A CASB enforces authorization policies on the cloud environment and the on-premise network to prevent data breaches. It also encrypts data at rest and in transit.
A good CASB can also identify misconfigurations that could lead to a cyber threat. It can then automatically remediate those and alert administrators. It also discovers shadow IT and unauthorized apps, which helps to reduce those risks.
As businesses move more applications into the cloud, it becomes harder for IT to see what’s being used and whether or not that usage complies with data policies. A CASB program can discover unsanctioned software-as-a-service apps – also known as Shadow IT – and provide administrators with granular visibility to determine risk based on how the application is used.
When a CASB solution detects suspicious activity, it can alert the administrator and take action to prevent data loss or compliance violations. For example, if a developer tries to upload files to unauthorized locations or access customer data from an outside application, the CASB can block the activity and notify the administrator.
A CASB can also enforce authorization policies that allow or deny specific user access to data in the cloud, including protecting sensitive information from eavesdropping with encryption for both data-at-rest and data-in-transit. In addition, it can validate authenticated users and encrypt credentials to prevent breaches caused by compromised passwords or stolen identity. Additionally, a CASB can scan the cloud infrastructure for misconfigurations that could lead to a major security event and notify administrators so the issue can be remediated before it causes a disaster. This helps reduce the time it takes for IT teams to respond to threats and provide agile user security.
The bouncer’s job is to check people at the door and ensure they aren’t bringing anything dangerous (aka malware) or stealing stuff when they leave. A CASB does the same for cloud applications, acting as a gatekeeper and detecting security risks that could impact an organization.
Unlike traditional data loss prevention solutions that can take a sledgehammer approach to protect information by blocking services outright, CASBs work at the API level. By enabling or disabling services based on an evaluation of community trust ratings and by leveraging analytics to identify risky behavior patterns, CASBs allow workers to use productivity-enhancing cloud applications safely. Additionally, a CASB can detect and prevent malicious activity, such as the upload of sensitive files to third-party locations, which is often done through unsanctioned and unmanaged cloud applications. This visibility helps administrators discover and identify unauthorized applications and unsecured devices that may be part of a shadow IT environment.
Using machine learning-based technology, a CASB can identify abnormal patterns that indicate the presence of cyber threats and malware. It can also identify misconfigurations in the infrastructure that can result in a data breach.
As the number of cloud applications and environments grows, it becomes increasingly challenging to maintain visibility into how data is used in these new systems. CASBs provide much-needed visibility into cloud applications, services, and users to help organizations meet security and compliance standards while protecting sensitive data from cyberattacks.
For example, a CASB solution can illuminate shadow IT by showing where an organization’s applications are being used, which employees can access them, and whether or not those apps comply with the company’s data policies. It also can detect file-sharing violations in real time and help prevent data loss.
Another critical function is detecting and blocking cyberattacks. A CASB uses benchmarks and continual traffic data to monitor suspicious behavior and flag anomalies. It also encrypts data-at-rest and data in motion to protect information. It can also block malware and ransomware by identifying malicious code in the cloud, blocking it from entering the network, and protecting files when sent to outside parties.
Before choosing a CASB vendor, an organization should assess its specific needs and evaluate the marketplace. It should look for the ability to deploy granular authentication, authorization, alerting, and encryption. It also should determine if the CASB can support integrations with existing identity-as-a-service and single sign-on tools. It should also ensure the CASB can deliver threat protection capabilities, including activity monitoring, phishing, malware detection, and data loss prevention (DLP). Additionally, it should be able to identify vulnerabilities and provide remediation options.
With CASBs in place, organizations gain visibility into cloud infrastructure. A CASB’s visibility enables administrators to monitor and control data access to cloud applications, devices, and endpoints. It also helps administrators detect security threats and risks.
For example, a CASB can identify and block unapproved SaaS application usage (shadow IT) by analyzing access logs to spot potential attacks. It can also detect misconfigurations that may put data at risk and alert administrators to the possible problem so it can be fixed. Another important aspect of visibility is the ability to see the locations where data is stored in a cloud app. This allows IT to enforce compliance with regulations like data residency. CASBs can also detect uploaded files that contain sensitive information and block them from being shared with outside parties.