Cloud access security brokers or CASBs have gained eminence as security providers who manage the encryption and authentication of data stored on the cloud-based software. The data stored on cloud services can be accessed through any device, be it mobile phones, desktops, or remote servers. CASBs give you greater visibility into the entire process of transfer, management, storage, and access of data on the cloud services.
Before the cloud access security brokers entered the IT world, enterprise security managers had minimal visibility into cloud data management and security. This has led to the exponential growth of the CASB solution providers who secure the data across all the endpoints.
CASB solution providers deliver thorough and consistent security through multiple clouds and protect the data of all the users. Cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) usage require constant monitoring so that the confidential data is not exposed to unauthorized third-party sources. CASB solution providers check into the data leakages and notify the system administrators to eliminate such breaches from the system.
This article lists down the seven important things which you need to consider before purchasing a CASB.
- Curate a list of your most important apps that needs to integrate the CASB project for an initial inspection. Check its functionality within a smaller scope before you widen its range of applicability.
- Along with the CASB solution, you need to identify if you want to integrate it with the existing tools such as the identity-as-a-service (IDaaS)/single sign-on (SSO) tools.
- Authenticating the cloud access is not a simple “yes” or “no” authentication process. You need to have a deeper understanding of when and how you will have to integrate the complex risk-based authentication. If yes, you need to ask your CASB to merge this functionality into the cloud-based services.
- You also need to identify if and how the different product upgrades the field-level data encryption and authentication.
- Check out the multimode CASBs. This gives you a flexible positioning that helps you to cover several use cases. This also ensures the limitations of the product that may occur in the different operating modes.
- Also, you need to identify if the products integrate smoothly with the different security systems like the web gateways, application firewalls, DLP tools, and email providers. You should thoroughly check these solutions offered by your CASB vendor. Check the functionality with what you already have installed in your company.
- You also need to have an estimate of the costs it will incur. Check the annual cost for simple installations of the few cloud applications as against the robust coverage for multimode unlimited cloud applications, and find out what is more suitable for your business.
Multiple Use Cases Of CASB
1) Secure Shadow IT
One of the most important use cases of CASB is identifying, monitoring, and securing the shadow IT. It is not managed by the centralized IT team of the organization. Hence, it cannot be governed by the company’s security, compliance, and governance policies. This can expose the data of the company to various threat vectors.
2) Govern Device Usage
The second important use case of CASBs is to monitor the activities of users who access the cloud storage from mobile/desktop apps, or sync client. They need to govern this access to shared cloud storage. This will help to prevent unauthorized activities in the cloud in real-time.
3) Secure Data
CASBs’ central concern is to secure the data and to protect it from exfiltration from a sanctioned to an unsanctioned cloud service. They need to enforce various protocols that are compliant with the company to protect the data across the different categories of services, enforce conditional activity-level policies, and apply suitable encryption.
4) Block Malware
CASBs should be vigilant enough and act as a firewall to protect the cloud services from malware. It should be able to detect and alert the companies about any suspicious logins, or excessive downloads, uploads, or file sharing.
How CASBs Work?
CASB operates via two key methods, i.e., you can set it up as a proxy, or in the API mode. The proxy method can again be categorized into forward, or reverse proxy. In proxy-based CASB, it inspects and filters HTML-based traffic to SaaS applications through a gateway and other network traffic. An API-based CASB provides users with direct, secure access to the cloud from any device. It does not follow the same network path as data. While the proxy solution checks only SaaS traffic, the API-based CASB checks IaaS and PaaS as well as SaaS traffic.
Cloud access security brokers checks and filter cloud access traffic. As they inspect the data, they come up with robust network security solutions that allow the enterprises to gain more visibility into the transfer, management, and access of data across different cloud services.