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Cloud service brokers help direct you through the traffic

Kacy Zurkus | July 16, 2015
As more companies move toward full integration onto cloud services, they might need an intermediary to customize their needs.

What are the benefits of cloud?
The ease of access to information without having to have infrastructure on premise is a notable advantage of moving to the cloud. "In the middle of an incident or breach, you don't have to deploy a server anywhere, and in the midst of a breach time is critical," said Cole. But shifting the server from on premise to a cloud service provider is about more than saving time during an incident or breach.

In addition to allowing employees to work remotely, "cloud means we have the ability to have employees anywhere working from any device and still have extreme visibility into endpoint," Cole said. This extreme visibility is also beneficial with BYOD as the cloud can see to the end point on any device.

For a lot of organizations, cloud both meets its expectations while also presenting some new challenges. Morey Haber, vice president of technology at Beyond Trust, said, "For SaaS and for extending QA and development, cloud has lived up to its expectations. But in some ways it hasn't. Specifically, for extending the data center, it has been problematic and presented new challenges for organizations."

The convenience factor and the ability to expedite access and response are great assets, but companies need to know security remains a concern in the cloud. "We have a demo lab, we use a cloud for that. We don't worry about anything. The convenience, the stability, the backup, I don't have to worry about any of that," Haber said.  

Cole agreed that while cloud offers complete visibility, risks remain when it comes to "proliferation of services and adding layering on top of that. There are issues with policy and data leakage." As the landscape of the cloud continues to expand and evolve, corporations need to understand the policies that are used to secure and collect data.

For companies that are still in the midst of migration to the cloud, the idea of needing another measure of security can seem overwhelming. They have done their due diligence, analyzed their risk assessments, and determined that now is the time to move to the cloud. Just as they've transported their sensitive data, they are being told the cloud might not be enough.

Is relying on the cloud security enough, or should cloud and CASBs go hand in hand?
Harber said, "Anybody considering using the cloud for whatever technology--always try to grade or rate the sensitivity of the data they are placing in the cloud because that will gauge the risk and liability."

Cloud access service brokers afford organizations extended security for their devices and networks, but whether companies need a CASB or not is based on risk assessment.


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