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How to Guide Staff to Use Only IT-Approved SaaS Apps

Being forgetful is a part of being human. It's not just about forgetting small things like what we need from the store; sometimes, it's bigger than that.

In workplaces, this forgetfulness can extend to critical areas like using only authorized SaaS apps. Despite the best intentions and even after comprehensive cybersecurity training, employees may inadvertently use unauthorized applications, posing a significant risk to organizational security. 

59% of IT experts face challenges managing SaaS sprawl.

The challenge, then, is not only to inform and educate but also to ensure that these guidelines are followed consistently. This article explores practical strategies to guide staff towards the exclusive use of approved SaaS applications, emphasizing the need for a supportive, technology-driven approach to reinforce safe digital habits.

Is cybersecurity training sufficient to ensure digital security in your workspace?

While cybersecurity training plays a crucial role in educating staff about potential digital threats and best practices, it alone is not enough to ensure the digital security of your workspace. Despite the comprehensive nature of these training sessions, the information provided can easily be forgotten or overlooked in the day-to-day hustle of work life.

One of the primary reasons is human nature's preference for convenience over security. Employees, pressed for time or seeking the path of least resistance, might opt for quicker or easier ways to accomplish tasks, even if they bypass security protocols learned in training. This behavior increases the risk of security breaches, as unauthorized SaaS applications might be used without considering the potential threats they pose.

A very realistic and typical example…

Imagine an employee working on a big project who needs a special tool to keep things organized. They remember training at work that said, "Don't use software that the company hasn't approved" because it might be unsafe. But, with a tight deadline and remembering a tool they used at a previous job or heard about from friends, the employee decides to use it anyway. They think it'll just be this once to help get the job done faster. –Oops.

This shows how, even if employees know they should only use certain tools for work, the need to meet deadlines and use easy, familiar tools can lead them to forget those rules. They end up using software that their company hasn't checked, which could put their work and the company's data at risk.

Ultimately, humans are hardwired to ignore facts and sometimes it might feel like the meme below.

employee cybersecurity meme

Here's how Resmo tips your employee cybersecurity toward perfection

1. Deliver timely guidance

Sometimes, it's not just about forgetting. We might remember the rule but choose the shortcut anyway. It's like knowing you shouldn't snack before dinner but doing it because the cookies are right there. In the same way, even when we know which apps are off-limits at work, the convenience can be too tempting to ignore.

Resmo helps keep your team safe online by catching problems right when they happen. Let's say someone on your team decides to try out a new app for organizing their work, but it's not one that your company has said is okay to use. Instead of hoping they remember the rules from a cybersecurity meeting, Resmo steps in right away.

When Resmo notices someone using an app that's not allowed, it sends a quick message to that person or the responsible person via your specified channel. This could be a simple alert in an email or a team chat, telling them about the mistake and reminding them of the company's rules on using software. Or a ChatOps message through Slack or Microsoft Teams.

This way, Resmo makes sure everyone gets the reminder they need exactly when they need it, helping to stop security risks before they start.

2. Let the practice make the perfect


Instead of a one-time nudge, Resmo believes in continuous guidance to shape safer SaaS usage habits among employees.

Every time someone steps outside the company's security protocols—be it skipping multi-factor authentication (MFA), choosing a weak password, or venturing into shadow SaaS territories—they receive a heads-up. This repetitive alert system does more than remind; it makes secure SaaS usage a habit.

Imagine an employee who decides to bypass MFA for quicker access or uses a password that's easy to remember but equally easy to crack. With Resmo, these actions trigger immediate feedback, not as a reprimand but as a constructive reminder of the risks and the need to adhere to security policies.

Also read: How to Prevent OAuth Vulnerabilities

3. Suggest secure alternatives


When employees reach for unauthorized apps, it's often out of a need that existing tools don't fulfill. Recognizing this, Resmo doesn't just stop at alerting employees about their missteps. It suggests company-approved alternatives that meet their needs without compromising security.

Imagine an employee trying to use an unapproved graphic design tool because they're unaware of the sanctioned software that offers similar features. Resmo identifies this gap and recommends authorized tools available within the company's tech stack. This proactive approach ensures employees have the resources they need to work efficiently, steering them away from potential security risks posed by shadow IT.

By offering alternatives, Resmo not only enforces security policies but also educates the workforce about the wealth of resources at their disposal, fostering a culture of security and compliance. This strategy ensures that the quest for convenience doesn't lead to compromises in the company's digital safety.

4. Block unwanted domains to remember separating work and personal browser profiles

Blurring the lines between work and play is easy, especially when using online apps. For businesses, it's crucial to make sure employees use only the apps approved for work. One straightforward way to help ensure this is by blocking websites and apps that aren't meant for work. This is like setting up a fence to keep the work stuff in and the personal stuff out. Let's talk about why this is necessary and how it helps.

  • Keeping Things Safe: By blocking certain websites, companies can protect themselves from online dangers like viruses or hackers. If employees only access safe, approved apps, the chance of running into these problems drops significantly. 
  • Following the Rules: There are many laws about protecting personal information, especially for customers. Blocking sites that aren't secure or approved makes sure that a company doesn't accidentally break these laws. Think of it as ensuring everyone follows the safety rules so the company doesn't get into trouble.
  • Staying Focused: Employees who can't access distracting sites are more likely to stay focused on their work.

Resmo makes this process easy by allowing you to block specific websites using its browser extension.

Have you tried it yet?

While cybersecurity training is essential for laying down the foundation of a secure digital workspace, it's clear that training alone is not enough to guarantee safety. The human factor—our tendencies towards convenience and the occasional lapse in memory—means additional measures are necessary. 

This is where tools like Resmo play a pivotal role, bridging the gap between knowledge and action. By delivering timely alerts, providing continuous guidance, and suggesting secure alternatives, Resmo ensures that cybersecurity practices are not just understood but also implemented. This creates a workspace where security and productivity go hand in hand.

If you have yet to try Resmo, you can start your free trial today and see it for yourself.

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