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What is a CASB and Why Does it Matter for Your Enterprise?

19 Dec., 2017

What is a CASB?

It stands for Cloud Access Security Broker, a software service that works as kind of a gatekeeper or central control point between an organization’s internal setup and a cloud provider’s infrastructure. A CASB can enforce security policies, deal with cloud service risks, and help protect data in the cloud.

Basically, it’s a one-stop solution to ensure your enterprise complies with cybersecurity regulations. If you’re using the cloud to store sensitive information, and chances are high that you are, then you will definitely want a CASB on your side.

CASBs are important these days because they will help enterprise organizations and cloud providers align with the new compliance standards about to take effect in the new year. Both the NYCRR500 and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) stipulate that companies must have ironclad security protocols in place at the risk of steep fines.

But the new regulations are simply about companies shaping up amidst a year of catastrophic data breaches, or the fear of penalties. They’re about the protection of customers’ personally identifiable information and achieving industry best practices, which CASBs can handle with a powerful array of options and tools.

Depending on the chosen CASB, they can implement a variety of security policies such as authentication, authorization, credential mapping, device profiling, encryption, malware detection and prevention, single sign-on, and tokenization. With a CASB, companies can gain an assessment into what cloud applications and platforms are in use among employees and can identify any unofficial use. In a world that’s about to get a lot more heavily regulated, that’s incredibly valuable.

For companies inundated with shadow IT or sloppy policies that allow the operation of unauthorized devices, CASBs are a major support in discovering high-risk cloud applications, high-risk users, and key risk factors like users introducing cloud malware into a company’s infrastructure with an infected file. CASBs can also offer security access controls, including the ability to profile devices and users. Besides security, gathered data can offer insight into how cloud services are used, which can aid with a company’s budgeting.

Data Protection is one of the most important benefits of CASBs. Most CASB solutions try to prevent sensitive data from leaving the company for an unapproved cloud application. They block the use of a cloud application and this blocking action breaks the business process and adds more complexity to the treatment of sensitive data.

A data protection platform such as the eperi Gateway is designed to integrate with most CASB solutions to provide the more complex Data Protection needs beyond just the blocking of a cloud app.

For example, eperi Gateway could ensure that sensitive data is encrypted or tokenized before being sent to a cloud application. Thus, it would be ensured that only encrypted data reach a cloud application and only authorized users in the enterprise have access to the data from the respective cloud app clients. Not even administrators in cloud data centers would be able to see the encrypted data in plain text, because even these have no access to the encryption keys.

The advantage of using CASB in combination with the eperi Gateway is that cloud applications can continue to be used in the enterprise, providing sufficient protection and compliance for sensitive and personal data.

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