Why Cloud Access Security Broker is Critical for Cloud Compliance

Why Cloud Access Security Broker is Critical for Cloud Compliance

CASB classifies cloud applications and evaluates their risk, whether users are on-premises or remote, accessing the cloud via web browser, mobile app, or sync client. This enables enterprises to shape more granular policies for control levels that vary by user ID, location, job function, and device.

CASB solutions provide visibility, control, and analytics to manage cloud usage and address compliance gaps. Some offer additional insurance that addresses misconfigurations and data leakage.

Policy Enforcement

A CASB discovers and classifies your cloud applications, then automatically implements security policies at the device, user, app, and service level. This gives your team the granular visibility to enforce a broad set of security policies and stop threats before they become breaches.

Cloud Access Security Brokers CASBs can also automate finding and fixing security misconfigurations. For example, a CASB can scan and analyze your current configurations against a pre-built list of known vulnerabilities and best practices. If the CASB finds any anomalies, it will immediately report them to your security admins and take remedial action.

The CASB will also apply security policies to data moving between cloud applications and on-premises systems. This includes malware prevention, encryption, and tokenization. This ensures that data is not accessible by unintended third parties. Unlike traditional solutions that rely on a secure web gateway and firewall to enforce standard security policies, a CASB offers comprehensive coverage, including authentication, device profiling, authorization, logging, alerting, and malware prevention.

A CASB can also help you get your arms around cloud spend by analyzing your entire enterprise cloud environment. It will discover all your cloud services and show you where your spending is. It can even spot redundancies in functionality and license costs. The CASB can then generate reports on your spending and provide you with recommendations on how to reduce it.


A CASB is an on-premise or cloud-based security checkpoint between an organization’s network and its cloud applications to combine, interject, and enforce enterprise security policies as data moves through the cloud. It acts as the sheriff that detects and alerts on risky activity to security teams. This is particularly valuable when employees working in hybrid or remote environments transfer sensitive data to personal applications and devices.

A strong CASB can detect various risks, including misconfigurations in cloud services that result in unauthorized access to sensitive information. Using a combination of authentication (revealing who is attempting to access an application) and authorization (ensuring that the user is permitted to do so), a CASB can help reduce cyberattacks by preventing unauthorized access. CASBs also provide security posture management capabilities to assess configuration risks across IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS resources.

To determine whether a CASB suits your organization, start by deciding what you want to protect and what kind of visibility you need to achieve it. Ensure that the CASB you select can detect all types of threats, from ransomware to malware and APTs. It should be able to identify compromised accounts — including those of former employees — and perform anomaly detection to spot abnormal activities that may indicate an attack is underway.

Compliance Reporting

A CASB can help an organization get its arms around the cloud to manage better spending and discover redundancies and other potential financial hazards. In addition, a good CASB can help organizations find out where the data they have stored in cloud environments is and what it is being used for.

While the cloud provider may offer security tools, it’s important to remember that it is the responsibility of the business to configure and secure its data. This means using the correct information security features, storage standards, and monitoring features.

CASB solutions also make it easier to enforce granular access policies across an entire environment. This makes it easier to restrict cloud app usage based on identity, service, activity, application, and data. This can be important for many reasons, including the proliferation of BYOD policies and Shadow IT.

A CASB can detect and block potentially risky behavior, such as storing or sharing data across unsanctioned cloud apps. This can be done through malware detection, encryption, tokenization, or upload prevention. This helps prevent the loss of sensitive data and ensures that it is only used in sanctioned cloud applications. It can also be helpful to protect against breaches caused by employee misconfigurations, which are often a leading cause of cloud security incidents. The CASB can be configured to sort out these configurations by risk and automatically notify the organization of the problem.

User Behavior Analytics

With employees working remotely and adopting cloud-based applications for increased productivity, security teams must ensure that all data moving between on-premises infrastructure and cloud environments comply with corporate governance, risk, and compliance policies. A CASB solution can monitor cloud app use, detect unsanctioned use and prevent the transfer of sensitive information between disparate solutions with the help of inline and out-of-band network traffic inspection.

The ideal CASB will offer granular access controls to restrict data flow, enforce standard policies, and enable IT to encrypt or tokenize sensitive content. It should also identify and categorize different types of cloud applications in the environment and provide visibility into how each application is used across multiple devices. This will empower security teams to identify unsanctioned activity and educate users on best practices.

Choosing the right CASB will require enterprises to identify their specific needs. For example, if you have a remote workforce, look for a solution that enables them to collaborate on projects regardless of location or device and automatically shut down unauthorized activities without affecting employee productivity. Additionally, consider a solution that offers flexibility in deployment methods (forward proxies, reverse proxies, or APIs) so that you can customize it to fit your unique requirements.

About the author

Diana Vogel

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