A CASB provides visibility into cloud applications and helps security teams detect “shadow IT” and sanctioned services that could introduce unknown threats. Using proxies or APIs to identify data movement between clouds and between on-prem infrastructure and the cloud, CASBs can help prevent costly data leaks by stopping sensitive information from leaving the organization.
The core function of a CASB is to protect data from unauthorized access and threats. But how do CASBs improve cloud security? Using a combination of technologies, CASBs detect sensitive information as they move to or from sanctioned cloud apps (or unsanctioned shadow applications), encrypting and tokenizing that data for secure transfer. They also block malware and ransomware on user devices by detecting anomalous patterns and leveraging dynamic and static threat detection capabilities.
This integration is often accomplished through a forward proxy architecture, which intercepts data and cloud services en route to their destination. A CASB combines security and network management technologies, including credential mapping and single sign-on, device posture profiling, logging and alerting, sandboxing, malware detection, rest and transit encryption, and threat intelligence to offer a comprehensive cloud protection platform. This is a major advantage over traditional next-generation firewalls, which do not offer this full set of capabilities. This integrated approach helps reduce complexity and increase efficiency. It also provides a more holistic view of the organization’s cloud usage risk.
With the proliferation of cloud services, it is more difficult for organizations to understand how their data is used – and where. A CASB offers visibility and control to ensure compliance with industry regulations, including the latest data residency and privacy mandates.
Strong threat protection: CASBs can stop malware and phishing attacks by enforcing security protocols, inspecting data at rest on cloud infrastructure, and blocking suspicious activity. The CASB can also monitor and detect attacks that have already entered the network to prevent them from spreading to other systems or devices.
Visibility: A CASB can discover unsanctioned apps and identify users’ access to them – even when they are off the company’s network. It can also help identify atypical activity, such as sudden traffic surges and unauthorized data movements. It can even provide a single sign-on capability for employees that allows them to use multiple apps with one set of credentials. In addition, CASBs can offer file-level encryption that scrambles information before it gets to the cloud or mobile devices, making it more difficult for attackers to access sensitive data.
Most traditional CASB solutions need more than static applications to limit their protection capabilities. In contrast, Proofpoint CASBs provide granular visibility to cloud apps and their data to detect risks that could lead to a data loss event. This includes discovering unused and stale cloud applications still accessible to employees and analyzing risky authentication attempts.
In addition, CASBs use machine learning-based user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) to identify abnormal behaviors and stop attacks before they cause damage. This enables them to prevent malicious files from being downloaded or leaked through cloud proxies and real-time quarantine functions. They also offer encryption options for data-at-rest and data-in-transit, multi-factor authentication, and support for existing identity access management solutions.
With blended threats, multiple exploits, and increasing obfuscation technologies, companies need a solution that makes protecting their data easier. By delivering visibility to cloud environments, preventing malware from entering the enterprise, and offering mitigation capabilities, CASBs make it easier to meet compliance requirements and safeguard data in a fast-changing threat landscape.
The proliferation of cloud applications, BYOD devices, and remote workers would require more work for enterprises to keep up with their activities. A CASB can help.
CASBs provide visibility into activities in the cloud and SaaS apps to enable security policy enforcement, threat detection, data loss prevention (DLP), and more. A CASB solution can be deployed on-premises, as software, or as a managed service in the cloud for scalability and lower costs.
When employees unknowingly move data between cloud applications or to other external locations, a CASB can detect this and notify administrators. It can also prevent sharing of data outside the organization and block access to sensitive information files.
A good CASB should seamlessly integrate with core security infrastructure, including DLP, endpoint management, web security, and encryption. Doing so can offer better protection across all environments and devices. It can also ensure that data stays protected no matter which device a user uses to access the app or whether the user is on a network or working remotely.
The most compelling reason to invest in CASB is its ability to increase ROI through cloud application discovery, data security, and threat protection. By detecting and blocking unsanctioned applications, CASBs protect data from malware. They also help executives understand how systems are used and provide financial insights on cloud spending, possible redundancies, and license costs.
Unfortunately, many CASB solutions don’t deliver the functionality businesses need today. They’re either outdated or don’t address the modern challenges of a hybrid work environment, including BYOD and remote work.
When shopping for a CASB, select one that deploys through a centralized architecture. This is better for scalability, performance, and ease of deployment. A centralized model is also the only way to ensure that your entire network is covered, not just the parts accessible via web protocols.