A CASB provides visibility into your cloud environment and controls data moving to and from cloud applications. It detects risky behaviors, such as uploading data to unauthorized locations, and alerts administrators. It can also turn services on or off at a granular level to balance collaboration with security. Typical features include cloud application discovery, data loss prevention (DLP), device posture monitoring, malware detection, and more. They operate via forward and inline proxies to provide granular visibility and control.
In addition to identifying unsanctioned cloud applications, CASB security solutions can reveal anomalous access patterns. These include unauthorized locations, sudden excess traffic flow, and other indicators of suspicious activity. Using machine learning-based user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA), CASBs compare access to standard usage patterns to identify deviations. This helps identify and mitigate threats before they cause a data breach. With increased visibility, IT teams can ensure that users’ activities in infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, and software as a service environment (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS) align with the organization’s security policies. This allows them to implement granular shadow IT control, SaaS security posture management, and unified threat protection. A CASB can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or via reverse proxy. Considering your needs, consider how well the CASB will integrate with your existing systems, such as data security, endpoint and network security, and threat detection and response (TIDR). This can help determine the best deployment model. For example, a solution that deploys in the cloud can offer faster deployment and comprehensive coverage.
With the volume of data doubling every two years, security teams are challenged to meet increasing compliance requirements. A CASB provides visibility into sensitive content traveling to, from, or between the organization’s cloud environments, identifying and remediating threats and violations. A CASB catalogs and rates the risk of cloud apps based on what type of data is stored, how it’s shared, and how often it is accessed. This allows the security team to set cloud access policies based on the organization’s specific security needs. In addition to visibility, a CASB should offer security functions such as multi-factor authentication, built-in collaboration with existing solutions, and encryption for data at rest and in motion. It should also detect anomalies based on user behavior, such as using unsecure file-sharing services for business-critical information or storing data in unsecure locations. Unlike banning unsanctioned applications, a good CASB lets the security team set permissions at a more granular level to balance safety with collaboration. This can help prevent intellectual property theft, such as trade secrets or engineering designs being shared by employees via public links or uploaded to personal accounts, and it can help stop shadow IT.
While cloud applications can increase productivity and improve collaboration, they also open organizations to various security risks. For example, employee activity on unsanctioned or third-party cloud apps is often outside the organization’s sight and not covered by existing governance, compliance, and risk policies. CASBs can detect and block this activity, protecting the organization’s data from unauthorized transfer. They can also prevent internal attacks by enforcing data loss prevention (DLP) policies that enforce encryption, tokenization, device posture profiling, and logging. To do this, CASBs provide visibility into all cloud applications, including sanctioned and unsanctioned services. Once they understand the full scope of an organization’s cloud usage, CASBs can quickly classify each application by what it is and what data it accesses. They can then compare this data against an established baseline to detect deviations and take action, such as restricting or overriding unauthorized activity. This way, businesses can maintain an empowered work environment without sacrificing privacy and security. In addition, the best CASBs can adjust permissions at a fine-grained level to balance safety with collaboration.
A CASB offers critical security capabilities for compliance and threat protection, including cloud application discovery, adaptive access control, data security, and malware detection. When selecting a CASB solution, consider the type of cloud services that your business uses and which ones it wants to monitor. Different teams have varying security skill sets, so look for a solution that supports your unique needs and enables your team to customize it. A CASB with customizable options like out-of-the-box templates and advanced configuration allows your organization to tailor the CASB to your specific security goals. A CASB monitors all cloud applications and users to detect risky activity, including unauthorized devices and apps (shadow IT). It also identifies risks associated with various infrastructure configurations and alerts administrators to potential misconfigurations that can cause a data breach. The CASB can then block or remediate these issues. This helps to keep business-critical information secure without impacting productivity. By dynamically enforcing security policies, the CASB helps to balance safety and collaboration. This is essential for businesses with many cloud applications and remote employees.
CASBs help organizations reduce costs associated with cloud service usage by detecting misconfigurations and unauthorized devices, applications, or users that can be automatically remediated. They also identify and stop shadow IT (i.e., applications or infrastructure that IT doesn’t know about) and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. A CASB can even encrypt data at rest or in transit, scrambling it so that attackers cannot decipher it, reducing the cost of a data breach. Ultimately, the best CASB solution will have four core functions that can be combined to help businesses protect their data and cloud environments.