What Is a Cloud Access Security Broker?

A cloud access security broker or CASB is a cloud hosting on-premise software or hardware or software that performs as the middle man between cloud service providers and users.

According to Zscaler, “With increased cloud adoption, CASBs have become attractive to enterprise security for their various cybersecurity, access control, and data protection functions. They give you back control over corporate data, in motion or at rest, in cloud platforms and apps.” The capability of a cloud access security broker to deal with the security holes expands over the platform as a software (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS), and infrastructure as a software (IaaS) environments. It also offers visibility to a cloud access security broker and offers organizations the opportunity to expand the capacity of their policies on security from their original on-premise technology to cloud-based technology and make new security policies for cloud-based context.

Cloud access security brokers have become an important bit of enterprise security. This allows organizations to securely use cloud technology while safeguarding sensitive corporate information.

The cloud access security broker acts as the center for policy enforcement, merging several forms of security policy implementation and using them on everything that your organization makes use of in the cloud no matter what device is trying to get in, such as unmanaged smartphones, and personal laptops.

With the rise in workforce mobility, the increase in BYOD, and the existence of shadow IT or prohibited cloud usage by an employee, the capability to monitor and control the cloud applications usage, has become vital to the aim of enterprise security. Instead of blocking cloud services entirely and possibly affecting the productivity of employees, the cloud access security broker allows corporations to take a gradual approach to protect their data and the policy enforcement makes it possible to securely make use of productivity-enhancing, time-saving, and cost-saving cloud-based services.

Before the growth of cloud-based services, BYOD policies and cloud computing enterprise security were in the form of a walled garden model for decades. However, as services, it started to shift and come from the cloud and numerous employees started using the cloud services. With or without previous knowledge or consent from IT, businesses started looking for a method to enforce compatible security policies across several clouds and protect both the corporate data and users.

The development of CASB provides enterprise security professionals the opportunity to obtain visibility into the cloud. Specifically the shadow IT or unmanaged software as a service(SaaS) usage. The insights offered by their cloud access security broker were a surprise to multiple IT managers who found out that the usage of the cloud in their enterprise was more pervasive and much deeper than they had previously imagined.

While the threats that come from shadow IT were the main use case however it was not the only factor that drove the increase in cloud access security broker adoption. During this time, multiple businesses started to transfer their information storage capabilities to the cloud. This made cloud access security brokers, which safeguarded both the transfer of data ( by limiting things such as sharing and access privileges) and the data by encrypting it more important. CASB is important for businesses that want to secure cloud usage within their enterprises.

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