Posted by - October 03, 2023

Security threats for third-party applications are nothing new. Many businesses have opted to integrate these popular applications (such as Salesforce, Google Workspace, and Microsoft 365) to facilitate important day to day operations.

However, concerns with the security of third-party apps have arisen with the introduction of malicious apps by bad actors. While this strategy has been utilized with simple mobile apps requesting invasive permission sets to data mine the phone, it is new to the software as a service (SaaS) world. The Hacker News reports that threat actors have designed these apps to connect to a SaaS application (such as Google Workspace, Slack, or Zoom), to perform unauthorized activities with a company/employee’s data. The process is dangerously simple. Upon connecting to the core SaaS stack, they request certain scopes and permissions in order to read, update, create, and delete content.

These new sophisticated phishing scams to target core SaaS applications are more difficult to recognize. Oftentimes, the app will appear fully legitimate. An app like Salesforce AppExchange is a prime example of a program that offers functionality in exchange for unreasonable permission scopes.

Malicious apps pose a variety of security threats to businesses. These threats can include:

  • Data Breaches – threat actors can access confidential employee and customer information to publish online or hold for ransom.
  • System Compromise – threat actors can alter settings within the core SaaS app/update access to unauthorized users with the permissions granted to them.
  • Compliance violations – A business’ relationships with clients and partners can potentially be put at risk in the case a data breach results in a compliance violation.
  • Performance – Normal operations can be stalled/thwarted by necessary functions being altered or disabled.

An array of preventative measures can be implemented to protect your data from malicious third-party apps. Learn more about how our team can protect you and your business today at

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