Organizations around the world need to rethink and update their network security strategies. Never before has there been such a wide and constant threat to enterprise networks as today. The combination of ever-changing technology, protocols, and regulations, mixed with increasingly sophisticated threat actors has led to a perfect storm. 

In order to fight ack against these dangers, stakeholders need to find solutions to keep data safer. Cloud access security broker services are one of the top ways to accomplish this. Let’s explore how CASB services enable cloud security. 

What Is a CASB?

Before digging into how CASB services enable cloud security, you have to gain at least some understanding of how these offerings work and fit into the overall security landscape. While the term cloud access security broker might sound kind of esoteric, it’s really not so unapproachable when you break it down into parts. Essentially, a CASB controls the communications and traffic between an enterprise’s network and cloud applications to ensure their security

There are a few ways CASB services accomplish this, which we’ll look at more closely in later sections. First, it’s time to learn more about why CASB services are important to all kinds of organizations in today’s complex security world. 

Why Are CASBs Important Today?

There are lots of network security tools and services out there that offer varying levels of protection from threats. But what makes these solutions so critical today? A few factors are contributing to this. 

For starters, you have to look at the broader progression of technology. While cutting-edge developments like artificial intelligence and machine learning are leading to immense progress in many fields—including cybersecurity—they’re also inherently leading to more dangers. This is because AI and ML aren’t only reserved for people who want to utilize them for productive causes. Unfortunately, as technology advances, it will be used in harmful ways, especially for creating more effective network threats. 

Generally speaking, enterprises can stay ahead of this wave of growing criminal sophistication by adopting technologies and services that keep them ahead of the wave. Whether you’re utilizing a CASB service or any other type of network security protocol, finding a provider that’s current on all best practices and offers the necessary tools will be essential. 

There are more factors at play, however, than just a changing technology landscape. Shifting work environments and standard operating procedures are additional reasons why network security has become such a major topic of discussion. 

Remote work and bring-your-own-device policies have been becoming increasingly prevalent. This was the case even before the Coronavirus pandemic caused a sudden shift in how people connect to enterprise networks. Tectonic shifts in these kinds of vulnerabilities can be difficult to identify when dealing with them on a day-to-day basis. It’s important for managers and stakeholders, however, to take a wider view. Identifying the services and solutions that most effectively address these new breeds of vulnerabilities will help enforce a more solid threat reduction landscape. 

Furthermore, with such a wide-range of cloud-based applications in use by individuals sometimes all over the world, enterprises need to have comprehensive solutions that can deal with both complexity and volume. A cloud access security broker can be a highly valuable addition to these defenses. 

How CASB Services Enable Cloud Security

It’s one thing to say CASBs are valuable; but proving it is the more important task. Creating a secure layer between users and threats is key to keeping enterprise networks as secure as possible. Here’s how cloud access security broker services accomplish this:

  • Incorporate essential security tools – Secure web gateways, firewalls, and other threat-blocking and filtering tools are built into CASB services. But these are just the first level of capability that comes with cloud access security broker solutions. 
  • Application discovery, assessment, and intervention – Devices are interacting with more applications than ever before. With so many new attack surfaces being created by additional network complexity and connections, a CASB can play a critical role in evaluating the security of each and every connection. Applications, devices, or users that are deemed unsafe can be automatically blocked by the CASB. 
  • Built into network infrastructure – One of the great benefits of CASB services is the fact that they can readily integrate into your software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN). There are many reasons why SD-WAN is a preferable way to configure an enterprise network—including its ability to facilitate many connection types from various locations with a high level of security. Since SD-WAN is a virtual network control layer, it can be seamlessly combined with digital security tools, such as cloud access security brokers. 
  • Create strong network governance and enforcement policies – Keeping networks secure is largely about creating the right policies. By having set protocols for user-data governance and enforcement against potential threats, a CASB service can block connections that don’t pass snuff. 

These are a few of the major ways CASB services can enable and improve enterprise cloud security. But it’s also important to know how to distinguish between different CASB offerings. 

Things to Consider When Looking at CASB Services

While it’s true that cloud access security brokers can go a long way in shoring up network security, not all CASB solutions are the same. There are a few essential considerations that can help stakeholders choose the right CASB service for the job. 

First, it’s wise to look for a CASB solution that works in conjunction with the rest of your security stack and network architecture. When looking for as-a-service offerings, especially in the cybersecurity world, it’s often best to choose one vendor for the majority of your needs. Generally, you’re going to get better getting many solutions through one source, as this cuts down on any compatibility issues—increasing over security. Furthermore, it’s typically more affordable to source many of your cloud-based security services from one vendor, versus picking and choosing one from a variety of providers. 

You also want to find a CASB service that can boast cutting-edge technology. Staying current is one of the key best practices to effective network security. Your CASB provider should be up to date on all trends and tech advancements. Additionally, a CASB should be totally customizable to the exact needs of your organization. There’s no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to securing networks. Only work with a CASB service provider that understands the uniqueness of your situation. 

Deploying a CASB solution can be a hugely positive step for organizations looking to lock down their networks. Knowing how a CASB solution enables cloud security will help guide your search in an effective way.