How Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps Benefits Businesses
The increase in remote work over the past several years has caused an exodus from traditional methods of managing cloud apps in business endpoint ecosystems. In fact, as of 2022, 60% of all corporate data has been moved from on-prem storage to the cloud. The days of storing data on a file server protected behind firewalls are swiftly disappearing as most businesses shift to cloud-based management for hybrid workers.
The management of cloud apps within environments has become a primary concern for many IT administrators in recent years. In parallel with the rise of remote work has come a spike in shadow IT. Here, end-users are accessing and sharing data with unsanctioned and risky apps beyond the eyes of IT departments. Additionally, with third-party Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, vulnerabilities outside the company environment can impact the security of user identities and company data.
Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps recognizes and addresses these challenges by allowing security experts to monitor and manage SaaS apps effectively. As a sophisticated Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), it puts control back in administrators’ hands, overcoming shadow IT and vulnerabilities of third-party apps.
What is Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps?
Defender for Cloud Apps is a modern CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker) meaning it is a security policy enforcement solution. CASBs are positioned between end-users and cloud service providers, often combining multiple security points. CASBs help IT administrators better understand their overall cloud posture across SaaS apps and cloud services.
Using a CASB such as Defender for Cloud Apps creates multiple security benefits including:
Shadow IT assessment and management
Achieved by delivering visibility into apps being used whether sanctioned or unsanctioned. Defender for Cloud Apps helps these processes with an app discovery process and continuous monitoring once discovered apps are identified.
Granular cloud usage control
Threat prevention via detection of unusual behavior, risky behavior, violations or suspicious data points in your cloud applications through policies.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
Policies enabled to prevent the unauthorized sharing of data.
The assessment of unsanctioned apps for possible risks is designed to make access decisions easier.
The identification of High-risk application use and the subsequent remediation of threats.
Why are CASBs like Defender for Cloud Apps so Important?
CASBs are important as more and more companies expand the use of personal devices and 3rd party sites to access their network, and subsequently their data. They allow administrators to extend their security policies beyond the infrastructure of their own network and protect against threats from cloud applications. CASBs prevent data loss in the event of a breach and help to ensure regulatory compliance and data protection.
Use Cases for Defender for Cloud Apps and other CASBs
Discovery of all cloud apps and services being used
As Shadow IT runs rampant and leaves blind spots for many administrators, a CASB can deliver a 360-degree view of all cloud-based applications being used in your environment.
The Protection of data on unmanaged devices
According to the Endpoint Ecosystem study, 64% of workers are using a personal device for work, and only 43% of those devices have BYOD securely enabled. A CASBs ability to apply protection labels and prevent data downloads on unmanaged devices protects company data security at large.
Automating the Detection and Remediation of Malware in Cloud Apps
A CASB like Defender for Cloud Apps takes the element of human error out of the equation by automating remediation and detection of Malware. CASBs continuously monitor cloud-based apps and identify malicious files while offering automated remediation options when risky files are detected.
What Makes Defender for Cloud Apps Stand Out?
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Andrew is our Digital Marketing Manager and oversees web-based marketing strategies and content creation for the organization. As a marketing veteran, Andrew has worked with organizations of all sizes in a diverse group of industries, from Risk Management to Transportation. Joining the organization in 2021, Andrew is based in Mobile Mentor’s Nashville, TN office.