CASBs are on-premise or cloud-based security policy enforcement points that combine and interject enterprise security policies as users access cloud services. They support authentication, data loss prevention, encryption and tokenization, logging, alerting, and malware detection/prevention.
Enterprises need rich visibility and control of their SaaS usage, including sanctioned and unsanctioned services and advanced analytics to combat threats. To ensure that, select a CASB solution that delivers the four key capability areas of a CASB:
The proliferation of cloud apps in the workplace makes protecting information across all devices challenging. CASBs help organizations to mitigate risk and enforce the policy by providing visibility into cloud application usage across all managed and unmanaged devices. They also support granular access control policies based on user identity, job function, and device. As a result, CASBs provide better security and reduce the risks associated with BYOD, remote work, unsanctioned apps and shadow IT.
The best CASBs have powerful threat prevention capabilities such as data loss prevention (DLP), user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA), and zero trust. They can also scan historical cloud data and detect anomalous activity such as file sharing or unprotected information.
A CASB can also help an organization meet regulatory compliance requirements by identifying potential industry and government regulations violations. It can also benchmark application security configurations against SOX, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS standards to determine gaps. Additionally, a CASB can prevent certain kinds of sensitive data from getting uploaded to the cloud by encrypting or tokenizing it.
Despite the high-security level built into most cloud services, they can still be vulnerable to misconfigurations. This is especially true for enterprise applications that are unknown to IT. For example, according to Digital Shadows, in 2018, 1.5 billion files were exposed worldwide due to the misconfiguration of cloud storage.
In addition to preventing data loss through malware prevention, CASBs also offer encryption capabilities that make it impossible for external parties to read proprietary information. They can encrypt in and outbound data streams to align with business policies and help meet regulatory compliance requirements.
CASB solution should provide visibility into managed and unsanctioned cloud applications to enable companies to take a “yes” stance on valuable services while ensuring their use complies with an organization’s data policies. This could mean allowing employees to access a sanctioned office suite while limiting or blocking the use of unsanctioned apps that will enable sensitive information to be shared outside the company.
When selecting a CASB, ensure it offers security features such as device profiling and granular policy controls. Look for a solution that integrates with your existing identity-as-a-service (IDaaS)/single sign-on tools and supports field-level data encryption. Also, understand if the product can perform advanced functions such as data loss prevention (DLP) and user behavior analytics (UEBA) to identify potential threats. Multimode CASBs that use forward proxy, reverse proxy, and API scanning can deliver these capabilities simultaneously for more robust protection.
Lastly, consider the level of technical support needed by your team. Choose a vendor that provides responsive customer support to address questions and issues in real-time. Smaller groups may not need as intensive a level of service, while larger enterprises with extensive IT resources will likely require more advanced support capabilities.
A CASB is on-premises or cloud-based software that connects cloud service users and the cloud application to combine and interject enterprise security policies as data travels to, within, and across cloud services. Its primary function is to promote user and data protection through visibility, control, and threat detection.
Visibility is vital to any cybersecurity strategy, especially when dealing with sensitive data. A CASB can help businesses better understand the cloud applications their employees use, including information such as device type and location, and assess risk to help shape access policy.
CASBs allow organizations to say yes to using cloud services by controlling access to activities, content, and data within those services. For example, a company may want to grant full access to a sanctioned suite like Microsoft 365 for managed devices but only allow web-only email for unmanaged mobile devices. CASBs can also provide visibility into unsanctioned cloud applications and help enterprises benchmark their security configurations against regulatory standards such as HIPAA and PCI DSS.
A CASB can detect when sensitive data is transmitted in the cloud and encrypt it before transmission, ensuring that only authorized recipients can access it. This helps businesses protect against costly breaches. A CASB can also perform an inline and out-of-band outbound traffic inspection to identify potential data loss and prevent data from leaving the organization.
When a security team uses a CASB, it gets granular visibility into all cloud applications—sanctioned and unsanctioned (aka Shadow IT). This gives the team an understanding of the data types in each cloud application and how the data is moving to, from, and within that service. This helps the team to better shape security, compliance, and governance policies based on this visibility and control.
This CASB visibility allows the team to enforce various security controls, including authentication, single sign-on, encryption, device profiling, access control, and threat detection/prevention. This creates a consolidated safety net that covers most of what enterprises need to protect their Cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications.
CASBs can also help organizations get their arms around their growing cloud spend. This is because they can discover all the cloud services being used, report on those costs, and find redundancies in functionality or license costs.
When choosing a CASB solution, ensure it supports the full suite of security features your organization needs. For example, looking for a CASB that can detect sensitive or regulated data in file-sharing services like Box and Salesforce is essential. Selecting a CASB that supports your business’s different cloud applications is also critical. Finally, choose a CASB with a good track record for customer support.