[Editor's Note: This post is part of our blog series, Foresight 2020: Top 11 Cybersecurity Actions Every Company Should Take.]
The cloud offers enterprises many benefits—flexibility, scalability and cost effectiveness. However, where there is convenience, new challenges arise. Securing a multi-cloud environment means keeping up with evolving threats.
We know how tricky data protection is among cloud applications, even for seasoned IT professionals.
With departments sometimes working in silos, it's tough knowing which cloud-based tools, services, and providers are being used and where data and files are stored and being shared. It seems nearly impossible to track, eh?
That's why implementing a CASB, or rather a Cloud Access Security Broker, is a step in gaining control over your cloud security.
In this post, we'll outline tips on implementing a CASB for your organization.
Why implement a Cloud Access Security Broker
A CASB serves as a security function of access and authorization, which works across your cloud environment, with one control dashboard. In addition, it allows you to see and monitor user activity. It shows how they are accessing data and files stored in the cloud. According to CSO Online, cloud access security brokers are central data authentication and encryption hubs for everything your enterprise uses, both cloud and on-premises, and accessed by all endpoints.
Think about it. This provides an ease of use and sense of control of an otherwise unruly virtual platform accessed by numerous users.
Implementing a CASB also helps mitigate risks and vulnerabilities because you have more control. Many teams connect to the cloud through their mobile devices to access their work files. Controlling how data is shared, viewed, downloaded, and uploaded, varies from team member to member. Not all people on your staff should have authorized access to particular information.
Let's outline the benefits in bullet points. A CASB enables you to:
- Keep track of user activity
- Know which cloud apps are being used
- Know which devices and browsers are used and where they're located
- Track which users uploaded, downloaded, shared, viewed data
- Know what users have shared and with whom
- Alert you to suspicious activity and violations
- Implement controls, similar to your internal controls, across all cloud applications.
Four types of use cases for CASB
In our Foresight 2020 white paper, which inspired this post, we outlined the four main types of use cases. They are:
- Do an inventory of cloud services used. This might take a minute to uncover, and you might be surprised who is using which cloud service. Put on your detective hat and conduct interviews with your entire staff and third-party consultants to discover what they're using. Your CASB will help, too. Determine which apps are too risky for your business. If anything is unapproved and poses as a security threat, go ahead and block unauthorized cloud usage.
- Write a cloud security policy. In your security policies that govern data in the cloud, describe who can upload, share and access particular data sets. Put the policy at the granular level, too, to ensure that nothing is missed.
- Protect against threats. Block malware and ransomware as well as other threats from bad actors inside and outside your business.
- Ensure compliance. Implement policies to prevent third party disclosure without your permission or knowledge, and enforce compliance policies for a variety of regulations such as HIPAA, SOX, PCI-DSS, and so on. (Hint and shameless plug: Turn to the compliance experts at 24By7Security for help.)
Compliance and regulatory issues
In fact, compliance is worth taking a second look. We'll discuss that next.
IT Departments need to comply with regulations. Depending on the industry you're in, this will vary. Check for certifications relevant to the industry you're in.
Protecting data and keeping it secure is a significant responsibility that involves staying in compliance with regulations. Failing to do so can result in being defiant, leading to severe consequences such as fines.
In a previous article, we explained four ways of how cloud and mobile devices impact professional services' ability to comply with SSAE-18. We can help with SSAE-18 readiness.
The way sensitive information is shared, and who has access to it, falls within compliance. Don't be defiant.
Also, it's worth revisiting our tips on how organizations can handle their data privacy and security. And for further reading, visit our tips on bringing-your-own-devices (BYOD) to work report.
Let 24By7Security help you decide a CASB fits in your cybersecurity strategy by calling us today for a consultation.