What is a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) & Why Do We Need One?


What is a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) & Why Do We Need One?

For any business owners that might have needed one more nudge toward the cloud, the COVID-19 crisis definitely obliged. Everyone immediately found out just how important cloud computing is when lockdowns went into effect throughout the UK requiring companies to send workers home to work remotely.

Cloud adoption was already a main priority of many small and large businesses alike to improve their agility and business solutions. The pandemic just accelerated the process.

57% of small and mid-sized businesses surveyed after the pandemic began said their use of the cloud had increased because of the crisis.

So, the laser focus on adopting the cloud should be just about over now, right? Not exactly.

One of the major problems that companies have realised after transitioning workflows to multiple cloud app solutions is the difficulty of cloud account security.

When you’re using several different cloud applications, all with differing security settings, how do you maintain a cohesive data security strategy? Remote employee access to cloud apps throws another issue into the mix, making it more challenging to keep out hackers.

These are the types of problems that led to the creation of Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB).

What is a CASB Application?

A cloud access security broker is a software that is layered between cloud service users and the cloud applications they access. A CASB can monitor user access to cloud services along with their activities. It also can enforce consistent security policies throughout multiple cloud apps.

A CASB can be either an on-premises or cloud-based solution. One of the more well-known CASBs is Microsoft Cloud App Security.

Using a CASB allows you to gain more control over and visibility into your cloud infrastructure, no matter which cloud apps you use.

The Advantages of Using a Cloud Access Security Broker

With use of the cloud being the norm in today’s business environment, it’s critical to your cybersecurity strategy that you address cloud security concerns.

What are the top cloud threats according to surveyed organisations?

  • Unauthorized access (42%)
  • Insecure Interfaces (42%)
  • Misconfiguration (40%)

Here are several of the ways that using a CASB can benefit your business and help protect you from a data breach.

Apply Standard Security Policies Across All Apps

You don’t want your “do not copy” security protections applied in one cloud application, to be ignored when the document is brought into a different cloud app. Using a CASB stops that from happening by handling the security and applying it across different cloud apps.

One example of this is the ability of Microsoft Cloud App Security to retain the protections applied with sensitivity labels in non-Microsoft 3rd party cloud applications.

Discover the Use of Shadow IT

Shadow IT can be hard to control and it leaves company networks at risk. It’s when employees use applications on their own without company approval. Because those apps haven’t been properly reviewed, they can be a big problem when it comes to security and compliance.

A CASB can give you visibility into Shadow IT being accessed by your users. It can also help you assess their risk level to your organisation.

Catch Cyberthreats & Malware

By having one place where you can monitor all cloud applications, you can more easily identify and stop threats. A CASB can do things like:

  • Detect unusual behavior
  • Identify ransomware
  • Alert you of high-risk app usage
  • Automatically remediate any dangerous activities

Gain Compliance Visibility

You can use a cloud access security broker to review the compliance capabilities of all your cloud apps. If you find that some lack proper compliance, you can restrict access to regulated data to reduce your risk of data leakage.

Catch Insider Threats

Over 34% of businesses are impacted by insider threats every year. An insider threat is typically more difficult to detect than one coming from an outsider because it involves a legitimate login credential.

Insiders can either be an employee with malicious intent or a hacker that has hacked or stolen a user’s password.

Because CASBs can detect unusual user behavior, including the geographical location a user may be logging in from, they are able to detect insider threats, allowing you to take immediate defensive actions.

Enforce Layered Access Privileges

A CASB can apply a number of layered access privileges that give you more control over your business apps and who can use them to access sensitive data. Access levels can be based upon a user’s device, location, or operating system.

For example, if a remote employee was trying to access one of your business apps from a device using Windows 7 (a no longer supported operating system), you could reject access or only grant a very low level of access.

How Secure Are Your Business Cloud Applications?

Don’t risk your cloud data. Enable Technology can help your business get a handle on your cloud app environment to improve both security and efficiency.

Book your 15-minute technology call today!

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