What are CASB Providers?
CASB Providers: An Overview
CASB providers are technology companies that offer Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) products to organizations as a service or as software hosted on-premises or in the cloud.
CASB tools enforce a broad array of security policies, serving as a checkpoint between end users and an organization’s cloud service providers, cloud applications and cloud data. By discovering cloud assets, monitoring activity, authenticating access and filtering traffic, solutions offered by CASB providers improve threat protection, increase data security, streamline compliance and provide greater visibility into cloud apps and how they are used.
The Need for Cloud App Security Solutions
Organizations increasingly rely on cloud services and applications to enhance productivity, streamline operations, increase agility and reduce costs. This massive migration to the cloud has also introduced new targets and attack vectors, significantly increasing the attack surface and creating a host of new challenges for IT security teams.
The growth of the hybrid workforce – with more employees working from home or outside the office – has only made cloud security more challenging. To stay productive, workers need fast access to cloud services on their unmanaged mobile devices or through remote connections that may not be secure.
To secure these new hybrid cloud environments, security teams must deal with a broad range of threats and security issues.
- Sophisticated cyberattacks. Threats like ransomware, denial of service attacks and advanced persistent threats target cloud applications and may result in damages that run into the millions of dollars.
- Unauthorized access. Threat actors are always looking for new ways to breach defenses and access apps and data in the cloud to steal data and money, disrupt operations or lay the foundation for larger attacks.
- Insider threats. In a highly dispersed workforce, security teams may have more difficulty preventing disgruntled employees or unwitting workers from surreptitiously downloading confidential documents, sharing unencrypted files or exposing sensitive information.
- Shadow IT. With so many commercial cloud services at their fingertips, employees are often tempted to upload data to unsanctioned cloud apps in an effort to be more productive or to get around difficult or time-consuming security procedures.
- Regulatory compliance. As regulations concerning data security and privacy continue to evolve, security teams may have difficulty enforcing all the requirements for how data is stored and accessed in the cloud.
Benefits of CASB Solutions
To secure applications in the cloud, CASBs perform three categories of tasks: discovery of cloud applications and employees using them, classification of risk for applications and data, and enforcement of security policies and remediation of threats. Positioned between end users and the organization’s cloud applications and data, CASBs use auto-discovery to identify cloud apps in use. CASBs also rely on APIs, gateways, log data and endpoint agents to monitor activity, analyze traffic and enforce policy.
With products from a CASB provider, organizations can:
- Control cloud usage. CASB providers help organizations limit or allow access to cloud resources with granular detail, based on an employee’s status or location, governing the use of specific applications, services and activities.
- Enable Data Loss Prevention (DLP). CASB DLP capabilities help security teams prevent unauthorized downloads or uploads of sensitive information, trade secrets, proprietary data, customer records, personal health information, Social Security numbers and other confidential data.
- Block threats. CASB providers help organizations spot anomalies and detect unusual behavior to identify ransomware, block malware, stop unauthorized access and prevent other cyber threats.
- Visualize all cloud resources. A CASB provider gives IT and security teams complete visibility into all the cloud apps in use by the organization along with details about who is accessing them and what kind of activity is occurring. This data helps security teams to minimize the attack surface, uncover security gaps and adopt more effective controls.
- Secure unmanaged devices. By providing tools that let IT teams configure granular access to cloud assets, CASB providers help organizations prevent downloads and block threats to unmanaged devices.
Essential Capabilities of a CASB Provider
There are several features and capabilities that organizations should consider when choosing a CASB provider.
- Scope of coverage. The best CASB providers will offer coverage for a large number of cloud applications and popular cloud platforms such as Google Docs and Salesforce.
- Real-time monitoring. CASB solutions that offer real-time visibility into actions involving sensitive or confidential data can help prevent unauthorized uploads and downloads and stop data breaches.
- Device identification. By identifying devices attempting to access cloud resources or applications, CASBs offer a more fine-grained approach to filtering of potential threat signals.
- Baseline activity. The ability to establish baselines of “normal behavior” for specific users and applications allows security teams to compare activity against a learned baseline to better identify and understand threats and suspicious activity.
- Automated actions. The best CASB providers offer solutions that automatically trigger alerts when policies are violated and take steps such as blocking actions or requiring additional authentication.
- Granular access control. CASBs should enable conditional access to resources based on the location of the requester or provide limited access to requesters who only satisfy partial conditions.
- Role-based access control. CASBs can streamline access control by enabling individuals to be assigned to roles that have their own set of access rights.
- Task assignments. The ability to assign tasks, track progress and issue alerts helps coordinate workflow and workloads between admins.
- Multi-factor authentication. CASB solutions should offer multi-factor authentication to safeguard access credentials.
Forcepoint: All-in-One Solutions from a Leading CASB Provider
Forcepoint is a leading user data security company, trusted to safeguard organizations while driving digital transformation and growth. As a CASB provider, Forcepoint offers a cloud access security broker as part of Forcepoint ONE, an all-in-one platform offering cloud-native security.
Forcepoint ONE CASB extends best-in-class data security to cloud applications, providing full visibility and control over data in any application, including shadow IT. Running on the AWS hyperscaler platform, Forcepoint ONE CASB maximizes uptime, minimizes latency and increases productivity by enabling users to access information anywhere, seamlessly and safely.
With Forcepoint ONE CASB, organizations can:
- Improve cloud app security for every cloud application, not just the most popular ones.
- Safeguard access to business apps from BYOD and unmanaged devices.
- Control sensitive data being uploaded or downloaded.
- Stop malware hidden in business data files.
- Detect and control shadow IT.
- Reduce costs by simplifying security operations and setting policy from a single location.
- Streamline compliance with demonstrable processes for controlling information.
- Extend the protection of a CASB to Office 365 and cloud productivity platforms.