Unveiling the Hidden Risks Lurking in Browser Extensions

The digital landscape has evolved rapidly over the past decade, with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications becoming the cornerstone of modern business operations. However, as businesses embrace this digital transformation, a new report by Spin.AI sheds light on the often-overlooked security risks associated with browser extensions in the ever-expanding SaaS ecosystem.

Spin.AI undertakes cybersecurity and risk assessment for SaaS applications It has unveiled the “Browser Extension Risk Report: High Risks for SaaS Data,” a comprehensive analysis of the threats posed by browser extensions to mission-critical SaaS applications. The report’s findings underscore the pressing need for organizations to adopt proactive measures to manage and mitigate these hidden risks.

“In an era marked by the rapid proliferation of SaaS applications, businesses are navigating uncharted digital terrain,” said Dmitry Dontov, CEO of Spin.AI. “This report shines a light on a critical yet often underestimated facet of this landscape – browser extensions.

“These seemingly innocuous tools can harbor significant security risks to SaaS data, demanding a closer look. Our findings reveal an urgent call to action for organizations to take a proactive stance in safeguarding their digital assets.”

Uncovering Hidden Dangers

The report reveals concerning statistics: nearly 51% of browser extensions pose a high risk to data stored in Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, and 44% pose a medium risk. This revelation serves as a reminder that SaaS data protection is the enterprise’s responsibility, not the SaaS vendor’s responsibility.

Furthermore, the report delves into the vast and intricate world of browser extensions. With over 300,000 extensions and third-party OAuth applications analyzed by Spin.AI, a startling 42,938 extensions have unknown authors and are registered to an individual email account – a potential gateway for malicious intent. These anonymous extensions, combined with the sheer volume of extensions being used by organizations, create an expanding threat landscape.

Spin.AI categorizes extensions into high, medium, and low-risk tiers based on operational, security, privacy, and compliance factors. Among the key findings, developer tool extensions pose the highest risk at 56%. Even the seemingly indispensable productivity extensions, which are the most installed type of extension, don’t escape scrutiny, with more than 53% classified as high risk.

The Browser Extension Risk Report highlights the importance of a comprehensive approach to risk mitigation. Spin.AI recommends the following steps for organizations looking to safeguard their digital environments:

  1. Inventory: Maintain a real-time inventory of extensions and SaaS applications to assess their operational, security, privacy, and compliance risks.
  2. Risk Assessments: Continuously assess and secure extensions and applications, identifying potential security risks.
  3. Policies: Establish and enforce policies based on third-party risk management frameworks, tailored to the dynamic nature of extensions and applications.
  4. Incident Response: Implement automated controls aligned with organizational policies to manage the diverse array of SaaS applications in use.

To download the report click here or request a demo click here.