To enforce security policies, a cloud access security broker (CASB) is on-premises or cloud software between consumers of cloud services and cloud applications. CASBs improve visibility, data control, and analytics to identify and mitigate threats and protect sensitive data. CASBs help organizations reduce risks, enforce policies and maintain regulatory compliance. They deliver visibility into both sanctioned and unsanctioned cloud usage.
A cloud access security broker (CASB) software platform tracks, evaluates, and manages cloud apps and data. It is an integral part of a secure and reliable cloud computing environment. A CASB enables cloud administrators to quickly and effectively manage their organization’s infrastructure from one central location, providing visibility into all resources and enabling better authorization controls. The CASB also provides an end-to-end view of user and device activities, so administrators can quickly pinpoint anomalous patterns.
CASBs are especially helpful in preventing Shadow IT, or applications and infrastructure that are managed and utilized without the knowledge of an IT department. These unauthorized assets threaten the network and can be used to steal data or access sensitive information.
With the move to the cloud, IT companies must work harder to track where and how their data is being used and ensure that it conforms with security and policy requirements. Similarly, the growing popularity of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies has expanded the number of devices and services that can be used to store and transfer data, making it harder for IT departments to monitor usage and protect enterprise data.
A CASB is an essential component of a cloud-based cybersecurity strategy. Still, it must work with other security components such as DLP, endpoint management, web security, encryption, and user authentication. In addition, a CASB program must integrate seamlessly with core security technologies to provide complete coverage of all users, devices, and cloud apps and resources.
CASBs are essential for organizations looking to protect sensitive data in the cloud. They can help you meet strict regulatory requirements, monitor and manage cloud usage and detect threats in real time. Whether you’re using private or public cloud services, a CASB will give you a complete picture of what is being used and accessed across your entire network. It includes both sanctioned and unsanctioned apps and services.
To safeguard sensitive data, a CASB will encrypt it at rest and in transit to avoid eavesdropping, man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks, and loss of control. They also provide compliance tools to identify systems that don’t comply with security policies or regulations.
Additionally, a CASB will enable identity access management to authenticate users and prevent unauthorized employees from accessing company-owned devices and applications. They can also revoke access to specific files, devices, and users when a user leaves the organization or loses their device.
Lastly, a CASB will provide activity monitoring capabilities to discover suspicious user behaviors and traffic patterns. It allows administrators to detect unusual data movement and take corrective actions before a data breach incident occurs. A CASB is especially helpful as enterprises migrate to bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies and cloud services.
As the proliferation of cloud applications and users has created shadow IT, enterprises have sought a solution to control access to sensitive data in the cloud. CASB vendors have risen to the challenge, providing tools that monitor traffic and authenticate remote workers’ devices.
Unlike traditional security tools in the network, a CASB is placed between consumers and cloud providers to inject enterprise security policies as cloud-based applications are accessed. They may operate as a virtual or physical appliance deployed on-premises or colocated with a public cloud service provider.
When evaluating a CASB, ensure it supports the deployment models you need and provides flexibility for complete coverage across all possible use cases. Some CASBs offer a multimode architecture that lets you deploy in various modes, such as reverse proxy, forward proxy or API control.
Most CASB vendors provide authentication functionality that integrates with existing identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) and single sign-on (SSO) solutions. However, many IT managers want more from their authentication tools than just a simple “yes” or “no” login event, which is called risk-based authentication or adaptive authentication.
Increasingly, modern APIs are being used by cloud applications to deliver secure interactions with users. Those APIs offer visibility into cloud data and the ability to enforce policy and protect users against malicious activity. Those APIs can also be used to deliver real-time visibility and controls.
CASBs offer an essential layer of cloud security that helps enterprises monitor their usage, compliance, and data. They can also help organizations discover and reduce the costs of cloud services.
The pricing of CASB services depends on several factors, including the vendor’s offerings and how many cloud applications they support. It’s best to pilot a CASB product with a small set of applications before expanding its scope.
Understanding the vendor’s features and pricing is essential to determine whether it fits an organization well.
A CASB can protect sensitive business data by scanning for unauthorized access, blocking access, and allowing administrators to configure policies that protect data in the cloud. It can also detect and block malware and phishing attacks.
In addition, a CASB can provide granular authentication and secure single sign-on (SSO) capabilities. It can help businesses manage the complexities of remote workers, BYOD devices and cloud application access.
CASBs protect your data with multiple technologies, including cloud-native encryption, static and dynamic anti-malware detection, and machine learning to detect ransomware. They also support anomaly detection and threat intelligence sources to ensure you can protect against threats from anywhere and anytime. These technologies can help prevent data leaks and data breaches.
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