Cloud Access Security Broker

Definition of Cloud Access Security Broker

A Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is a software tool or service that acts as an intermediary between an organization’s on-premises infrastructure and cloud provider services. CASBs enforce security policies, monitor user activities, and provide visibility into cloud usage to help organizations maintain security and compliance across multiple cloud platforms. In essence, CASBs serve as a security control point for organizations using cloud services, helping to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Cloud Access Security Broker” would be: Kloud ˈæk-ses sɪˈkyurɪti ˈbroʊkər

Key Takeaways

  1. Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) provide visibility and control over cloud-based applications and services, ensuring data security and compliance.
  2. CASBs can help organizations enforce custom policies, detect and respond to threats, and protect sensitive data through encryption, tokenization, or other security measures.
  3. By integrating with various security tools and platforms, CASBs enable streamlined management across multi-cloud environments, making it easier for organizations to adapt to the rapidly evolving cloud landscape.

Importance of Cloud Access Security Broker

The term “Cloud Access Security Broker” (CASB) is important because it refers to a software tool or service that acts as an intermediary between an organization’s on-premises infrastructure and cloud-based applications.

CASBs are essential in enforcing security policies, mitigating risks associated with unauthorized access, and ensuring compliance with industry regulations.

By providing visibility into cloud application usage, identifying potentially risky users and activities, applying data loss prevention policies, and integrating with existing security systems, CASBs have become a critical component in the overall cloud security strategy of organizations, allowing them to maintain control while embracing the benefits of cloud-based applications and services.


A Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) primarily serves as a security enforcement gateway between an organization’s users and cloud services providers. The purpose of CASBs is to ensure that the necessary security policies are consistently enforced across all cloud applications employed by an organization or company.

By sitting at the intersection of users and cloud services, it provides comprehensive visibility, compliance management, threat protection, and data security capabilities to keep information safe while enabling access to cloud-based applications and infrastructure. One significant use of a CASB is to help organizations comply with industry regulations and maintain data privacy by controlling and monitoring user access to sensitive information stored in the cloud.

This is done by managing user authentication, automatically enforcing access policies, and providing data loss prevention measures. In addition to monitoring and controlling user access, CASBs also serve as an essential line of defense against potential threats such as malware, ransomware, and data breaches.

By performing deep content inspections on data uploaded to or downloaded from the cloud and identifying and blocking suspicious and unauthorized activities, CASBs create a secure link between users and cloud services. Ultimately, these cloud access security brokers empower organizations to adopt cloud solutions without compromising their data security and compliance requirements.

Examples of Cloud Access Security Broker

Skyhigh Networks (McAfee MVISION Cloud): Skyhigh Networks was one of the pioneers in the Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) market. Now a part of McAfee, the MVISION Cloud platform provides a comprehensive solution for organizations to manage and control the data and applications on various cloud services. It offers features such as data protection, threat detection, and regulatory compliance across multiple cloud platforms including Office 365, Salesforce, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Workspace, among others. The platform assists in detecting unauthorized access, preventing data loss, and monitoring compliance with industry standards.

Netskope: Netskope offers a CASB solution that provides real-time monitoring and management of cloud services and applications as part of their cloud-native security platform. The platform supports multi-cloud environments and integrates with popular cloud services such as AWS, GCP, and Azure. Netskope aids in protecting sensitive data by using advanced data loss prevention (DLP) and encryption techniques, as well as application-level access control. The solution also empowers enterprises to monitor usage patterns, detect abnormal behaviors, and enforce security policies for various cloud applications.

Microsoft Cloud App Security: As a part of Microsoft’s broader enterprise mobility and security suite, the Cloud App Security solution functions as a CASB and enables greater visibility and control over cloud applications and services. Microsoft Cloud App Security is particularly useful for organizations that already have Office 365 or other Microsoft cloud solutions. It offers features such as discovery of cloud apps, data protection through DLP, threat detection, and compliance monitoring. The solution provides in-depth information about user activities, enabling organizations to identify potential risks and enforce security policies across various cloud services.

Cloud Access Security Broker FAQ

What is a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)?

A Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is a security solution that sits between an organization’s on-premises infrastructure and cloud-based applications, monitoring and controlling traffic between them. CASBs provide centralized visibility, policy enforcement, and threat protection to help businesses maintain control and security while using cloud services.

Why do organizations need a CASB?

Organizations need a CASB to ensure the secure usage of cloud applications and prevent data breaches or unauthorized access to their sensitive data. CASBs provide real-time visibility, control over data access, and user activity monitoring, ensuring that organizations can comply with data protection regulations and maintain the confidentiality and integrity of their business data.

What are the key features of a CASB?

Key features of a CASB include centralized visibility, data loss prevention (DLP), access control, user behavior analytics (UBA), threat protection, and compliance monitoring. These features help organizations manage and monitor their cloud applications, ensuring data security and adherence to specific regulatory requirements.

How does a CASB integrate with cloud services?

A CASB integrates with cloud services using APIs and proxies. By connecting to cloud service providers through APIs, CASBs can monitor and control data access in real-time. Proxy-based integrations enable CASBs to inspect traffic between an organization’s network and cloud applications, providing a more in-depth analysis of user activity and data access.

Can a CASB work with multiple cloud service providers?

Yes, a CASB can work with multiple cloud service providers. Most CASBs are designed to be vendor-agnostic, which means they can integrate with different cloud applications and infrastructure services. This allows organizations to have a consistent security and policy enforcement framework across their entire cloud environment.

Related Technology Terms

  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Encryption and Tokenization
  • Secure Web Gateway (SWG)
  • Threat and Anomaly Detection

Sources for More Information


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