Cloud Access Security


Businesses are confronted with an increasing number of security threats. These dangers present organizations with a distinct set of challenges in terms of updating their defense mechanisms.

As a result, CASBs have developed into a critical component of enterprise security. This innovative approach to security enables firms to leverage the cloud while safeguarding sensitive company data.

Cloud access security brokers, abbreviated CASB, act as a policy enforcement hub. They integrate many types of security policy enforcement and apply them to all of a business’s cloud-based activities. It makes no difference what type of device is trying access – unmanaged smartphones, Internet of Things devices, or personal laptops.

There has been a rise in labor mobility in the months following the lockdown, with more businesses adopting remote working as the norm. The proliferation of BYOD and the availability of unapproved employee cloud usage, dubbed Shadow IT, as well as the capacity to monitor and manage cloud programs such as Office 365, are all now extensively relevant. They have become critical to achieving enterprise security’s goal. A CASB enables organizations to adopt a more granular approach to data security and policy enforcement. Without having to worry about security, organizations may thus safely employ time-saving, productivity-enhancing, and cost-effective cloud technologies.

What precisely is a cloud access security broker, or CASB?

A cloud access security broker, or CASB, is software that is hosted in the cloud or on-premises that acts as a middleman between consumers and cloud service providers. Its objective is to close security vulnerabilities in cloud computing environments such as software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). A CASB provides visibility, enabling organizations to extend their security rules from on-premises infrastructure to cloud-based infrastructure and to build new policies for cloud-specific contexts.

To completely appreciate what a CASB performs, it’s necessary to understand how it varies from the firewalls that businesses employ to monitor and filter their network traffic. CASBs can be used to detect odd or suspicious user behaviour and provide cloud access management for the organization. They provide increased visibility into cloud infrastructures and allow for more precise control over cloud utilization.

Cloud security gateways (CASBs) guard against cloud security concerns. However, they also act as a compliance mechanism for data privacy rules and the enforcement of corporate security standards. Now that employees can access corporate networks from different places via personal, unmanaged devices, businesses face greater cloud security concerns than ever before.

The rise of cloud computing necessitated the need for more uniform security across all premises, and CASB was born when the necessity for more consistent security across numerous premises or cloud-based systems became apparent.

CASBs enable organizations to obtain a better understanding of their cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) installations. They can use this insight to safeguard all user and critical corporate data in these situations.

CASBs are the natural next step in tackling the digital domain’s increasing threat landscape. We are experiencing a new generation of blended threats, various exploits, and obfuscation technologies that complicate detection, and organizations require solutions that secure their data while also providing a level of comfort to their users.

Additionally, CASBs may:

  • Defend yourself from malware and phishing attempts.
  • Access to cloud services in a secure manner.
  • Assure the security of cloud applications.
  • What are the advantages of CASBs?

Numerous CASBs offer unique security characteristics in comparison to enterprise/web application firewalls and secure web gateways. As a result, CASB is well-suited to address the issues inherent in ensuring consistent data security across diverse settings, including:

  • Governance of the cloud and risk assessment
  • Preventing data loss
  • Control over native cloud service capabilities such as collaboration and sharing
  • Threat prevention, frequently through the analysis of user and entity behavior (UEBA)
  • Auditing configurations
  • Anti-malware protection
  • Encrypting data and managing keys
  • Integration of SSO and IAM
  • Control of access based on context

Businesses that employ a CASB can use the same secure web gateways on-premises and in the cloud. Additionally, they can combine several methods of policy enforcement, such as:

  • User credential authentication is used to restrict access to cloud services to those that have been authorised.
  • Data protection using encryption, tokenization, or other measures to ensure that sensitive data is not exposed in cloud services or to CSPs
  • Monitoring cloud service activity for user and entity behavior
  • Analytics to detect and log unusual usage trends or credential compromise
  • Data loss prevention (DLP) is a technique used to preserve sensitive data within an organization’s network.
  • Malware identification and removal to ensure that no sensitive data enters the organization’s network

Another advantage of CASBs is that they may be deployed in a corporate data center, in a hybrid cloud-data center environment, or wholly in the cloud. These options provide organizations with a great deal of freedom and diversity in terms of selecting the application that is most suited to their present situation and budget.

If your focus is on data protection, you may go toward on-premises solutions in order to maintain complete control over security architecture. Many mid-tier and big companies choose for the “Bring Your Own Key” (BYOK) option to avoid the delegation of responsibility and third-party trust requirements imposed by cloud-only CASBs.

Additionally, this may violate internal or external policies, putting CSPs in a tough position when it comes to security services. Additionally, they may need whitelisting the CASB’s IP addresses.

As a result, organizations can now select between three different forms of CASBs:

  • API-only solution that focuses exclusively on management. This type of CASB makes use of API access to SaaS applications to do data loss remediation.
  • Multi-mode First-generation solution that provides administration and security but does not provide zero-day protection. These CASBs provide signature-based protection for well-documented data leakage channels and a predefined set of apps.
  • Multi-mode Next-Generation technologies that provide administration, security, and zero-day protection. Such CASBs adjust dynamically to protect cloud applications from known and unknown data leakage risks and malware threats.

Why are CASBs necessary?

Until recently, businesses typically housed all of their applications and data in a single on-premises data center. This on-premises model enabled total visibility and precise control over real-time access to company data.

With the migration of data to the cloud and the use of SaaS apps by businesses, the methods for gaining insight into who is accessing and utilizing their applications and data have to evolve. Consequently, the technique for ensuring data protection evolved.

CASBs play a role in this shift to cloud-based systems. They have evolved into a vital component of enterprise security since their introduction. As a result, Gartner, a major research and advisory group, expects that 60% of large enterprises would utilize CASBs by 2022, up from 20% in 2018.