CASBs offer visibility into the activity in and around cloud environments, security policy enforcement, threat detection, and data protection. They help businesses safely use time-saving, productivity-enhancing cloud services without compromising security. With the increase in remote working and workforce mobility and the growth of unsanctioned employee app usage (Shadow IT), a CASB is essential to enterprise security.
Understanding the definition of cloud access security brokers, however, is essential. A cloud access security broker is on-premises or cloud-based software that sits between cloud service users and applications, monitors all activity, and enforces security policies. Since cloud apps create information outside of IT’s view and control, CASB solutions provide visibility into data use, including unauthorized access. They also help IT control varying levels of information access based on user, location, job function, and device. As workforces become increasingly mobile, CASBs help IT protect data from various threats by enforcing security policies across all users, devices, and applications. They can authenticate users, encrypt sensitive data, monitor activity, detect suspicious login attempts, and send threat alerts. In addition, CASBs can integrate with existing SSO or IAS systems to support both forward and reverse proxy modes. They can also use API integrations to scan SaaS and IaaS applications for hidden configurations, malware, and sensitive data patterns. This helps IT respond quickly and protect enterprise data against sophisticated cyberattacks. CASBs can also support compliance reporting tools to help IT departments meet government and industry regulations. They can also detect and report on violations of various privacy laws, such as GDPR and HIPAA.
Every business with a significant cloud presence should consider a CASB solution. A CASB helps businesses maintain their internal security policies and compliance regulations when users access data from multiple devices, including unmanaged devices like personal smartphones and tablets. Using behavioral analytics and threat intelligence, a CASB helps identify suspicious activity, such as unauthorized access to confidential data. A CASB also helps to block data leakage by ensuring that sensitive content cannot be sent out of the company network or used on a device outside of authorized applications. Using autodiscovery, a CASB displays all cloud applications and identifies high-risk applications, user profiles, and other key risk factors. It can then enforce various security access controls, such as device posture profiling, encryption, and credential mapping when single sign-on is unavailable. It can also provide additional services such as logging and alerting. This can help organizations mitigate various threats, such as ransomware, insider threats, and malware. It can also maintain industry and regulatory compliance, such as HIPAA, HITECH, PCI, and FFIEC.
As more enterprises are based on cloud infrastructure, the environment must be protected at the same level as on-premises systems. A CASB provides visibility into the organization’s cloud environment to address security gaps, enforce policy, and comply with regulations. The top CASB solutions provide auto-discovery of cloud applications and monitor all activity – including access, usage, and sensitive data. They also support granular visibility, control, and governance and offer features like threat prevention, device and user profiling, authentication and authorization, encryption and tokenization, logging, and alerts. Effective CASB solutions also help prevent data breaches by monitoring employees’ use of unsanctioned cloud apps (shadow IT). They can detect and block malware, ransomware, and other threats introduced into a company’s cloud services or an employee’s device to access these cloud applications and services.
A CASB is a security checkpoint between cloud network users and applications, and it intercepts and applies enterprise security policies as the apps are accessed. Its ability helps organizations extend their security policies to cloud applications, protecting data and maintaining compliance. It can also help detect and respond to malicious or inattentive internal threats, privileged users, and compromised accounts—both inside the data center and within the cloud. It can enforce DLP policies for sensitive data in the cloud to keep the organization’s sensitive information secure even if a departing employee takes data. CASB solutions can take many forms, but they’re best delivered as a cloud service for scalability and ease of management. A good CASB solution will have auto-discovery software that shows all cloud applications used in your organization, including sanctioned and unsanctioned ones. Then, it can classify those applications and the data types they store, use, and share. It can then automatically apply security access controls to mitigate risk.
A CASB is a point of security enforcement positioned between enterprise users and cloud service providers to enforce an organization’s policy for cloud applications. They combine multiple security technologies, including authentication and credential mapping, encryption, malware detection, and more. As more data moves into the cloud, CASBs become essential to secure the enterprise. They can detect, respond to, and remediate shadow IT threats, privileged users, compromised accounts, and more to bolster the overall security posture. Choosing the right CASB depends on your needs and environment. Look for a CASB that offers the features you want at a price you can afford. Many CASBs provide flexible pricing models, including pay-as-you-go or subscription options, so you can scale your solution as your business grows. It’s also essential to choose a CASB that supports API mode, which allows the CASB to monitor traffic and content directly with cloud services without using proxies. This helps ensure that managed and unmanaged devices can be monitored and protected.