What is Cloud Visibility? Attain Greater Visibility in the Cloud with CASB Solutions

Pallavi Varanasi Cloud Security Expert - CloudCodes Software
  • July 23rd, 2020

What is Cloud Visibility?

If it is one topic that is discussed the most, inside and outside the organizations today, then it has to be on cloud visibility. No doubt, all the organizations have migrated to the cloud and have adopted cloud computing methods for workflow as well as data storage. Still, this transition has only added to the lack of network visibility, and it is not just for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. The issues faced about the deployment of cloud services are the unauthorized use of cloud applications to the cluttered permissions on it. 

This problem lies in the lack of visibility on the networks, which is by and large solved by the Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs). Most of the SaaS apps have limited visibility and control options indeed, and to counteract it, CASBs provide critical control points to secure the use of cloud services. CASBs are effective even across multiple cloud providers. Data security, cloud service visibility, compliance, and threat protection are the benefits offered by CASB for crucial data security of enterprises.

CASB Solutions for Cloud Visibility

CASB solutions sit between the cloud consumers and cloud service providers and act as security policy enforcement points. If any organization is using cloud-based apps and still hasn’t deployed CASB solutions across its network, then it stands the risk of being attacked by different security threat vectors. CASBs inspect the apps and data of the enterprise moving on the cloud and quarantine the critical data stored in the cloud. It thus minimizes the impact of data leakages when it finds suspected malware propagating on the cloud. 

CASBs also enable enterprises to comply with international regulatory standards by governing cloud-based apps. CASBs also provide continued visibility into the employee use of cloud apps. So, CASB solutions act as the centerpieces of enterprise cloud security deployments. CASBs, in addition to providing continuous visibility into sanctioned and unsanctioned cloud-based apps, also target a broad array of varied, complex use cases.

Increase Visibility in the Cloud With CASB

CASBs are advantageous in that they provide gainful insights into the ways a user accesses the cloud services. They tell us about the users, the devices used, the apps accessed, and how it is used. Most importantly, CASBs provide visibility in the cloud and security across cloud SaaS environments. CASBs help enterprises to be more productive, agile, and economical; and also help them meet their growth objectives. 

The shift to cloud-based apps and SaaS has helped enterprises in many ways, but any traditional approach cannot fill the gap in security and compliance. There are various aspects to be covered in a security module like the visibility of sharing data suspicious activity, unauthorized access through geographical boundaries, and IP addresses. The security gap includes all of these and helps enterprises achieve compliance and maintain in threat prevention and protection, just as in the case of traditional on-premises security apps.

Growing Need for Cloud Access Security Brokers

The foremost step for an enterprise would be to identify the areas of risk and segregate the crucial data so that security can be applied effectively. CASBs help in providing varying degrees of policy enforcement. It can be customized to provide coarse-grained requirements at the application-level to more strict control at the activity-level. Cloud Access Security Broker solutions work on four pillars of CASB, which are cloud visibility, data security, compliance, and threat prevention.

Insight

There are various commercial and legal reasons why enterprises need to protect their corporate data. CASBs help enterprises to fill in the gaps when they move from on-premises based apps to cloud-based apps like Microsoft Office 365 Suite, Google Apps/ G Suite, Zoho, etc.

Cloud Visibility Provided by CASBs

Cloud Access Security Brokers give visibility into the network for enterprises. CASB solutions not only provide cloud visibility to the enterprises but also help them to meet the compliance measures. The clarity is as follows:

  • They help in achieving compliance targets
  • Enforce data security policy through single sign-on
  • Prevent unauthorized cloud services access
  • Inspect the data traffic between the enterprises and the cloud platform

In the booming CASB market, there are several CASB players offering cloud security and visibility; you can compare CASB vendors here.

Key Takeaways

From an IT perspective, one of the most important aspects of cloud service usage is who is using the cloud service and what way it’s being used. Most of the cloud services providers are lacking capabilities in the area of audit or logging. They provide very limited support. CASBs overcome this limitation by bringing data points about Shadow IT. It is able to determine unusual access of un-sanctioned applications within the organization and raise appropriate alerts. It is also possible to determine abnormal behavior of access to sanctioned apps.

 

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