image Securing & Empowering Your Mobile Workforce image Remote Workforce Challenges?

The Raw Truth About Securing the Cloud and How Cloud Access Security Brokers Can Help

By Pete Schmitt, CTO, cStor

cloudSECURITYThe Raw Truth About Securing the Cloud and How Cloud Access Security Brokers Can Help

Cloud access security brokers (CASBs) are on-premises, or cloud-based security policy enforcement points, placed between cloud service consumers and cloud service providers to combine and interject enterprise security policies as the cloud-based resources are accessed. CASBs consolidate multiple types of security policy enforcement. Example security policies include authentication, single sign-on, authorization, credential mapping, device profiling, encryption, tokenization, logging, alerting, malware detection/prevention and so on. —Gartner IT Glossary

Microsoft Office 365 is showing success in capturing a large portion of the business enterprises over the last year. The increases are estimated at 300%+ growth. There is still room to grow. Trust in cloud-based applications is growing as well, with no end in sight.

While the industry is seeing some improvement in security, the gap is still large and the risk of losing sensitive data is a reality. One Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) usage analysis of 20,000 plus cloud services has determined that a staggering 58% of the sensitive data found resides in Microsoft Documents. With the popular Office product subscription comes a cloud drive, called OneDrive, offering an individual 1TB of space. With a majority of businesses using Office products, it is easy to understand why so many are moving to cloud services.

Many cloud vendors, including Microsoft, take security seriously and continue to make significant investments. The protection offered guards applications from intrusion. While intrusion protection is vital, any user base still performs actions that are high-risk—be it unintentional or malevolent.

Office 365 can provide raw event feeds through an API, but as many folks in security can attest, the data feed volume can be overwhelming. The much-publicized data breach at Target resulted in over 40 million customer credit cards being exposed. The warning signs were there of the event happening, but it was disregarded along with hundreds of other alerts.

So is the cloud secure? It is a loaded question.

Microsoft accepts the responsibility of platform security, but that is all. Customers can still be at risk from internal and external threats. It is key to protect sensitive information against data loss through email, file transfers, and unintentional sharing of folders to everyone. Companies need to have the same compliance policy enforcement for cloud applications that they have for on-premises applications. This is where the CASB comes into play.

Office 365 is just one of the estimated 22,000 cloud-based applications available to users. Many organizations claim to not have any unknown data in the cloud, yet have no way to prove the assertion. CASB products can not only identify what organizations have in the cloud but rank the risk of the applications being used.

So what can CASB do for the organization?

  • Advanced, enterprise DLP
  • Granular policies for all apps
  • Architecture for any use case
  • Access and privilege control
  • Active threat protection
  • Provide visibility and control over cloud spend
  • Ensure compliance in the cloud
  • Mitigate cloud app usage risk

To name a few.

You don’t know what you don’t know. Let cStor do an initial free assessment and report to you what your true cloud usage is… unless you really do NOT want to know.

About Pete Schmitt
As the lead for MicroAge and cStor’s technology and engineering, Pete researches new and emerging technology to ensure that his team is at the forefront of technology trends and best practices so that they can deliver the best possible technological solutions to MicroAge and cStor clients. He brings an extensive background in information technology, customer service, and professional services and is known for delivering second-to-none client experiences—a philosophy that is directly attributable to cStor’s long-standing success and reputation. Prior to joining cStor, Pete held key positions with well-respected companies such as NetApp and IBM and is known for his deep expertise in data center technologies. He earned a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and is an avid Green Bay Packers fan.
window.lintrk('track', { conversion_id: 6786290 });