What Is the Role of A Cloud Access Security Broker?

A Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is a cloud-hosted or on-premise software, which sits between cloud service providers and cloud service consumers. The software enforces security besides enabling enterprises to meet compliance and governance policies relating to cloud applications. With a CASB in place, it’s easier for organizations to expand the security controls of core on-premises infrastructure to the cloud. CASBs act as central data encryption and authentication hubs for everything that your enterprise uses.

Cloud Access Security Broker

This includes both on-premise and cloud resources, including personal gadgets such as mobile phones. Before the CASB era, it was difficult for enterprise security managers to gain visibility into how their companies’ data was protected. Their role has been elevated by cloud access security broker services, which allow enterprises to incorporate unmanaged devices such as personal phones into their networks. On the flip side, this introduces more risks to your endpoint portfolios.

During the tentative years of cloud computing, organizations needed a way of delivering security consistently across multiple clouds. Likewise, there was a need to protect everyone from using their data. This made cloud access security brokers’ services necessary since they give enterprises visibility into SaaS usage as well as other crucial data elements.

How Does a Cloud Access Security Broker Work?

A CASB works by ensuring that the flow of traffic between the cloud provider and on-premises devices complies with your organization’s security policies. In recent years, CASBs have become much-sought-after due to their ability to provide valuable insights into cloud application usage across different cloud platforms. This is particularly useful in regulated industries.

Typically a cloud access security broker uses auto-discovery to map out all cloud applications that are in use. This way, high-risk apps and users, as well as other key risk factors, get identified. The brokers can enforce different security access controls such as device profiling and encryption to secure an organization’s network. Likewise, they can provide auxiliary services, including credential mapping, in case single sign-on isn’t available.

Why You Need a Cloud Access Security Broker

Although some CASB functionalities incorporate familiar approaches and technologies that were previously used to safeguard data in on-premise apps, CASB is a differentiated and distinct technology. It differs from web application firewalls, enterprise firewalls, and secure web gateways. As they emerged, cloud access security broker services were regarded by many to be a cloud visibility solution, which discovered shadow IT.

Nonetheless, CABs currently offer a wide range of capabilities across the core features of compliance, data security, threat protection, and visibility. The growing popularity of cloud usage by enterprises and the burgeoning maturity of cloud access security broker services has led to greater enterprise-level adoption of the software. Today, CASBs are a crucial component of the enterprise security suite. According to Gartner, 60% of enterprises will leverage CASBs to secure their cloud apps by 2022.

By leveraging cloud access security broker services, enterprises can:

  • Identify and categorize Shadow IT cloud services that are in use, employees using them, and the risks that they pose
  • Evaluate and choose cloud services that match internal and industry security and compliance standards
  • Safeguard enterprise data that is stored in the cloud by preventing specific types of sensitive data from getting uploaded, besides tokenizing and encrypted data
  • Identify the possible misuse of the organization’s cloud services. This includes unauthorized activities by insiders and third-parties, which can compromise user accounts
  • Implement different levels of cloud service functionality and data access based on users’ devices, operating systems, and location.

CASB Implementation

To effectively monitor network traffic, you need a cloud access security broker service that is tailor-made to match the needs of your organization. CASB implementation should start with the most appropriate cloud application in your organization’s portfolio. This is the application that carries the most sensitive data and, likewise, the highest risks. It is equally important to select a CASB that delivers API-level support for your cloud applications.

Enterprise security managers should decide if they want to integrate their organizations’ CASB with existing SSO or IAS systems. This will enable you to select a cloud access security broker service that can support those integrations. Besides, you should identify the CASB modes that your organization needs. In this regard, you can choose the Reverse proxy mode or the Forward Proxy mode, or both.

NuEduSEC offers web-filtering services that come in handy for enterprise security managers who want to detect, prevent, or enforce access to their networks. With these services in place, it will also be easier for you to guard your network against on-premise and cloud-based threats such as ransomware and malware.