What are the advantages of a cloud access security broker?

Today’s increasingly cloud-driven environment necessitates new considerations for the enterprise. On the one hand, cloud brings a lot of promise in terms of future-proofing your business; it offers flexibility and, in many cases, cost savings like never before. On the other, many have expressed concerns about how secure cloud actually is.

The unique challenges that cloud leaves organisations navigating unknown territory. One of the main implications of cloud is that, since it lives online and with a third-party provider, organisations have limited control over the visibility and control over their corporate data. In turn, cloud data storage has to be a joint effort between the provider (in terms of looking after it) and the customer (securing what they move to the cloud in the first place).

In an ideal world, the two would work in peaceful harmony, uninterrupted. However, this not an ideal world, and malicious actors are ready to pounce on the tiniest of cracks in your infrastructure. Not only that, but bring your own device culture is only making the landscape even more of a minefield. Thus, organisations must consider now more than ever the space between their role and the cloud service providers role.

Bridging the gap with cloud access security brokers

If the gap between the two makes you feel uneasy (and it should because it’s a hotspot for malicious actors), then you’ll also recognise that the need for cloud access security brokers (CASBs) is evident. This nifty tool sits in the murky space (either on-premise or coud-based) between an organisation’s on-premise infrastructure and a cloud provider’s infrastructure.

Primarily, its role is to ensure that network traffic between the two sides comply with the security policies of the customer/company. In particular, it enables that customer to extend their security policies further than their infrastructure. This includes encryption, logging, malware protection, and much more.

Use cases for CASBs really depend on the organisation. In particular, customers can turn to CASBs to flesh out what they need and how they need it. Different solutions will have different functionalities, which is why a conversation is necessary. The general CASB package will cover authentication, firewalls, and data loss prevention, but you may have more specific needs.

CASB solutions to consider

One solution that stands out for us is Bitglass’s offering. We love something that’s unique in its approach, and Bitglass is just that. Their zero-day CASB balances cloud agility, security, and user experience. Notably, Bitglass offers agent-less architecture, which allows for quick deployment at scale.

Another favourite is Forcepoint. Bring your own device culture is happening, and rather than fear it, embrace it. Forcepoint allows you to do so by securing mobile access to cloud apps. In particular, you enables you to easily distinguish between managed and unmanaged (ie, your BYOD) devices.

Finally, another fantastic offering is that of Proofpoint’s. If using a third-party provider makes you feel uneasy for lack of visibility, their CASB solution is perfect for you. In particular, it promises more granular visibility. Furthermore, you can use it to detect shadow IT, check suspicious logins, and enjoy a people-centred view of cloud access and sensitive data handling.

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