As the number of employees using cloud applications grows, a CASB is a critical tool for enterprises. These solutions can help organizations manage data risks by integrating with existing security infrastructure to discover and control cloud usage.
When choosing a CASB, look for one with the following key features.
The CASB solution must have robust authentication capabilities. The IT team should look for granular, risk-based authentication and the ability to integrate with existing identity-as-a-service and single sign-on tools. They should also consider whether the CASB can classify data and apply appropriate access controls. The CASB must be capable of blocking or denying applications based on their configured risk level and permissions. This helps to minimize the threat of shadow IT.
A CASB solution, like those provided by businesses like Versa Networks, must continually monitor cloud application utilization and watch for unusual behaviors and actions. The solution should also detect when users upload data to unauthorized locations and alert the IT department. In addition, a CASB should help administrators enforce bring-your-own-device policies.
A CASB should also enhance the organization’s data loss prevention (DLP) tools to cover any data used in managed or unmanaged cloud apps. This is critical because the organization relies on cloud applications to support a mobile and remote workforce. In addition, a CASB can reduce the risk of shadow IT by allowing IT to block applications and infrastructure setup without the IT department’s knowledge. For example, developers in a DevOps environment often spawn workloads and storage via personal accounts. The CASB must prevent these unauthorized assets from threatening the enterprise’s data and networks.
CASBs are growing as organizations deploy various cloud-based software and infrastructure. They are enabling them to meet their goals for cost savings, business agility, and support of a remote workforce while addressing security risks inherent in the cloud. CASB solutions integrate with existing data loss prevention (DLP) tools to help organizations safeguard sensitive information in motion and at rest in the cloud.
They enable the visibility of all cloud applications, devices, and services within the organization. They also enable control of varying access levels based on user, location, job function, or device. They can also use encryption to prevent the leak of information from the company to unauthorized entities.
CASBs can detect data in the cloud that may be uploaded to unauthorized locations or used for malicious purposes by users. They can also discover data that administrators were unaware of. They can even identify shadow IT applications, which are unmanaged and accessed outside the corporate network. These CASB tools can block data uploads to unauthorized sites and alert administrators of suspicious activity. It is important to evaluate the CASB vendor landscape and identify those with a solid track record in preventing and resolving breaches quickly and effectively.
As companies move to the cloud, many find that employees use unsanctioned apps and services. These can be harmless, but some are malicious or leaking data to external sources. A CASB solution helps organizations see what unmanaged applications are in use, allowing them to disconnect those that pose a risk.
To do this, the CASB must discover and classify applications and understand their use. For example, a CASB can look at how much data an app is sharing, which users it’s being used by, and where it’s being sent to. This information is then used to apply security policies to manage access.
CASBs also help companies manage compliance by detecting and reporting industry and government regulations violations, such as HIPAA and GDPR. Often, they can also guide remediation of the violation.
Depending on the vendor, a CASB can be delivered as an on-premises appliance or a cloud service. The best CASBs are delivered as a service because they must be in the data path for real-time insights and policy enforcement. They may be based on forward proxies, reverse proxies, APIs, or a combination of both (called multimode). They should integrate with other security tools such as secure web gateways, application firewalls, and data loss prevention tools.
A CASB uses analytics to monitor cloud data and users and to detect suspicious activity. These tools help organizations meet compliance regulations. They also provide visibility into shadow IT, ensuring that sensitive data is not uploaded to unauthorized locations and stored outside the organization’s control.
By analyzing data and user behavior, CASBs can identify unauthorized activities like file sharing, malware and phishing attacks, and insider threats. They can alert administrators and even block a user’s access to a specific application if they violate policy.
Many CASB vendors offer advanced analytics that goes beyond basic reporting and logging. They use machine learning to create a baseline of normal activity, allowing them to detect anomalies that may indicate a security breach. They can also correlate login usernames with the user’s corporate directory identity to ensure that only authorized users use approved applications.
Evaluate CASB vendors to determine their ability to protect against your organization’s unique use cases and how their solutions are deployed. Choose a vendor that provides the needed features, including the ability to integrate with your secure web gateways, data loss prevention, and email providers. Examine the CASB’s ability to perform credential mapping and single sign-on (SSO) authentication functions, device posture profiling, granular threat detection and forensics, encryption, and field-level data protection.