SecurityBrief New Zealand logo
New Zealand's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Security spotlight on recent breaches highlights need for effective CASBs

By Contributor
Fri 12 Jun 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by Bitglass product marketing manager Juan Lugo.

In recent weeks, over 40 million users were affected by the Wishbone app breach, while 25 million university students were victims of the Mathway breach.

A British airline data breach resulted in millions of travel records being exposed, and the meal kit and food delivery service Home Chef was hacked. Meanwhile, hackers defaced more than 2,000 sites while attempting to access user webcams.

Traditionally, securing mobile devices was achieved through agents installed on managed endpoints. But as organisations enable bring your own device (BYOD), data is increasingly accessed from personally owned mobile devices.

When employees use these endpoints for their work, enterprises lose visibility and control over sensitive information. Unfortunately, installing agents and taking control over BYO devices is logistically challenging and often met with employee pushback over privacy concerns.

Today, organisations need to adopt cloud access security brokers (CASBs) with agentless mobile data protection capabilities. These CASBs offer access controls that can allow, limit, or block access to unmanaged and mobile devices.

This control over the flow of data is paired with an ability to set device security configurations, such as requiring the use of PIN codes rather than swipe patterns.

Finally, with the click of a button, selective wipe can target and delete corporate data on unmanaged mobile devices without harming personal data. With an agentless CASB, this can all be done without requiring the installation of agents.
 

Everyday apps at risk

Data loss is a major concern for any organisation migrating to the public cloud. Applications like Office 365, G Suite, and Dropbox are built to enable simple sharing and collaboration. While this provides excellent productivity, it exposes organisations to the potential for data leakage.

So, data loss prevention (DLP) is a must for any organisation using cloud-based services.

CASBs provide a variety of DLP capabilities. An enterprise can leverage DLP to redact sensitive information in emails, watermark documents for tracking, apply DRM to files to require additional authentication, and more. Additionally, CASBs can integrate with existing, premises-based policies in order to ensure the consistent protection of data.

One of the cloud’s greatest benefits is simple, rapid sharing and collaboration. However, while cloud apps enable efficiency and teamwork, they may expose the company to data leakage risk. Whether an employee carries malicious intent or is simply careless, corporate information may be shared with individuals outside of the organisation.

Sharing controls are provided by most CASBs. They can scan apps like Google Drive to search for external shares and revoke them accordingly. Access controls can be configured to deny access to personal email addresses, unmanaged devices, users who aren’t on-premises, and more. Finally, DLP policies like watermarking can be used to track files as they are downloaded by unauthorised users.

Outbreaks like that of the WannaCry ransomware in 2017 are clear examples of why organisations need malware protection. Because of cloud and BYOD, threats now have more attack surfaces for infecting organisations.

A single contaminated file uploaded to the cloud can quickly spread throughout an entire enterprise if it is downloaded to other devices or if it infects a connected app.

Unfortunately, the majority of cloud applications don’t provide any built-in malware protection, leaving it to the enterprise to risk their security or deploy a third-party solution that extends native cloud capabilities.
 

Machine-learning defence

CASBs with advanced threat protection (ATP) leverage the latest machine-learning-based techniques to defend against both known and zero-day malware. CASBs leverage inline proxies to stop the flow of malware from devices into the cloud. At the same time, they leverage API-based connections to scan for malware-at-rest, preventing it from being downloaded to other devices and spreading to connected cloud applications.

Employees can store corporate files in a variety of cloud apps that enable collaboration. This complex web of user and file accesses across multiple applications poses a challenge to organisations that need to monitor corporate data and distinguish legitimate data accesses from those that are rogue or malicious.

CASBs address this challenge through a combination of detailed activity logs and user and entity behaviour analytics (UEBA). With logs that enable audit, individual files and users are monitored in a way that grants administrators comprehensive, cross-app visibility.

A CASB with UEBA leverages this cross-app visibility to analyse behaviours and take corrective actions in real time. For example, if a user accesses Salesforce from Russia five minutes after logging in to Office 365 from California, a CASB can detect the anomaly and enforce step-up, multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Some organisations have policies or regulatory mandates that require them to protect and control their data everywhere—including when it moves to the public cloud. These firms must take steps to obfuscate data stored in cloud apps. 

Unfortunately, native cloud app encryption typically allows cloud app vendors to see encrypted data. Additionally, many third party encryption solutions either break key application functions like search and sort or weaken encryption to allow said functionality.

With next-gen CASB encryption, corporate data in the cloud can be protected from unauthorised users. By providing organisations with control of their own encryption keys, CASBs can even shield against the eyes of the cloud app vendors who store encrypted files.

Field-level data in applications like Salesforce and ServiceNow can also be encrypted in the same fashion; however, organisations must select CASBs that offer full strength encryption that does not reduce the usability of data.
 

ID and access management

Identity and access management is a core component of a fully integrated CASB solution. Enterprises need to verify users’ identities when they log in to cloud applications that contain sensitive corporate data—particularly when that data is regulated. This goes beyond enforcing complex passwords; organisations need visibility into logins and control over user access to applications.

CASB identity capabilities have greatly evolved, obviating the need for a dedicated IDaaS solution. Today’s leading CASBs feature built-in group and user management via Active Directory, single-sign on across all applications, and native multi-factor authentication (MFA). With a CASB, organisations can log all authentication attempts, step up to MFA in risky contexts, and provision users with ease.

Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings like AWS, Azure, and GCP grant organisations the power and flexibility of the public cloud, but with more control over the underlying infrastructure. Naturally, this increased control also comes with a greater responsibility for security.

Fortunately, leading CASBs are equipped with the capabilities needed to secure IaaS environments. Storage services like

Amazon’s S3 can be scanned for sensitive data-at-rest, custom applications can have files and field-level data encrypted, and both can be secured via data loss prevention (DLP). Additionally, contextual access control and multi-factor authentication can be used to defend IaaS management consoles.

Cloud security posture management (CSPM) is another critical CASB capability. CSPM functionality scans IaaS instances for misconfigurations that could yield data leakage or noncompliance with regulatory demands. Leading CASBs can detect misconfigurations as defined by various benchmarks like CIS, PCI DSS, and HIPAA, and remediate automatically.

Unmanaged cloud applications are a large threat to security in the enterprise. Shadow IT, as these apps are called, occurs when employees store and process corporate data in cloud applications that are not sanctioned by IT. Losing visibility and control of data in this way can lead to extensive data exfiltration and, consequently, reputational and financial losses.

With a CASB, users who try to access unmanaged cloud applications for corporate purposes can be detected in real time. While some organisations may block any such app, others prefer a less heavy-handed approach. Through coaching, users are notified in real time that the app they are attempting to access is unsanctioned and are then provided with a sanctioned alternative—either with or without blocking the unmanaged app.

Leading CASBs can also enable controlled access to unmanaged apps by making them read-only. In this way, the enterprise can prevent data leakage events such as the upload of sensitive information to one of these applications. This is particularly helpful given the variety of apps that employees may need to access in the course of working with partners, suppliers and others.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Adatree, Brother, Databricks, Nutanix & Rubrik
We round up all job appointments from May 20-26, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Could New Zealanders initiate a cyber attack from within?
The threat landscape is significantly increasing worldwide, and the opportunities it presents are a growing concern in Aotearoa.
Story image
PIJF
The path to bolstering supply chain security in New Zealand
A significant amount of today's business and leisure activity relies on IT supply chains. From complex international freight trades to local small business distribution channels, any supply chain that involves IT infrastructure serves as a crucial tool in our daily lives. 
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft NZ and TupuToa to boost diversity in cybersecurity sector
Microsoft NZ has teamed up with TupuToa to co-develop a cyber security employment programme specifically aimed at creating more diversity in Aotearoa's cybersecurity sector.
Story image
Migration
Let’s clear the cloud visibility haze with app awareness
Increasingly, organisations are heading for the cloud, initiating new born-in-the-cloud architectures and migrating existing applications via ‘lift and shift’ or refactoring.
Story image
Customer experience
Gartner recognises Okta for abilities in Access Management
Okta has announced it has been recognised as a Customers' Choice for the fourth time in a row in the Gartner Peer Insights "Voice of the Customer" report.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.
Story image
Ransomware
Alarming surge in Conti Ransomware Group activity - report
A new report has identified a 7.6 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware in Q1 2022.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
Training
Trojan cyber attacks hitting SMBs harder than ever - Kaspersky
In 2022 the number of Trojan-PSW detections increased by almost a quarter compared to the same period in 2021 to reach 4,003,323.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Accenture - a collective security approach a driving factor for cyber resilience
With the approaching Davos World Economic Forum upon us, it is even more imperative to discuss the impact of cybersecurity on business operations leading into the future.
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Ransomware
APAC ranks third-highest region targeted by ransomware
Asia Pacific has ranked the third-highest region globally to be targeted by ransomware, according to cybersecurity firm Group-IB.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Asia Pacific plagued by sophisticated bad bots - report
The three most common bot attacks were account takeover, content or price scraping, and scalping to obtain limited-availability items.
Story image
BYOD / Bring Your Own Device
How zero trust can lead the battle against ransomware
SecOps teams champion a zero trust strategy to support the fight against the escalating risk of cybercrime and help monitor threat actors across a network.
Story image
Cybersecurity
What every CISO must answer to enable a best-in-class security operations program
It has been widely reported recently that South Australian government employees have been the victims of a cyberattack.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
Ransomware
CERT NZ releases first Cyber Security Insights for 2022
CERT NZ has released Quarter One: Cyber Security Insights 2022, which offers an overview of reports about cybersecurity incidents affecting New Zealanders.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Microsoft
Global cybersecurity insurance market worth $11.5b this year
Future Market Insights finds the cybersecurity insurance market is expected to reach USD$11.5 billion in 2022, growing to $61.2 billion in 10 years.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner reveals top three tech trends for banks this year
Gartner says generative artificial intelligence, autonomic systems and privacy-enhancing computation are gaining traction in banking and investment services.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Comcast to use ThreatQuotient for cybersecurity operations
Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal and SKY Group, has chosen ThreatQ Platform and ThreatQ Investigations to meet their cybersecurity needs.
Story image
New Relic
New Relic launches vulnerability management platform
New Relic has introduced New Relic Vulnerability Management to help organisations find and address security risks faster and with greater precision.
Story image
Surveillance
i-PRO releases smallest AI-based surveillance camera on the market
The new i-PRO mini network camera is now available, with a pocket-sized form factor and full AI analytics functionality.
Story image
Ransomware
Employees on the frontline of cyber defense - report
In the first quarter of 2022, employees found themselves more than ever at the frontline of cyber defense, according to a new report from Kroll. 
Story image
Ponemon Institute
Email revealed to be riskiest channel for data loss
More than half (60%) of organisations experienced data loss or exfiltration caused by an employee mistake on email in the last 12 months.
Story image
Kubernetes
Sysdig unveils new Kubernetes troubleshooting and cloud innovations
Sysdig has introduced two new innovations that look to help bolster cloud services and simplify Kubernetes troubleshooting.
Story image
Malware
'Alarming' rise in ransomware threats - Verizon report
As criminals look to leverage increasingly sophisticated forms of malware, it is ransomware that continues to prove particularly successful.
Story image
Malware
Fortinet introduces self-learning AI in latest offering
Fortinet is introducing self-learning AI capabilities in its new network detection and response offering, FortiNDR.
Story image
Check Point
Check Point and CCTV expert join forces to boost protection
The partnership will involve Check Point Quantum IoT Protect Nano Agent being embedded in Provision-ISR’s CCTV cameras for on-device runtime protection.
Story image
ChildFund
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Identity and Access Management
The post-pandemic workforce requires secure IAM capabilities
HID Global discusses what identity and access management means for organisations in today's convoluted digital world.
Story image
Training
Infosec unveils role-guided cybersecurity training roadmaps
Infosec Skills Roles maps hands-on training and certifications to the 12 most in-demand cybersecurity roles to maximise training efficiency.
Story image
Phishing
Vishing attacks reach all time high - Agari and PhishLabs
"Hybrid vishing campaigns continue to generate stunning numbers, representing 26.1% of total share in volume so far in 2022."
Story image
Phishing
WhatsApp and QR codes the next scam threat - report
KnowBe4 has warned it expects to see an increase in QR Codes and the WhatsApp chat platform being used for phishing and other scams. 
Story image
Microsoft
Elevation of Privilege the top 2021 Microsoft vulnerability
BeyondTrust has released its 2022 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report, finding that Elevation of Privilege is the top vulnerability category for the second consecutive year.
Story image
Ransomware
APAC organisations fail to disclose ransomware breaches
85% of organisations in APAC were breached by ransomware at least once in the past five years, but only 28% publicly disclosed the incident.
Story image
Remote Working
Successful digital transformation in the hybrid work era is about embracing shifting goalposts
As organisations embraced remote working, many discovered they lacked the infrastructure needed to support history’s first global load test of remote work capabilities.
Story image
Cybercrime
The ups and downs and runarounds of catching cybercriminals in NZ
We're becoming more and more aware of cybercrimes but how many criminals actually get caught? The New Zealand police explain why the answer is complicated.
Story image
Cyber attacks
Devastating cyber attacks expected to hit energy sector
Energy executives anticipate life, property, and environment-compromising cyber attacks on the sector within the next two years.
Story image
SaaS
Maintaining secure systems with expectations of flexible work
Most office workers feel they've proved they can work successfully from home, and as much as employers try, things aren't going back to the way they were anytime soon.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.