What is a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)?

The term Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) was coined by Gartner few years ago to describe the concept of securing access to cloud applications. In a nutshell, ‘Cloud Application Security’.

Then it was often thought of as a ‘nice to have’. But today, Cloud Application Security or CASB should be regarded as an essential part of an organisation’s security posture.

The pandemic forced people around the world to leave the safety of the corporate, office-based perimeter to work in sheds, kitchens, bedrooms and anywhere else they could get some peace. Cloud applications enabled this newly distributed workforce to function – but also opened up vast numbers of vulnerabilities for attackers to exploit.

Cloud Application Security is the security solution which protects a modern mobile workforce by discovering, analysing, securing and managing user interactions with cloud apps. It enables organisations to have complete visibility and control of how their data is shared to the cloud and prevents the use of unauthorised applications.

Censornet Cloud Application Security is part of our autonomous integrated security platform which sits in the cloud and includes Email and Web Security as well as adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) – all underpinned by Censornet’s proprietary Autonomous Security Engine (ASE) which enables real-time automated, multi-channel attack prevention.

What Does CASB Mean?

Gartner first defined CASB in 2012, when it wrote: “Cloud access security brokers (CASBs) are on-premises, or cloud-based security policy enforcement points, placed between cloud service consumers and cloud service providers to combine and interject enterprise security policies as the cloud-based resources are accessed.

“CASBs consolidate multiple types of security policy enforcement. Example security policies include authentication, single sign-on, authorization, credential mapping, device profiling, encryption, tokenization, logging, alerting, malware detection/prevention and so on.”

A good CASB must perform four tasks: visibility, compliance, data security and threat protection.

A CASB offers visibility of all sanctioned and unsanctioned cloud app use across a business. It enables IT teams to go beyond an “allow” or “block” position with cloud services. A CASB also ensures compliance by identifying data in the cloud and providing a comprehensive audit trail of user activity for internal and external auditors.

CASB solutions ensure data security by scanning scan files on upload and change for specific content using predefined DLP templates, as well as scanning files for malware. A CASB uses advanced protection to identify and stop cloud-based threats, protecting against malware using a combination of technologies and multiple security layers. Unusual, suspicious, or malicious user activity associated with data exfiltration can be identified and managed.

So, do I need Cloud Application Security or ‘CASB’?

In the remote or hybrid working era, Cloud Application Security is vital. Malware and cloud-only malware is increasing in volume and sophistication, with attackers now targeting specific cloud apps.

Hackers are also getting better and better at crafting phishing emails or other lures which enable multi-channel attacks that start in one channel but end in another. An attacker might plant a link in an email which draws victims out of their inbox and into a cloud app, for instance. If the target of this attack had email security, but not Cloud Application Security, they would be in trouble.

As well as defending applications, Cloud Application Security allows organisations to protect their data in the cloud. Earlier this year, The Verizon Data Breach Report 2021 revealed that more breaches now involve the cloud than on-premises assets – the first time cloud incidents surpassed incidents involving physical infrastructure. Cloud Application Security is the service that allows organisations to gain control and visibility of their data in the cloud.

It can also clamp down on insider threats and Shadow IT, by limiting and controlling how users can interact with cloud apps. This means attackers or insiders cannot quietly exfiltrate data by uploading it to Dropbox or another service.

The Censornet Cloud Application Security Solution

Our Cloud Application Security solution lets you set rules which will protect the entire organisation around the clock. It allows visibility of the applications that are being used, blocking access to actions or features within these apps.

Businesses that use Cloud Application Security on our platform gain the ability to discover, analyse, secure and manage cloud activity across multiple networks and devices, whether users are on the corporate network or working remotely.

Censornet Cloud Application Security offers flexible deployment via agents, gateways, or both, with centralised policy management to protect office and mobile users. It benefits from access to automated updates which draw on a catalogue of hundreds of business applications and thousands of actions. And if you’ve already got our Web Security, Cloud Application Security (‘CASB’) can be enabled with one click.

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