The CASB security solution delivers visibility into cloud apps and data. It provides granular access control, logging, monitoring, and threat detection. Insider threats include authorized employees who turn rogue to access systems or steal information for profit, personal gain, or vengeance. CASBs can identify these threats by detecting anomalies in user behavior.
Access control is a core security feature that formalizes who has permission to access apps, data, and resources and what actions they can perform. It’s based on a person’s assigned attributes, such as a password, PIN, smart card, or fingerprints. A physical example would be a system that requires an ID badge to enter your server room. Access controls are also technical, such as limiting who can modify specific files. One of the most effective forms of access control is attribute-based authorization (ABAC). This model assigns access levels based on an individual’s assigned attributes or groups, such as department or project. A CASB security using this approach can prevent insider threats by ensuring that only trusted users can access the most sensitive data. Role-based access control is another popular type of access control. It centers around the role of an individual, such as a salesperson who has access to sales data but not customer data. However, this access control model can fail when an employee quits or gets fired, leaving access credentials or devices with company apps on them behind. A CASB monitors user behavior patterns to detect and handle suspicious activity. It can identify shadow IT, such as unauthorized cloud services used by non-corporate employees. It can even encrypt data-at-rest and protect data-in-motion to keep it safe from a malicious attack at the point of transit.
Security functions like access control, information rights management, and encryption are built into CASB. When CASB tools interface with identity and access management (IAM) solutions, they can deliver granular policies to users based on their roles, devices, or locations, making it more difficult for them to compromise an account or steal data. By encrypting data at rest while in transit and on endpoints, CASB prevents sensitive information from reaching the wrong hands. With so much enterprise data moving to the cloud, companies must monitor and protect data in motion. A good CASB solution will detect unauthorized or suspicious data movement to the cloud and alert security teams. CASBs also help businesses discover “shadow IT” by tracking the use of unapproved applications. Depending on the deployment model, a strong CASB can do this via native functionality or integration with third-party tools. When used alongside threat detection, CASB can reduce the risk of costly data breaches by preventing the unauthorized dissemination of confidential information through email, USB drives, and other untrusted sources. A solid CASB solution will track data movement and flag incidents in real-time, then prioritize and escalate them for investigation by security teams. This makes it easier for IT to support employee productivity without compromising the company’s security posture. In addition, CASB’s visibility capabilities and unified policy enforcement simplify compliance with regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI.
With the average cost of a data breach estimated at $16 million, it’s critical to keep sensitive information out of the hands of malicious insiders. A CASB solution can help protect against insider threats by providing deeper visibility into cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) environments, monitoring users’ online activity in real time, managing privileged accounts, and preventing data leaks from within and beyond the organization. The CASB approach to security is designed to complement the full range of data protection solutions in your portfolio, including firewalls, SIEMs, and endpoint security tools. By inspecting data in flight and leveraging machine learning-based user behavior analysis (UEBA), a CASB solution can identify anomalous activity. It can then use technologies and capabilities like adaptive access control, dynamic and static malware detection, and prioritized analysis to stop breaches and prevent unauthorized disclosure of sensitive data. CASB solutions also give the security team an empowering view of cloud-based applications, even those using SSL-encrypted connections. This enables organizations to discover and sanction unsanctioned systems and services, such as when salespeople adopt Calendly or accountants upload financial data to personal cloud drives. The CASB can block these activities and enable organizations to train employees on safe cloud usage. Likewise, the CASB can stop malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks as they are downloaded to the endpoint or transferred between cloud apps.
The risk of losing trade secrets, engineering designs, and other corporate information is accurate when employees share files via cloud-based collaboration or messaging tools. Neglect or malicious intent can lead to data leaks and theft of sensitive information. CASBs help protect against this threat by combining user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) with machine learning-based anomaly detection. This capability helps detect abnormal behavior that may indicate malicious activity or compromised credentials. CASBs also provide threat protection capabilities such as adaptive access control, malware mitigation, and more. CASBs discover shadow IT—using unapproved SaaS applications that introduce new security risks—and enable enterprises to implement policies for granular application-level controls, cloud data loss prevention, SaaS security posture management, and more. This helps ensure compliance with regulatory standards like GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS. CASBs can also help reduce the risk of unauthorized use of enterprise data by employees in hybrid and remote jobs by monitoring data leaks out of the enterprise network and from the device an employee uses to work. This helps prevent accidental data loss and can reduce the time it takes to recover from a breach or cyberattack. They can also encrypt files and data in transit, protecting it from interception should an attacker gain access to a company’s cloud environment or mobile devices.