The Role of a CASB in Securing Cloud-Based Applications

The Role of a CASB in Securing Cloud-Based Applications

To fully secure cloud apps and data, CASBs should seamlessly integrate with core security infrastructure, including DLP, endpoint protection, web security and encryption. This will allow them to identify and protect data in and out of sanctioned and unsanctioned apps.

CASBs also help to reduce insider threats by detecting and alerting malicious behavior. They can identify privileged accounts that have been compromised and prevent unauthorized data exfiltration.

Detection and Prevention

Many organizations rely on cloud applications for cost savings, convenience and support for remote workers. However, these apps can pose risks to the network and expose data to threats that traditional perimeter security doesn’t address.

CASB solution helps to reduce these security gaps by identifying and preventing malicious activity in the cloud. This includes malware, phishing and account takeover protection. CASBs also monitor user behavior, identify anomalies and warn administrators of suspicious activity.

After a CASB discovers all the cloud services, apps and endpoints connected to an organization’s networks, it can classify them based on risk value. It then enforces security policies based on these classifications. For example, a policy might allow employees to access and share certain files but block others.

A CASB can also protect data by encrypting it at rest or in transit. This multipurpose protection blocks eavesdropping, stops hackers from stealing data and helps ensure that sensitive information remains secure if an employee’s device is lost or stolen. This type of security feature is particularly critical for organizations that require compliance with regulatory standards, such as GDPR, HIPAA and PCI-DSS.


Many organizations rely on cloud applications because they offer cost savings, support for distributed workers, and productivity-enhancing features. But these applications introduce various security risks that require additional protections beyond those provided by perimeter security tools.

CASB solutions often provide strong data-centric security capabilities such as encryption. Encryption prevents sensitive information from being read in transit across the Internet, protecting it even if intercepted by attackers.

In addition, a CASB solution should monitor suspicious user behaviors. For example, a CASB should evaluate user attributes and activities to identify if a hacker has leaked credentials or if a former employee still has access to the company’s accounts.

CASBs can be deployed in proxy mode (forward or reverse proxy), API control, or both (multimode). The best choice will depend on the organization’s security needs, such as whether it wants to deploy agents on endpoints. Reverse proxies, which don’t require agents on the endpoint, are better for unmanaged devices such as personal computers. Conversely, forward proxies can provide full control for managed devices such as work laptops.


When employees are accessing cloud applications with sensitive information, a CASB solution ensures that only authorized devices can connect to these services. This protects against insider threats, privileged accounts, and compromised credentials.

A CASB can also authenticate data before it is sent between an employee’s device and the cloud service, which prevents data from being intercepted and stolen. This helps companies meet compliance requirements for protecting data in the cloud, such as SOX and HIPAA.

When selecting a CASB solution, it’s important to evaluate the vendor landscape and media coverage of these solutions to find ones with a proven track record of preventing breaches. It’s also helpful to perform detailed POCs or gather research from cybersecurity analysts to identify the best fit for a business’ specific use cases. Depending on the CASB deployment model, companies should consider how easy it will be to integrate the CASB with their existing infrastructure and the level of technical support needed for smaller or less experienced security teams. This will be determined by the deployment mode chosen: API control, reverse proxy, or forward proxy.

Access Control

Many organizations need help maintaining compliance as they move data and applications into the cloud. A CASB can help monitor, access control and DLP to prevent data leaks and violations.

Using a forward proxy, a CASB can obfuscate user device information and limit access to cloud-based resources to authorized users. This provides more security than simple authentication and decreases cyberattacks from unauthorized devices.

A CASB can catalog your organization’s cloud services and evaluate each for risk to determine their trustworthiness. This enables administrators to configure access control policies for each service based on enterprise security and privacy requirements.

In addition, CASBs can provide granular visibility into cloud app usage to identify unauthorized shadow IT devices and unauthorized uploads. They also allow administrators to view suspicious login attempts and other anomalies that could indicate a breach attempt. Different CASBs offer different deployment options and architectures to suit your business best. An experienced and tenured team will benefit from a highly configurable solution, while a newer security team may prefer a simpler interface with out-of-the-box templates.

4 Pillars of Cloud Computing | Nitor Infotech


To prevent data breaches, CASB solutions monitor and control cloud applications, users and devices. The CASB analyzes the risk level of each cloud application and enables or denies access depending on enterprise policy. It also identifies and alerts IT teams to any misconfigurations in the cloud infrastructure that malicious actors could exploit.

Lastly, the CASB ensures that data at rest is secure by encrypting files and data sent to the cloud. This prevents attackers from intercepting and reading sensitive information transmitted over the Internet or when employees lose their corporate devices.

Before choosing a CASB solution, enterprises need to understand their specific CASB use cases and identify the most important capabilities. This evaluation can be conducted by performing POCs, researching cybersecurity analyst reports and speaking with existing customers. Regardless of the method, companies must choose a solution that provides the functionality they need in order to meet their business goals, including authentication, reporting, alerts and encryption. It’s also helpful to look for a solution that supports multiple architecture options, so the organization can scale as its needs evolve.