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Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs)

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Introduction

Enterprises can secure their data and cloud-based applications with the help of a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) software solution. CASBs can be used to enforce security regulations, keep an eye on user behavior, and stop information breaches.

Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs), on-premises or cloud-based enforcement points for enterprise security policies, aggregate and insert enterprise security policies as cloud-based resources are accessed. CASBs combine many forms of security policy enforcement.

Examples of security policies include single sign-on, authentication, authorization, mapping credentials, device profiling, encryption, tokenization, logging, alerting, and malware detection/prevention. This article covers detailed knowledge of Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs).

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What are the Pillars of CASBs?

These serve as the basic pillars of every CASB solution. For a program to be effective, all pillars must be present.

  • Visibility

This may entail giving users on corporate devices full access to a licensed suite like Microsoft 365 while only providing web-only email to users on unmanaged devices.

  • Compliance

Compliance is a crucial consideration for businesses when deciding whether to move their data and systems to the cloud. These compliance regulations protect the company’s security and personal data, so ignoring them could lead to risky and expensive breaches.

  • Data Security

Accuracy is attained using context to lessen the detection surface area and extremely sophisticated cloud DLP detection techniques like document fingerprinting. When sensitive content is discovered in or on its way to the cloud, the Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) should enable IT to swiftly move suspected violations to their on-premises systems for extra analysis.

  • Threat Protection

A CASB can protect a business from many malware and cloud threats. Threats that combine prioritized static and dynamic malware analysis for advanced threat intelligence must be avoided at all costs. The shield might be the appropriate defense against these threats because some risks may come from cloud services.

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The Architecture of Cloud Access Security Broker

These architectural elements come together below to form a cloud access security broker solution:

  • Immediate Enterprise Core 

The IT infrastructure parts on the main organizational campus are part of the immediate corporate core. This refers to office and datacenter settings that the organization owns and runs.

  • Secondary Enterprise Core 

The components nominally owned by the organization but located elsewhere are referred to as the secondary core.

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS is a cloud component that enables businesses to create and use apps without having to interface with the company premise. All the computing power required to create and maintain apps is made available via PaaS monthly.

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS refers to cloud components that imitate on-premise hardware like storage and network appliances. IaaS, in contrast to PaaS, is typically offered by a public cloud provider like AWS or Microsoft Azure. IaaS is used by businesses to run their daily operations and support their PaaS applications.

  • Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS is the architectural element of a cloud access security broker implementation plan that is growing fastest. All enterprise users’ cloud-based apps, which may be spread across many cloud environments, are referred to by this term.

  • The Connectivity Gateway 

The connectivity gateway lets users create connections between various cloud components and the company core. A cloud access security broker typically has an auto-discovery feature that enables it to recognize any cloud service communicating with the company. The cloud access security broker will highlight each component and increase visibility even if the cloud environment is not completely mapped. Additionally, the connectivity gateway streamlines the process of adding new parts and cloud services so users can easily manage the entire landscape.

  • Security and Compliance Rules 

The two types of business rules that cloud access security brokers support are pre-configured and dynamic rules. A group of users permitted access to a specific cloud service can be banned and allowed according to pre-configured rules. Business rules that employ contextual data to grant or restrict access are called dynamic rules.

Typically, pre-configured and established compliance requirements are based on the rules and laws applicable to a particular cloud location. Machine Learning (ML) is a common technique used by dynamic security solutions to increase their effectiveness over time. These regulations are put into effect throughout the internal organization’s cloud environments and are stored on the cloud access security broker.

  • Bidirectional Integration 

Data can move securely in both directions between the company and the cloud with the help of a cloud access security broker.

  • Traffic 

The architectural aspect of traffic is what the cloud access security broker seeks to moderate. Information, procedures, and workflows will be continuously transferred to and from the cloud in a modern enterprise environment.

  • Cloud Usage Analytics

Every user access event and policy modification is recorded by a cloud access security broker, and important trends from these logs are reported via analytics insights.

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Uses of Cloud Access Security Broker

Implementing a cloud access security broker is mostly done to promote integration and strengthen cloud security. However, an organization has numerous other use cases for cloud access security brokers.

  • Assess and Manage Risk 

Brokers for cloud access security can be pre-configured with risk and compliance requirements specific to the company, sector, and location. One example is Microsoft CASB, which supports over 70 risk variables and is a component of the Microsoft Defender package. The cloud access security broker rates each cloud application and service’s risk after comparing it to the pertinent parameters. To properly manage risk, IT administrators can balance a service’s risk level against its utilization and significance.

  • Reduce Service Duplication 

Duplicate cloud services for the same task may exist for two reasons. Without informing the IT department, different teams and employees could install multiple SaaS apps, leading to overlapping. Inadvertent duplication can also result from organic organizational growth and modifications to IT resources. The cloud access security broker will draw attention to situations where there are multiple apps for a given activity, wasting resources and increasing security threats.

  • Protect Corporate Data 

They offer full transparency into corporate data kept in the cloud, outlining its location, access rights, compliance framework, and vulnerabilities. Users can also set up rules that send notifications whenever an unauthorized program or service tries to access business data. This stops data exfiltration and guarantees that only people with permission can access sensitive data.

  • Standardize Compliance and Security 

SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS IT infrastructures risk becoming fragmented in compliance and security. It becomes challenging for the central IT staff to manage the entire environment when different teams and regions may implement inconsistent policies.

  • Ensure Secure Collaboration 

Large amounts of business information are now shared through cloud-based collaboration technologies like Slack, Dropbox, and Office 365. Users can extend data protection and compliance regulations to these apps by using cloud access security brokers. It can prevent sensitive data from being downloaded to local devices and automatically check files when they are submitted to cloud apps.

CASB solutions

  • Forcepoint

The CASB products from Forcepoint cover many use cases, including Cloud Governance for application visibility and risk assessment, Cloud Audit & Protection for real-time activity monitoring and analytics, and other use cases, including DLP and discovery. With the addition of Bitglass and Imperva’s technology, Forcepoint has expanded its CASB product line.

Features
  • Analysis of native user behavior for app risk and business effect profiling
  • Advanced risk metrics with customizability for assessing cloud app danger posture
  • Data collection, risk assessment, and usage for cloud applications

  • Iboss

The CASB solutions from Iboss are especially beneficial for cloud apps from Google, Microsoft, and social media.

Features
  • Make sure enterprise data transfers are secure at rest and stay in native cloud accounts
  • Choices for out-of-band deployment using APIs like Google, Box, and MS365
  • Data security policy management based on individuals, groups, and information accessible

  • Lookout

Lookout has several cutting-edge CASB features, including DLP, UEBA, zero trust, integrated endpoint security, and more, due to the acquisition of CipherCloud.

Features
  • Check past cloud data for unsecured information and open file shares
  • DLP, detection, encryption, and digital rights management security features

  • Netskope

Netskope, a long-time leader in CASB technology, maintains continuous security review and compliance.

Features
  • A dashboard that aggregates all SaaS, IaaS, and web activity traffic, users, and devices
  • Administrator, analyst, and other privileged user positions with role-based access control

The Future of CASB

Cloud service providers are currently running extremely secure operations. In fact, most security failures are caused by customer security errors rather than cloud service provider security issues.

Customers do not need to worry about storing their data in the cloud because future-proof cloud service security is guaranteed. Indeed, with CASBs, the most comprehensive threat assessment, protection, and remediation are now available, elevating cloud usage to new heights and making it the most secure way for an organization to handle its data.

Conclusion

Any cloud security strategy must include Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs). A centralized point of control for managing and securing access to cloud apps and data is offered by CASBs. They provide a range of features, such as user and entity activity analytics, granular access control, and data loss prevention, to assist enterprises in meeting their security and compliance needs.

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