What is a CASB Solution?
CASB Solutions Defined
A Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is an on-premises or cloud-based solution that sits between an organization’s security infrastructure and the cloud service providers it uses. CASB solutions secure applications in the cloud and protect organizations from a broad array of threats by ensuring that security policies are properly executed as users interact with cloud assets. CASB solutions also enable security teams to understand how cloud applications and services are being used, to identify usage of shadow IT and to monitor cloud-to-cloud operations.
CASB solutions have become an essential part of the security technology stack as organizations increasingly rely on cloud services. While CASB vendors offer solutions that vary widely in the features they offer, most solutions provide capabilities for threat protection, data protection, identity management and visibility on any application for any device located anywhere.
The Need for Cloud Security
CASB solutions are designed to address security needs resulting from major changes in the way organizations architect their networks and users connect to resources. Many organizations have moved to a hybrid cloud IT infrastructure, adopting many cloud services that deliver faster time-to-market, greater productivity and easier collaboration. At the same time, employees are increasingly working from home or locations outside the office, connecting to the network and cloud applications with personal devices through connections that are often unsecured.
These changes come with significant security risks.
- Risk of attack. Cloud applications represent additional attack vectors and increase the size of an organization’s attack surface. Organizations need solutions that prevent unauthorized users from accessing cloud applications using stolen credentials, brute force attacks or through misconfigured security settings.
- Insider threats. The highly distributed nature of today’s workforce makes it harder for security teams to protect against insider threats, where employees or vendors attempt to transfer, send or download sensitive information to destinations outside the organization.
- Shadow IT. To get work done and stay productive, many users turn to commercial cloud services that are not protected by their organization’s security infrastructure. Pervasive use of these shadow IT assets can jeopardize the security of data, applications and the organization.
How CASB Solutions Work
CASBs monitor traffic flowing between on-premises devices and cloud providers and perform a variety of functions based on the organization’s security policies. CASB services can discover all cloud applications that users are accessing and identify high-risk applications, risky users and other risk factors. Brokers can also apply security access controls, enforce encryption, perform device profiling and manage credential mapping when single sign-on solutions are not available.
The four major pillars of CASB solutions include:
- Visibility. CASBs provide comprehensive visibility into the usage of cloud services as well as risk assessments for each cloud service and user. This information enables teams to employ risk-adaptive access controls that allow access to cloud services based on a user’s device, location and role.
- Compliance. CASBs enforce and demonstrate compliance with a wide range of regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS and others.
- Threat protection. By providing a comprehensive view of usage patterns, CASB solutions can detect and remediate cyberattacks, insider threats and unauthorized usage of IT assets.
- Data security. CASBs can apply sophisticated data loss prevention technology to help safeguard data and prevent leaks and loss.
Top Use Cases for CASB Solutions
Organizations may deploy CASB solutions for a wide variety of use cases.
- Secure personal device access. CASBs with agentless deployment modes help secure BYOD devices and ensure that corporate data stays safe wherever it goes. CASBs can provide contextual access control that allows, limits or blocks access to resources without requiring installation of software on personal devices.
- Prevent data loss. Encryption and quarantine functionality can stop leaks of data at rest by shielding it from unauthorized users. CASBs can also enforce redaction and digital rights management capabilities to protect data in transit.
- Limit risky external sharing. CASBs can scan popular cloud apps like a Google Drive to search for inappropriate or risky sharing. With this insight, security teams can configure controls to deny access to unmanaged devices, to users who are off premises or to users in particular risky groups.
- Stop cloud malware and ransomware. CASBs with advanced threat protection capabilities employ behavior-based detections to defend against known and zero-day malware.
- UEBA and cross-app visibility. CASBs with user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) can leverage cross-app visibility to analyze user behavior and take corrective actions in real time when suspicious activity is identified.
- Encrypt data-at-rest. CASBs can overcome the limitations of third-party encryption solutions to protect corporate data in the cloud from unauthorized users. By providing organizations with control of their own encryption keys, CASBs can shield encrypted files from cloud app vendors who would otherwise be able to see encrypted data.
- Securely authenticate users. Identity and access management is a core component of cloud security. Leading CASBs feature built-in group and user management via Active Directory, single-sign-on across all applications and native multifactor authentication (MFA).
- Secure IaaS platforms. CASB solutions can secure infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings like Azure, AWS and Google Cloud Platform with a combination of encryption, DLP and cloud security posture management (CSPM).
- Control unmanaged app usage. CASBs can detect use of shadow IT and either block interactions or notify users that the app they are using is unsanctioned.
- Secure access service edge. CASB solutions are an integral part of secure access service Edge (SASE), a framework for network architecture that enables stronger protection and easier management of security policies across modern IT environments.
CASB Solutions from Forcepoint
Forcepoint CASB provides security teams with all the tools they need to discover cloud application usage, analyze risk and enforce appropriate controls for SaaS and custom applications.
Delivering visibility and control over both sanctioned and unsanctioned cloud apps, Forcepoint’s CASB solution simplifies security for data and cloud apps, and it enables end-users to access their favorite apps without restriction.
With Forcepoint CASB, organizations can:
- Discover and prioritize all unsanctioned cloud usage based on risk.
- Secure all BYOD devices to improve employee productivity and increase cost savings while ensuring the security of corporate resources in the cloud.
- Identify anomalous and risky user behavior in the cloud to stop malicious users.
- Reduce the risk of exposing sensitive cloud data to unauthorized users.
- Identify potentially inappropriate privilege escalation to mitigate the impact of account takeover attempts.
- Track legitimate users and malicious actors with geolocation-based access and activity monitoring.
- Simplify security operations by setting and managing policies from a single place.
- Streamline compliance with demonstrable processes for controlling information.
- Improve Office 365 cloud app security by monitoring all Office 365 activities in real-time.