Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)

What is a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)?

A Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is a security solution that acts as an intermediary between an organization’s on-premises infrastructure and cloud service providers. CASBs are designed to provide visibility, control, and security for cloud-based applications and data, regardless of where they reside or how they are accessed. Essentially, CASBs extend an organization’s security perimeter to encompass cloud environments, enabling centralized management and enforcement of security policies.

The 4 Pillars of Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs)

  • Visibility – CASBs offer comprehensive visibility into cloud usage and activities, providing organizations with insights into which cloud services are being used, by whom, and for what purposes. This visibility enables organizations to identify potential security risks, shadow IT usage, and compliance violations in their cloud environments.
  • Data Security – CASBs help organizations protect sensitive data stored in the cloud by enforcing Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies, encryption, tokenization, and access controls. They enable granular control over data access and usage, ensuring that only authorized users and devices can access and interact with sensitive information.
  • Threat Protection – CASBs provide advanced threat detection and prevention capabilities to defend against a wide range of cyber threats, including malware, ransomware, phishing attacks, and insider threats. They use anomaly detection, behavior analytics, and machine learning techniques to identify and mitigate security threats in real time.
  • Compliance Management – CASBs assist organizations in maintaining compliance with industry regulations and data protection laws by enforcing security policies and controls in accordance with regulatory requirements. They support compliance frameworks such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, and SOC 2, helping organizations demonstrate adherence to security and privacy standards.

Types of Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs)

CASBs can be categorized into two main types based on deployment models:

  • Proxy-based CASBs – Proxy-based CASBs intercept and inspect network traffic between users and cloud services, providing inline visibility and control over cloud activities. Proxy CASBs are typically deployed as a forward or reverse proxy within the organization’s network infrastructure.
  • API-based CASBs – API-based CASBs integrate directly with cloud service provider APIs to gain visibility and control over cloud activities without requiring network traffic redirection. API CASBs are deployed as cloud-native solutions and offer seamless integration with cloud applications and services.

Benefits of Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs)

Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs) are versatile cybersecurity solutions that offer a wide range of use cases to help organizations secure their cloud environments and data. Some common CASB use cases include:

  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP) –CASBs help organizations prevent unauthorized disclosure of sensitive data by enforcing DLP policies across cloud services.
  • Shadow IT Discovery and Control –CASBs provide visibility into unauthorized cloud services being used within an organization, known as shadow IT.
  • Access Control and Identity Management –CASBs enforce access control policies based on user identities, roles, and contextual factors, such as device type and location.
  • Malware Protection and Threat Detection –CASBs offer advanced threat protection capabilities to detect and prevent malware, ransomware, and other cyber threats targeting cloud environments.
  • Encryption and Tokenization –CASBs provide data encryption and tokenization capabilities to protect sensitive data stored in the cloud.
  • Cloud Application Discovery and Risk Assessment –CASBs help organizations discover and assess the security risks associated with cloud applications and services.
  • Real-time Policy Enforcement –CASBs enable organizations to enforce granular security policies and real-time controls based on user activities, data classifications, and threat intelligence.
  • Incident Response and Forensics –CASBs facilitate incident response and forensic investigations by providing detailed logs, alerts, and audit trails of cloud activities.
  • Secure Collaboration and Data Sharing – CASBs enable secure collaboration and data sharing by enforcing encryption, access controls, and DLP policies across cloud collaboration platforms.

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Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)
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