are updated as part of SAS. 
  • People platform microservice architecture.

Next steps 

Make SaaS a priority for your organization to secure your data. With Microsoft and us together, you are in good hands. If you want to learn more watch this recording of a recent webinar or contact us today.

Sign up to see more like this

Photo of Tom Ascroft, Unit4 Chief Information Security Officer

Tom Ascroft

Chief Information Security Officer, Unit4

As CISO, Tom is responsible for Unit4’s Cyber Security globally, identifying emerging security threats and developing strategies, policies, overarching controls and organizational security culture that are pivotal to mitigating them. Tom joined Unit4 in February 2022 from the University of Surrey where he held the position of Chief Information Security Officer. Previously Tom held the Director of Information Security role across EMEA for Avanti Communications, followed by Head of Information Security Consulting for Legal & General PLC in the UK.

More from Tom Ascroft