As cloud application adoption continues to grow, IT enterprises can gain significant insight from their cloud activity. Not only it is imperative to see activity from the cloud application that has generally been approved, but it is also very important to understand the usage of unapproved cloud applications. A CASB solution is a set of products and services that act as a safe and secure gateway between an organization’s employees and cloud applications and services.
The important benefit of a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)
The main functions CASBs perform for enterprises are discovery, privacy, threat protection, and (less commonly) identity. Discovery tells your organization which cloud apps users are communicating within your environment. Data protection prevents employees from sending sensitive data outside. Threat Protection protects you from malware.
Finally, identity verifies that the person accessing the corporate app is actually the employee authorized to access it. This last feature is rare in CASBs, perhaps because there are identity and access management solutions specifically for this feature. The CyberSecurity Risk Assessment Tool is an application that guides asset owners and operators through a systematic process of assessing operational and information technology.
Get the maximum from the CASB
A lot of enterprises has adopted the cloud access security broker (CASB) to help companies in their efforts to harness shadow IT, CASB is very helpful in this regard as they perform a better job in portraying all the application that is in use. However, this detailed visibility offers some benefits that enterprises often overlook.
Consolidation of services – The ease of adoption and acquisition of cloud applications enables a range of businesses and individual employees to adopt cloud applications faster than the enterprise. As a result, there are often pockets of cloud application users throughout the business, each potentially unaware of what the others are doing. At the macro level, there may be redundant services, multiple service contracts, and higher price points. With CASB, you can get an overview of all the applications use throughout the organization.
A common example is an enterprise utilizing many file-sharing applications. Visibility into each application’s usage can help an organization standardize a single solution that best meets business requirements. Once a standard is decided, other efficiencies such as single sign-on tools can be implemented to simplify and encourage usage.
Lower operating costs – By standardizing on a single service, contractual efficiencies can also be achieve in the form of per-site licenses or lower account costs that can only be achieve with the purchasing potential of the IT department. Additional governance can be implement under the auspices of the IT department to simplify deployment and add governance controls. Just-in-time provisioning can help employees get to work faster. Assistive management features help keep subscription numbers under control while reducing application abuse that could potentially put an organization at risk.
Drive business – The third benefit of CASB is helping IT understand business needs. As in any business, understanding what the customer wants is critical to success; in this case, the employees of the IT department are the customers.
CASB can uncover the apps that employees – or entire teams – are using to be more effective in the workplace. Applications for team collaboration (e.g. slack) or business intelligence can be widespread in business units. Visibility into these applications and their usage can provide insight into the needs of the organization, which can help IT deliver what the business wants and better adapt to business concerns to become more agile and efficient.
What are the limitations of CASB Products?
CASB Products certainly has its advantages, but it’s important to understand the limitations of Cloud Access Security Broker products and what your business can’t do. Here are some examples of companies considering CASB supplements:
Usage Details: CASB finds some information, but isn’t very good at showing usage statistics for a particular employee to the IT and security experts. For example, say you have 20 different Slack instances with 40 different teams.
Licensing Information: Similarly, CASB provides visibility into the apps embedded in the IT environment of the company, but does not reveal licensing details. Are your employees constrain by using business apps with vulnerable license tiers that are vulnerable? Are your employees using all apps available in their Microsoft 365 license?
Finance Info: CASB is designe for security, so finance is a blind spot. Many organizations want to understand their costs so they can accurately calculate and allocate chargebacks and know when subscriptions renew to avoid surprise charges.
Security: CASBs are great security devices, but they are not the only solution to avoid all risks. Other solutions are require to address another susceptibility.
- Recruitment: CASB usually tells you what apps are being use, but it doesn’t help you use the right apps at all.
Businesses in recent times are proactively hunting for ways to secure their data and infrastructure while leveraging licenses and maximizing collaboration with the right tools. CASBs, especially those built within Microsoft Office 365, help IT and security professionals tick the first two security boxes. Understanding how these CASBs work and how they fit into the technical environment is an important step to maximizing their value.