CASB Solutions vs. Traditional IT Security – Which is Better?

The proliferation of cloud services and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies has made it difficult for IT teams to maintain visibility regarding what data users are accessing.

To help overcome these challenges, many organizations are turning to cloud access security broker (CASB) solutions. These tools combine various security technologies into a single solution to provide comprehensive web and cloud security.

Access Control

Access control systems help businesses reduce risk by preventing employees from accessing essential company data or accounts, which could put them at risk of cyberattacks, data breaches and privacy violations. They also allow companies to monitor their staff’s activities and enforce access policies.

Cloud access security broker (CASB) solutions protect networks against threats by restricting access to sensitive cloud applications and enforcing compliance regulations. They also monitor user activity in real-time, manage privileged accounts and control cloud-based file sharing.

CASBs are typically delivered as cloud services to minimize costs, increase scalability and streamline management. They can be configured using forward or reverse proxying, with forward proxies providing granular policy controls on managed devices and reverse proxies redirecting traffic from unmanaged devices.

When comparing CASBs to traditional IT security measures, consider the needs of your enterprise’s business and cloud infrastructure. Suppose your organization has moved to a cloud-first model. In that case, you may need a unified platform that natively promotes the convergence of cloud and enterprise security for uniform compliance controls and breach prevention.

Today’s booming cloud ecosystem has opened up many enterprise network security challenges. These include shadow IT, data breaches, regulatory noncompliance, malware and ransomware. To combat these issues, a modern CASB solution should provide granular policy enforcement and cloud DLP, with behavior analytics to automatically classify sensitive data across your multi-cloud infrastructure.

Threat Detection & Prevention

A CASB solution is a robust cybersecurity tool that prevents cyber attacks, data breaches, and identity theft by limiting access to sensitive information. It provides comprehensive visibility into cloud-based programs and applications and protects users and data from malicious threats, malware, and unauthorized access to privileged accounts.

Unlike traditional security tools focused on blocking and allowing users access, a CASB will enable enterprises to establish granular security policies that can be enforced across every resource the organization utilizes in the cloud. This enables them to manage bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and hybrid workforces while protecting the company’s valuable data.

To secure the cloud, a CASB relies on behavior analytics and threat intelligence sources to quickly identify and remediate suspicious cloud activity. For example, suppose a user account that has never moved large volumes of data over the network suddenly begins uploading hundreds of gigabytes to an external endpoint. The CASB can flag this activity as a data exfiltration risk in that case.

The CASB also uses anomaly detection and threat intelligence sources to identify phishing attempts and ransomware attacks. These detections help administrators prevent malicious cyber actors from compromising enterprise data and assets by identifying the specific types of threats and their tactics.

In addition, a CASB helps protect an organization’s network from security incidents by detecting anomalies in cloud traffic and alerting IT staff when these events occur. The CASB’s threat intelligence capabilities include real-time correlation of logs from user devices and cloud services with research from multiple threat intelligence sources to help administrators understand the latest threats in their environment.

Identity & Access Management

Identity & Access Management (IAM) is a discipline that ensures the right people are granted access to the right digital resources at the right time and for the right reasons. This includes team members, customers, devices, robots, and other entities that want to use a resource in a computer system.

IAM tools, such as passwords, one-time personal identification numbers (PINs), biometric data, hardware tokens, and other authentication methods, provide security at the user identity level while enabling access control, which regulates the permissions that can be given to a user to gain access to a digital resource.

To combat the risks of phishing attacks and credential theft, IAM solutions use Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Users must present more than just their login credentials, including their location, time of day, IP address, device type, or other contextual information.

The goal is to eliminate the number of traditional points of failure associated with passwords, such as weak or default passwords and human frailties that make it easy for hackers to steal user information. A robust IAM solution can also help to enforce good security practices, such as requiring users to change their passwords frequently.

Many IAM solutions also support a zero-trust approach, where access to a digital resource is only given to a user if their identity has been verified. This can be done through centralized identity management and user self-service, which reduces the amount of administrative overhead for IT staff and makes managing access privileges for hundreds or thousands of users more efficient.


CASB solutions are a must-have for today’s businesses that use SaaS and cloud apps. These tools provide visibility into a business’s cloud usage, detect security and compliance violations, and alert IT administrators whenever an issue occurs.

When a CASB first came onto the market, it was primarily used to stem Shadow IT, or the growing trend of employees using personal cloud accounts and services without their employer’s knowledge or approval. This practice posed significant security threats since it was often possible for users to access and use corporate data with just a few clicks or taps.

However, the threat landscape has changed significantly since then. Malware is more pervasive, phishing attacks have become increasingly sophisticated, and a small mistake can make an organization’s business vulnerable.

In addition to the threat landscape, many businesses are also concerned about the increasing number of data privacy regulations being enacted. These laws govern the collection and using basic information, such as names, addresses, and phone numbers.

These laws can have a significant impact on an organization’s bottom line. Fortunately, many CASB vendors offer additional capabilities to help with data privacy, compliance, and identity management. These include behavior analytics and threat intelligence, which turbocharge your organization’s cloud security posture and enable you to quickly identify and remediate malicious activity.