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How Cloud Access Security Brokers Are Making Mobile Access to the Cloud Safe

  • The three areas most at risk of data breaches are cloud computing, mobile devices, and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. IT professionals continue to pull out their hair over security, especially as personnel share files online through Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox using a smartphone or tablet. But, while the cloud security technology known as Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) first started as a cloud security solution for protecting enterprises from shadow cloud services, they can now secure both sanctioned cloud services (Office 365, Box, Salesforce) as well as enforcing secure mobile access to cloud services.

    Dangerous Mix

    Let's face it, the cloud and mobile technology are not going anywhere. Today we use both technologies in our business and personal lives. We back up data, share files, and download apps from the cloud to our phones or tablets every day. Unfortunately, this combination is a security nightmare. The problem is end users change devices, upgrade operating systems, download apps, and connect to the cloud all outside of the protective eyes of IT professionals. This is known as shadow IT. It's fast and easy, and these users rarely think about security or the risk of data leaks.

    CASB Technology

    Although relatively new, CASB entered the market around 2012 and is growing quickly as a simple way for business people to protect their cloud data. Recent advances allow CASBs to run in multimode or mixed-mode designs, covering more devices and users. Proper CASB management gives you audit logs and detailed reports about computer use. Attempts by anomalous users, failed logins, policy violations, and potential data leaks let administrators know in real-time when a threat is imminent and lets them take immediate steps to quash the problem.

    Additional Defense

    The best protection for any mobile device or remote worker arrangements is to combine CASB software with an Enterprise Mobility Management system (EMM). With both solutions working for you, security is no longer a big concern. The EMM offers ways to manage devices, applications, content, and collaboration for both corporate and personal devices. Combined with CASB, the two solutions give administrators access management and malware and fraud detection because, without CASB, cloud resources become more vulnerable.

    CASB gives you the ability to detect app usage, connect users to authorized apps, and protect your business information through policy enforcement. Using both CASB and EMM creates a powerful tool that allows enterprises to ensure that sensitive data isn’t being downloaded to unmanaged devices. This is important because unmanaged devices usually lack the proper security capabilities, such as encryption. A CASB can check to see if a device certificate is present and block download of information if the device is unmanaged by the enterprise.

    These tools also allow administrators to uncover suspect devices, apps, and fraudulent user activity and to then take immediate steps to end the threat. Plus, CASB can help to identify anomalous user activity that could be indicative of a compromised account. CASBs can also detect when a user behaves in such a way that might signal an internal threat, such as an employee downloading all of the leads and contacts from Salesforce right before leaving for a competitor.

    Using the cloud is as easy as any other app, so make sure your business isn't ground to a halt with a surprise data breach. Take full advantage of the protection software available and cover all your devices with access to your data. Protection is a 24-hour worry, and CASB is a 24-hour solution.

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