SaaS Access Management

Gain and maintain control with
SaaS access management

Keeping your data safe is an essential part of running your business — and access control tools will help you stop it from falling into the wrong hands.

Our SaaS access management guide has all you need to know about this vital aspect of cloud strategy. Plus, find out how Vertice can improve visibility into user access within your organization.

What is SaaS access management?

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) access management refers to the process of controlling user access to SaaS applications, to ensure that only individuals with the necessary permissions or authorization can access the SaaS solution and any associated data.

There are many approaches to SaaS access management, and making sure your systems are watertight requires a multifaceted strategy that covers all bases. Some key aspects of SaaS access management include:

  • User authentication – This is the process of verifying the identity of users requesting access to the SaaS application. Common methods include passwords, multi-factor authentication (MFA), biometric authentication, and single sign-on (SSO). 
  • Account provisioning – When employees join an organization, provisioning is the act of creating a user account with the appropriate access rights. Access control policies are used to define permissions and privileges of each user account, such as what data or services they can access. Likewise when employees exit the organization, the deprovisioning process handles the disabling of accounts and revoking of access rights. 
  • Usage monitoring – Effective SaaS access management requires consistent, ongoing monitoring to detect and respond to suspicious access attempts. Logging of events can be used to investigate security incidents, and provide an audit trail for accountability and compliance reporting.   
  • Data encryption – Encrypting data in transit or at rest is an essential part of SaaS access management, ensuring only those with the necessary permissions can decrypt and subsequently view or edit the data.

Why SaaS access management is important

There’s an abundance of reasons why organizations should take SaaS access management seriously. Whether it’s ensuring sensitive data remains confidential or preventing bad actors from harming your systems, putting a robust access control process in place is invaluable. 

Here’s why you should give your SaaS access management strategy some consideration:

  • Data security – Proper use of user access review tools and encryption means only authorized individuals can access sensitive data within your SaaS applications, helping prevent data exfiltration, unauthorized modifications, or otherwise malicious uses. 
  • Risk mitigation – Unauthorized access to SaaS apps or data can pose significant risks to organizations, such as financial loss or reputational damage. Mitigating these risks through security policies, monitoring, and detection of suspicious events is a primary goal of SaaS access management.
  • Insider threats – Whether it’s through negligent behavior, the actions of a disgruntled employee, or even a compromised account, proper SaaS access management can limit the risks and potential damage of security incidents from within the organization through practices like role-based access control (RBAC) and least privilege.
  • Intellectual property – There’s a good chance your business’s SaaS applications contain valuable intellectual property or proprietary data. User access review tools can help prevent unauthorized disclosure or theft of this information. 
  • Compliance – Many industries have complex regulatory landscapes, with strict rules regarding data privacy. SaaS access management can help your business stay on top of compliance with regulations like GDPR, SOC 2, HIPAA, and ISO 27001.
  • Operational efficiency – Effective access management streamlines processes like user provisioning, reviewing access rights, and reporting and auditing, reducing the associated administrative burden.

SaaS access management best practices

How can organizations protect the various services and data within their cloud footprint? 

Here are some best practices for SaaS access management, many of which can be taken care of with a dedicated user access review tool:

  • Strong authentication – Along with strong password requirements, implementing multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security that helps ensure access requests are only granted to the actual account holder. Biometric authentication is also worth considering.  
  • RBAC – Role-based access control is a principle whereby permissions and privileges are assigned based on users’ roles within an organization. This makes it easier for administrators to manage access rights in a standardized manner. 
  • Least privilege – The principle of least privilege is the practice of granting users the minimum level of access they need to perform the responsibilities of their job, reducing the potential impact of security incidents. 
  • Compliance – A thorough understanding of local or industry standards and laws is indispensable. Access management practices must comply with all relevant regulations, such as GDPR or HIPAA, and these frameworks themselves can also inform a robust access management strategy. 
  • Centralized identity and access management – With tens or hundreds of SaaS applications in use within an organization, a single source of truth for user identities and permissions is invaluable. A centralized IAM system can streamline user access processes across your business, ensuring consistent enforcement of policies.
  • Single sign-on – Implementing single sign-on (SSO) allows your employees to access multiple SaaS applications without having to log into each one separately. This improves not only security by reducing password fatigue, but also the user experience and admin overhead. 
  • Incident response strategy – While proper SaaS access management aims to prevent incidents before they occur, outlining a comprehensive response strategy means you’ll be better prepared to respond to any security issues that do arise.
  • Regular reviews – Periodic evaluation and auditing of user rights and permissions is essential to minimize risk exposure over time. Regular reviews help identify access concerns like dormant accounts or over-privileged users before they can cause a more serious problem.

The best access control tools

There’s a broad array of SaaS access management tools on the market, from comprehensive security suites to niche solutions that deal with specific areas. Here’s a look at some of the best access control tools currently available. 

Microsoft Entra ID

Microsoft’s IAM solution, Entra ID, offers multiple features for SaaS access management. App integrations, SSO, and passwordless authentication simplify access for your employees, while self-service identity management reduces friction around access rights. Machine learning can be used to reduce identity compromise risks, identifying high-risk users and automatically revoking privileges on detection of suspicious activity. 

Okta Workforce Identity

Workforce Identity from Okta places emphasis on streamlining IAM across your organization, using tools like adaptive MFA, SSO, and passwordless authentication to ensure the right users can securely access everything they need. Automation tools are available to optimize the on- and off-boarding process, and Secure Partner Access makes it easy to collaborate with external organizations. 


With JumpCloud, you’ll get a range of access control tools to protect your SaaS applications.  Centralized identity features make it easy to manage users across your entire stack, while reducing friction so your employees get access to the right resources. It’s also simple to track every device within your organization — whether managed or unmanaged — so endpoints are thoroughly monitored and compliance requirements are met. 

Cisco Duo

Cisco Duo is another leading SaaS access management tool, providing features like phishing-resistant MFA thanks to FIDO2, adaptive access for more granular permissions control, and SSO to reduce your attack surface and improve the user experience. Device tracking features can be used to verify trustworthiness before access is granted while also providing real-time security health status reporting. 

IBM Security Verify

IBM Security Verify delivers an AI-powered approach to IAM. Adaptive access evaluates user risk continuously, leveraging machine learning for greater accuracy. Passwordless or multi-factor authentication is available, as is SSO, and powerful identity analytics tools make it easy for your administrators to make data-based decisions.

Maintain SaaS access visibility with the Vertice platform

Along with saving you money, the Vertice platform can help your team manage and review SaaS access across your organization. With our solution, you’ll get full insight into your tech stack through detailed software usage analytics and reporting, so you can see which users are engaging with applications within your footprint — whether sanctioned or not — and reduce your risk by eliminating unused software and shadow IT. To get started, simply get in touch!

See how much you could save with Vertice

Use our calculator to estimate how much time and money your business could save on SaaS by using Vertice.

Number of employees
Number of applications
$181,481cost savings
466hours saved
Annual Cloud Spend
Number of Cloud Engineers
$11cost savings
2hours saved
$181,492cost savings
468hours saved

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