Twenty years ago, if you asked a company where all of their data was there is a good chance they would be able to easily tell you. Often times it was in the mainframe. Fast forward 10 years, with the rise of mobile workers and Blackberries, and the answer was less confident. Now, with the rise of Software as a Service (SaaS) applications in commercial and enterprise organizations, the answer is a resounding “No, I don’t know where all of my data resides”.

With the adoption of tools like Salesforce.com, Box, Dropbox, Slack, Office365, and more, company data resides in many locations accessible from many types of devices. This is driving the need for and adoption of the Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB). CASBs act as intermediaries between end-users and cloud applications, providing platforms with added security benefits through APIs or proxies. Those benefits include visibility and risk assessment, compliance, data security, and threat protection, according to Gartner’s definition of the market.

 

What does this mean?

More companies are relying on “cloud” or SaaS applications to share files, collaborate on projects, and track client data. How is this data secured in transit and at rest? How do we monitor WHAT is being shared and to WHOM?

How does this impact compliance such as PCI-DSS, SOX, HIPAA, FISMA, and others? That answer can be complicated and different for every application. CASB solutions address these concerns and can generally provide uniform security policy for multiple cloud-based platforms or applications.

 

Who plays in this market?

The market for CASB providers is in rapid flux. We are seeing the growth of newcomers to the market and acquisitions being made by seasoned technology manufacturers. According to a recent CRN article, these are some of the top 10 companies to watch for in 2017.

  • Blue Coat Systems – Acquired by Symantec
  • Skyhigh Networks – One of the largest pure play CASB vendors remaining independent
  • Netscope
  • CloudLock – Acquired by Cisco
  • Adallom – Acquired by Microsoft
  • CipherCloud
  • Zscaler – A cloud security solution provider with CASB features
  • Skyfence (recently acquired by Forcepoint) – A data protection-focused company leading the CASB market
  • Bitglass
  • Palo Alto Networks Aperture – based on the 2015 acquisition of CirroSecure

More cloud applications are being implemented because of the ease of deployment, robustness of features, and flexibility of consumption. It is getting harder to keep track of where your data resides and how it is being shared for both security and compliance.

CASB solutions are a natural progression of your on-premises security to protect what is most important to your company.

 

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