Definition of Cloud Security Broker
A Cloud Security Broker, also known as a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), is a software tool or service that sits between an organization’s on-premises infrastructure and cloud provider’s services. Its primary function is to enforce security policies, monitor cloud service usage, and provide visibility into data stored in the cloud. CASBs help organizations maintain control over their data, ensure compliance, and mitigate risks associated with unauthorized access and data breaches in cloud environments.
The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Cloud Security Broker” is: Kloud – /klaʊd/Si-kyoor-i-tee – /sɪˈkjʊrəti/Broh-ker – /ˈbroʊkər/
- Cloud Security Brokers (CSBs) are intermediaries that act as a security layer between cloud service users and the cloud service providers, ensuring secure access, data protection, and monitoring of cloud applications.
- CSBs help organizations maintain regulatory compliance by safeguarding data using encryption, access controls, and single sign-on, enabling them to fulfill the requirements of different regulatory frameworks.
- Cloud Security Brokers also provide visibility into cloud usage and potential risks, giving businesses the ability to detect and remediate threats in real-time, thus enhancing their overall cloud security posture.
Importance of Cloud Security Broker
A Cloud Security Broker (CSB), also known as a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), is important because it acts as an intermediary between organizations and cloud service providers to ensure data security, maintain compliance, and manage the usage of cloud-based tools and applications.
As businesses become increasingly reliant on cloud services for storage, collaboration, and business processes, the need to protect sensitive data, maintain privacy, and adhere to regulatory requirements becomes more critical.
CSBs help organizations achieve these goals by monitoring, filtering, and providing greater visibility into network traffic, enabling necessary identity and access management, and enforcing data loss prevention policies across multiple cloud services.
This centralized security management improves overall cloud security posture and reduces the risk of unauthorized access, data breaches, and non-compliance.
Cloud Security Brokers (CSBs) serve a crucial purpose in today’s increasingly interconnected digital landscape, where organizations rely heavily on cloud services to store and manage their data. As the utilization of cloud-based platforms continues to rise, so does the need to protect sensitive information from potential security breaches and cyber threats.
CSBs act as a gateway between an organization and its chosen cloud service providers, effectively securing the data exchange process by monitoring, enforcing, and enhancing the organization’s security policies. The core function of a Cloud Security Broker is to maintain control over an organization’s data, even when it is transmitted or stored outside their own infrastructure.
To achieve this, CSBs provide a variety of services, such as access control, data encryption, intrusion detection, and visibility into cloud usage. By enabling organizations to manage and monitor the way their employees access, share, and use sensitive information in the cloud, CSBs assist in ensuring compliance with security policies and industry regulations.
Additionally, these brokers can identify and mitigate potential security risks in real-time, which greatly enhances an organization’s overall security posture while utilizing cloud resources. In essence, Cloud Security Brokers function as a safeguard for organizations navigating the often-complex world of cloud computing, allowing them to derive maximum value from these services with confidence in the security of their data.
Examples of Cloud Security Broker
A Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is a software solution that helps organizations monitor and secure their cloud-based applications and infrastructure. These are three real-world examples of CASB technologies being used to enhance cloud security:
Microsoft Cloud App Security: Microsoft Cloud App Security is a comprehensive CASB solution that provides visibility, controls, and threat protection for cloud applications. It enables organizations to analyze the usage patterns and permissions of various cloud apps, assess risks, and detect anomalies. For example, one real-world application is a large manufacturing company that uses Microsoft Cloud App Security to control access to sensitive data, implement data loss prevention (DLP) policies, and monitor for unauthorized app usage.
Cisco Cloudlock: Cisco Cloudlock is a CASB platform that helps organizations secure their Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) environments. One real-world example involves a leading financial institution that utilizes Cloudlock to protect their cloud environment from potential data breaches. They leverage Cloudlock’s dynamic policy engine to automatically detect and enforce proper data handling, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and preventing sensitive data exposure.
Netskope: Netskope is a CASB solution that provides advanced threat protection, data loss prevention, and real-time analytics for cloud apps. A real-world example of Netskope in action is its implementation at a global retail company to protect its intellectual property. The company uses Netskope’s granular access control and DLP capabilities to ensure that employees are accessing and sharing data in a secure manner, following the retailer’s strict security protocols. This helps the company avoid costly data breaches and maintain compliance with industry-specific regulations.These examples demonstrate how Cloud Access Security Brokers help organizations monitor and protect their cloud environments, ensuring data security and regulatory compliance across multiple industries.
Cloud Security Broker FAQ
What is a Cloud Security Broker?
A Cloud Security Broker, also known as a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), is a solution that enforces security policies on cloud applications, thus ensuring the privacy and security of your organization’s data. By operating as an intermediary between the cloud service and the user, it provides a layer of protection to enforce and control data access, preventing data breaches and unauthorized access.
How does a Cloud Security Broker work?
A Cloud Security Broker works by sitting between your organization’s users and the cloud service providers, analyzing and monitoring the data flow. It utilizes a set of pre-defined policies to control access, encrypt data, identify and prevent potential threats, and detect suspect behavior or patterns. In addition, it provides tools to monitor and manage all cloud services in an integrated platform, enabling organization-wide visibility and control.
What benefits does a Cloud Security Broker provide?
Some of the benefits of using a Cloud Security Broker include enhanced data security and compliance, greater visibility and control over cloud applications, threat protection, and the ability to enforce consistent policies across multiple cloud services. By implementing a CASB, organizations can significantly reduce the risk of data breaches and ensure compliance with data protection regulations.
How does a Cloud Security Broker help with compliance?
Cloud Security Brokers help organizations maintain compliance by providing tools that monitor and enforce data protection policies. These tools can identify sensitive data such as personally identifiable information (PII), apply encryption or other data protection measures, control access to regulated data, and ensure appropriate usage of cloud services. Additionally, CASBs provide visibility into cloud service usage and generate reports for auditing purposes, simplifying the process of demonstrating compliance with various regulations.
Do I actually need a Cloud Security Broker for my organization?
If your organization deals with sensitive or regulated data, and your users access or store data in the cloud, implementing a Cloud Security Broker can greatly enhance your data protection and compliance efforts. CASBs are particularly beneficial if you utilize multiple cloud services or have a mix of managed and unmanaged devices. While the necessity of a CASB depends on the specific needs and risk profile of your organization, deploying a CASB can significantly improve the overall security posture and visibility for cloud-based resources.
Related Technology Terms
- Access Control
- Data Encryption
- Threat Detection
- Identity Management
- Security Policies
Sources for More Information
- Gartner: https://www.gartner.com/en/information-technology/glossary/cloud-access-security-brokers-casb
- Cisco: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/security/cloud-access-security/what-is-a-casb.html
- McAfee: https://www.mcafee.com/enterprise/en-us/solutions/cloud-security/casb.html
- TechTarget: https://searchcloudsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/cloud-access-security-brokers-CASBs