The shift to cloud and adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS) services, has enabled enterprises to offload the burden of managing and delivering them by themselves. It has also, however, exposed a new and particularly risky attack surface. Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) solutions play a pivotal role in helping enterprises cope with these risks and fortifying their security posture. They do this by providing visibility, assessment, access control and protection capabilities which enable enterprises to better understand and manage their organization’s SaaS usage.
The first challenge of cloud-based SaaS usage is understanding its full extent. While some applications have been procured and provided by the IT team itself, also referred to as sanctioned applications, many SaaS applications are being adopted and used by employees without the IT department’s approval and knowledge. These are unsanctioned applications, and their usage constitutes what is known as Shadow IT. Various studies have shown that the number of unsanctioned applications used in a typical enterprise far exceeds that of sanctioned applications.
The second challenge is understanding the risk each unsanctioned application poses and making decisions regarding its permitted usage. The enforcement of these usage permissions is achieved via the CASB policy rules.
Lastly, is the need to put in place threat prevention and data leak protection mechanisms to ensure the protection and integrity of enterprise users, resources, and data.