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The Evolution of Cloud Access Security Brokers: Understanding Their Relevance and Making the Right Choice

October 13, 2023

By Nick Graham - Solution Architect – Public Sector, Skyhigh Security

As the cloud landscapes continue to evolve, so do the security challenges associated with it. A key player that has gained significant traction in recent years is the Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB). But what exactly is a CASB, how has it changed over time, and how can you make an informed choice for your organization? Let’s dive in.

The Rise of CASBs

A few years ago, the migration to the cloud was an ambitious, forward-thinking move. Today, it’s a necessity. As organizations shifted from on-premises environments to cloud-based platforms, the need for a central security control point became evident.

CASBs emerged as a pivotal solution for organizations that were faced with the challenge of ensuring security and compliance in a world where traditional perimeters had dissolved. These brokers essentially act as gatekeepers, ensuring that cloud services accessed by an organization’s employees meet the requisite security standards.

CASBs in Today’s Cloud Ecosystem

With the continuous expansion of cloud services, the role of CASBs has never been more significant. They provide:

  1. Visibility: CASBs allow organizations to have a comprehensive view of their cloud services, ensuring no unsanctioned applications are in use.
  2. Data Security: They ensure that sensitive data moving in and out of the cloud is protected via encryption, tokenization, and data loss prevention.
  3. Threat Protection: CASBs help in detecting and mitigating threats in real-time.
  4. Compliance: They assist organizations in ensuring cloud services are compliant with regional and global regulations.

Choosing the Right CASB for Your Organization

As CASBs have evolved, so have their capabilities. Not every CASB solution is created equal, and selecting the right one is crucial. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Coverage: Ensure that the CASB covers all cloud services your organization uses. This includes not just sanctioned apps but shadow IT as well.
  2. Deployment Mode: Some CASBs are on-premises, while others are cloud-based. Your choice will depend on your organization’s specific needs and existing infrastructure.
  3. Integration: A CASB should seamlessly integrate with other security solutions such as Secure Web Gateways, Firewalls, and Endpoint Security solutions.
  4. Real-time vs. API-based: Real-time CASBs provide instant protection against threats, while API-based ones might have a delay but can provide a more in-depth analysis.

Have CASBs Become a Commodity?

While some argue that as the market gets saturated, CASBs are becoming a commodity, it’s essential to recognize their continued relevance. While many solutions provide basic CASB-like functionalities, specialized CASB solutions offer depth and breadth in cloud security that generalist tools cannot match.

However, as with any technology, the distinction lies in its implementation and use. As organizations mature in their cloud journeys, the value of CASBs is in how they adapt to more complex hybrid and multi-cloud environments, and in their ability to offer insights beyond just security, including operational and cost analytics.

In Conclusion

CASBs have undeniably evolved since their inception, transitioning from niche offerings to central components of a robust cloud security strategy. Their relevance remains solid, and choosing the right one for your organization is paramount. As with all things cloud, agility, and adaptability will determine success – and CASBs are no exception.

To learn more about Skyhigh Security’s cloud solutions request a demo today.

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