What is a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)?

What is a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)

What is a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)? Cybercriminals are leveraging technology to improve their malware and get past standard security policies deployed to cloud infrastructures. Therefore, businesses must integrate modern technology with their remote workplaces to improve network security and mitigate the risks of attacks.

What is a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)

One option is to deploy a Cloud Access Security Broker from an SSE Vendor to address risks in your cloud services. The goal is to enforce security policies through cloud-centric security capabilities that provide safe access to users. Since hybrid working is expanding, organizations must secure their remote and mobile employees while protecting the data and apps. 

Understanding CASB 

Cloud Access Security Broker is a cloud-based security policy enforcer that you can place between your cloud service and the consumers. You can use CASB to improve the enforceability of the security policies as your remote employees access cloud resources. Organizations prefer CASB as it can address security gaps in SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS environments. 

Pillars of a CASB Solution 

CASB is an integral part of enterprise security due to the following four pillars: 

  1. Visibility
    Organizations require better visibility and control over their managed and unmanaged cloud services. Instead of an allow or block stance, CASB can allow users to access useful services while retaining governing access to activities and data within critical services.
    Even when CASB focuses on cloud security, it can help you control your cloud expenses. You can use it to discover all cloud services, generate a report regarding your cloud expenses, and detect redundancies in cloud functionalities. 
  2. Compliance
    Organizations take compliance into consideration as they decide to move to the cloud. Regulatory agencies have designed compliance standards to ensure the safety and integrity of data. However, if an organization ignores these concerns, it can lead to costly data breaches.
    CASB ensures compliance with GDPR or any other regulatory agency as you use the cloud to facilitate your remote workforce. Therefore, it can assist in safeguarding your organization against data breaches while maintaining security policies defined by data regulators. 
  3. Data security
    Organizations need to leverage sophisticated cloud DLP detection mechanisms like document fingerprinting and reduce the detection surface area to achieve accuracy. CASB solution shuttles suspected violations whenever it detects sensitive content in transit.
    You can use CASB to conduct deep threat observations to help your company identify and stop malware before it compromises your network security. Therefore, it acts as a gatekeeper to facilitate security. 
  4. Threat protection
    Organizations must ensure that their employees are not introducing malware into the cloud resources. If your employee tries to upload an infected file across your external and internal network, CASB scans and remediates threats in real time. It can also detect and prevent unauthorized access to your cloud services, assisting in detecting compromised accounts. 

What CASB Offers to Their Users 

CASB contains unique security features that provide extensive control over your cloud applications. These features may include: 

  • Cloud governance 
  • Risk Assessment 
  • Data Loss Prevention 
  • Configuration auditing 
  • Malware detection 
  • Data encryption and key management 
  • SSO and IAM integration

How a CASB Solution Works

Since a Cloud Access Security Blocker provides visibility and control over cloud infrastructures to meet security requirements through a three-step process: 

  1. Discovery
    A CASB solution leverages auto-discovery to compile a list of third-party services and provides insights into who is utilizing them at a specified timestamp. 
  2. Classification
    Once a CASB solution understands cloud usage, it determines the risks associated with each application by displaying the data and showing how the system shares it. 
  3. Remediation
    After determining the relative risk of every application, the CASB uses the information to define security policies to secure the organization’s data and restrict user access to meet security requirements. 

How to deploy a CASB solution 

CASB focuses on simplicity and ease of access; you can deploy it to your on-premises or cloud infrastructure. However, there are three CASB deployment models you can consider: 

  1. API control
    Ideal for organizations that want comprehensive coverage to enhance visibility into threats and data stored on the cloud. 
  2. Reverse proxy
    Ideal for organizations that want to allow access to devices that are located outside the network security perimeter. 
  3. Forward proxy
    Ideal for organizations that want to boost their endpoint protection while managing a remote workforce. 

CASB Use Cases 

Here are three CASB use cases that can help you build to improve your network security

Governing usage 

CASBs are known for their efficiency in detecting shadow IT behaviours and enhancing security across the organization. You can use CASB to govern how your employees use the organization’s cloud resources through granular visibility and control. CASB also allows organizations to govern cloud usage by evaluating identities, services, activities, and applications. 

You can also define policies according to service category or risk by defining enforcement actions like block, alert, encrypt, or quarantine. CASB makes it easier for your IT team to improve their internal monitoring and take action against users that do not follow security policies. 

Securing data 

CASB makes it easier to protect and prevent sensitive data loss across your organization’s cloud services. You can use DLP policies to discover sensitive data on sanctioned or unsanctioned cloud services. You can use CASB to combat data loss through encryption, tokenization, or upload prevention. 

Protecting yourself 

You can use CASB to safeguard your organization’s cloud against various threats like malware or ransomware. You can start setting up SSL-encrypted connections; you can use anomaly detection to detect unusual user behaviour on the cloud, while threat intelligence will help you detect compromised or at-risk accounts. 

CASB also layers static and dynamic anti-malware detection algorithms combined with machine learning to detect and mitigate the risks of ransomware. Additionally, you can use the information generated by a CASB solution to improve your security infrastructure through numerous API integrations and workflows. 


Organizations need stringent security policies to protect their data from malware and ransomware as they increase their remote working capabilities. The most effective approach is to deploy a CASB solution to improve the enforceability of your security policies on the cloud while monitoring the users to detect unusual behaviour.

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