Online Access Security Broker and the Cloud-based Business Role

Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)

Cloud is the new address for businesses nowadays. The number of applications, hosted on the cloud, is rapidly increasing and that contributes in the streamlining of various business operations. Accounting applications, PBX, ERP, and CRM, etc. are some of the business applications that bring in more convenience and efficiency with the touch of the Cloud.

Cloud hosted applications can modernize the way businesses connect –be it employee connectivity or customer retention strategies. With the ability of cross-integrating different applications, cloud provides a more able and productive platform to deliver enhanced business solutions. On the other side, this ability arrives with some valuable business data, concerning to customers, employees, and several other parties. So, any lack of security on these nodes can make way for some dreadful consequences.

Cloud Access Security Broker

Businesses are willing to move to the cloud to enjoy smoother operations, but that should not come at the cost of security vulnerabilities. This need of security leads to the rise in demand for Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) products.

CASB – Definition & Basic Importance

In simpler interpretation, CASB can be defined as dedicated security points deployed between cloud server and the user device. They together enable a highly secure and protected line of access for exchange of information for cloud applications by enforcing better authorization, encryption, loss-protection, vulnerability-detection, etc. CASB introduces innovative access, control, and monitoring solution for the enterprises to meet the rising business necessities, such as – BYOD, real-time collaboration, permission-restricted user access, etc.

Think of it as a third-party security broker hired to safeguard the application data during the transmission from premise to the cloud. Businesses strive to maintain data security at the user-end while cloud providers are burning candles at all ends to mitigate the security flaws. The gap between them remains susceptible. Implementing CASB will secure the gap between them and eventually, the overall cloud system will become secured.

The importance of CASB can be judged with the prediction of Gartner that states close to 85% of the large enterprises will have CASB product in action, by 2020. Currently, less than 5% of enterprises have these services in action. So, the coming years are all set to see a tremendous rise in the number of CASB implementation. This improved level of security will also allow the developers to deliver more productive applications on the cloud.

What CASB Can Do For Business Applications

Cloud security has grown by leaps and jumps in the recent years. But it may still have certain weaknesses and anyone with the proper knowledge and malicious intent can hack their way into the system and wreak havoc. A cloud-based business service, such as – Hosted PBX, can carry crucial details of your business like call logs, client contact details, call recording, etc. Such information cannot be compromised upon by the business. So, there is demand for more reliable security measure – CASB. CASB ceases the flaws that exist between the local device and the cloud server. Mitigating those errors, cloud can be even more reliable solutions for business, as well as the end-user.

Here is what CASB has to offer:

1. Application Governance

Applications governance refers to understanding and the controlling of permissions associated with the Cloud hosted applications. To help this cause, CASB enforces an enhanced credential mapping, encryption, device profiling, and policy classification. These actions help better application detailing and boosting the security points accordingly. It is very much like a personalized security setup for the application. Regardless if its a soft-phone, tax software, or any other Cloud hosted application, CASB will offer special security governance as per the need of application.

2. Access Monitoring

 

Better access monitoring ensures that every attempt made to access the application is detected and duly logged. By defining the access permissions on the basis of recent and usual log in activities of the users in an intense manner for different users (support agent, customer, manager, etc.), they are restricted to access only the permitted data and hence, shielding the key data from the different users. CASB utilizes various methods, such as- single sign-on, authentication, authorization, logging, etc. to monitor the accessed application.

3. Controlled Safekeeping

Different CASB products have various boosted security measures that help them detect and prevent any malware intrusions. To keep such attempts at bay, they are even able to offer them non-sensitive (worthless) data to steal away using the ‘tokenization technique’. So, attempts for the data intrusion can be mitigated without much damage.

Wrapping It Up

Cloud computing is considered one of the finest examples of technical advancements as it offers on-the-go solutions without any restrictions of the device platforms. Cloud dependent services, such as – application hosting, VoIP, etc. have eased the data control element for businesses and enhanced the productivity measures. The technology has advanced to offer high-on-quality and low-on-expense solutions. However, the challenges associated with data security has often restricted the Cloud from being a supremely accepted option for businesses. Implementation of CASB products promises a near-perfect security for the cloud setup. But the fingers are kept crossed for now as the service is yet to face the real usage testing.

By Kirti Khanna

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