In the past, organizations could secure their networks from the inside, and legacy systems helped them achieve that goal without issue. Unfortunately, the changing digital landscape makes that process much more complex.
According to McKinsey & Company, about 92 million Americans alone have the option to work remotely at least some of the time. Even as people around the world have returned to offices, many corporations continue to rely on remote and hybrid staffing models. The need to access cloud-based applications and organizational data from any location requires adaptive cybersecurity solutions and a more agile access framework.
In the ever-evolving world of cybersecurity, two terms that have gained significant attention are CSAB (Cloud Security Access Broker) and ZTNA (Zero Trust Network Access). Both technologies offer solutions to common security concerns for organizations, but they differ in their approach and implementation.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the key differences between CSAB and ZTNA, their advantages and disadvantages, and how organizations can determine which approach suits their needs better.
A Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is a security solution that acts as a gatekeeper between an organization’s on-premises infrastructure and cloud-based services, including Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) applications.
CASBs enable organizations to monitor cloud usage and enforce security policies, including data loss prevention (DLP), access control, and threat protection. CASBs can also provide encryption for data in transit and at rest, enable secure cloud access from mobile devices and remote locations, and can integrate with other security solutions, such as firewalls and identity and access management systems.
Overall, CASBs help organizations to better understand their cloud usage, mitigate risks, and enforce security policies to protect sensitive data in the cloud.
Businesses should use CASBs because cloud adoption has become such a critical part of modern IT strategies. With an increasing need to access data and applications from any location, organizations can struggle to maintain visibility and control over cloud usage. CASBs can help organizations prevent security concerns such as data loss, breaches, and compliance violations.
Onsite cybersecurity methods are no longer enough to protect data that is increasingly stored in the cloud, especially since more and more users require access from outside of traditional security perimeters. In these situations, CASBs offer many benefits for businesses.
CASBs provide data protection by encrypting data in transit and at rest, ensuring that sensitive data remains secure and protected from unauthorized access.
With the visibility into cloud usage provided by CASBs, you can track and monitor user activities, data movement, and cloud applications across your organization.
CASBs enable businesses to implement policies and controls over cloud usage, ensuring that employees comply with regulatory requirements and security policies.
By enforcing policies and controls over cloud usage, CASBs help organizations to meet compliance requirements such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS. CASBs help your business remain compliant, protect data, and reduce costly penalties.
By providing cloud application visibility, granular access controls, data protection, and real-time monitoring, CASB can enhance the security of cloud applications and ensure that sensitive data is protected, even when it is accessed outside of the VPN.
As a middleman between your cloud services and your organizational infrastructure, CASBs take on a lot of responsibility, especially as the number of 3rd-party SaaS software and off-site workers continues to skyrocket. When it comes to the pros and cons, CASB has many positive features.
CASBs offer centralized control over cloud usage, enabling businesses to manage and enforce policies across multiple cloud services and applications.
CASBs provide granular access controls, enabling organizations to control user access based on factors such as device, location, and behavior.
CASBs can provide insights into user behavior, enabling businesses to identify risky activities and detect anomalies.
CASBs can help businesses discover and classify cloud data, enabling them to identify and protect sensitive data such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Intellectual Property (IP).
CASBs can provide real-time monitoring and alerts, enabling security teams to detect and respond to threats in a timely manner.
As with any potential solution, there are several things organizations should consider before implementing them. For CASBs, some of these include:
CASBs can be complex to implement and manage, and not be useful if misconfigured. CASB solutions are costly and may result in increased IT expenses for businesses.
CASBs can introduce latency, which can impact application performance and user experience, especially when implementing features such as data encryption and DLP.
CASBs may not integrate seamlessly with existing security solutions and cloud environments, leading to interoperability issues and increased management overhead.
CASBs may generate false positives, resulting in alerts and notifications for benign activities that may lead to alert fatigue for security teams.
CASBs may require access to sensitive data, raising privacy concerns, especially in highly regulated industries such as healthcare and finance.
For organizations implementing CASBs without assistance, software and IT resources costs may be prohibitive.
Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is a security model that provides secure access to applications and resources. Unlike traditional security models that assume trust within the network perimeter and provide broad access to resources, ZTNA follows a “never trust, always verify” approach, where every user and device accessing resources is verified before being granted access.
ZTNA uses a variety of security technologies, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), identity and access management (IAM), and micro-segmentation, to verify user identity, device health, and access privileges. ZTNA also provides application-level access controls, enabling granular access to specific applications and resources based on user and device attributes.
ZTNA is a powerful security solution that offers a wide range of benefits for businesses looking to secure their applications when their users are off-premises and logging on from insecure locations.
ZTNA ensures that users can only access applications from trusted devices and locations. In this way, users are granted least-privilege access only to data and applications they need to do their job.
ZTNA provides a secure, micro-segmented environment for accessing applications and resources, and validates the identity of users and devices to ensure only authorized users are granted access.
Once a user or device is verified, ZTNA continually monitors application usage and collects data such as usage patterns, access frequency, and device information. In addition, ZTNA solutions can use machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyze application usage patterns and identify anomalies or unusual behavior. If any unusual or malicious behavior is detected, user access can be revoked before any damage occurs.
ZTNA enables micro-segmentation to divide the network into smaller segments and apply access controls to each one. This approach limits the exposure of applications to unauthorized users and reduces the risk of lateral movement by attackers.
Application cloaking can be implemented through various techniques such as port and protocol hiding, application-level filtering, or masking the application’s identity or fingerprint to further reduce the risk of unauthorized access.
Like CASB, ZTNA offers a number of advantages for businesses.
Verifying the identity and trustworthiness of users and devices, ZTNA reduces the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches.
Since ZTNA enables users to access applications and resources from any location, device, or network, employees can work remotely and collaborate more effectively without compromising security.
ZTNA can reduce costs by eliminating the need for VPNs and on-premises hardware and software.
Here are some things businesses should consider before implementing ZTNA:
Deploying ZTNA can be complex and time-consuming, especially for businesses with complex IT environments.
ZTNA may have a performance impact on applications and resources, especially for businesses with high bandwidth and latency requirements. This may require additional optimization and tuning to ensure optimal performance.
ZTNA may not provide coverage for all applications and resources, especially legacy or on-premises apps that are not designed for cloud environments.
While there is a lot of overlap between CASB and ZTNA, the former is important for businesses that use cloud-based applications and services to store and share sensitive data. It is especially beneficial for businesses in regulated industries, such as healthcare, finance, and government, where compliance with strict data protection regulations is mandatory.
ZTNA works well for businesses that want to secure their applications and resources against cyber threats and data breaches. It is particularly useful for businesses that have remote and mobile workforces, and for those that use cloud-based applications and services. Adopting a zero trust security approach, ZTNA enables secure access to applications and resources from any location, device, or network, without compromising security.
Built zero-trust foundation, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a networking and security architecture that combines various services into a comprehensive cloud-based solution with a single console. SASE aims to simplify and streamline network and security management and deliver a seamless user-centric experience. SASE solutions typically include a range of security and networking services, such as firewall, VPN, SDWAN, CASB, and ZTNA.
SASE is designed to address the challenges of modern networks and security, such as the growing number of cloud-based applications and services, the increasing complexity of network infrastructures, and the rise of remote and mobile workforces.
If you are implementing multiple complex networking and security solutions, in a user-centric environment, SASE provides several benefits to organizations.
Multiple security and networking services are integrated into a single platform and managed from a centralized dashboard.
SASE is built on zero-trust networking principles and provides secure access to applications and resources according to the organization’s previously-defined policies – from any location.
SASE is fully scalable so businesses can quickly and easily deploy and manage network and security services in the cloud, eliminating the challenges and expenses related to legacy equipment. SASE can also accommodate increased traffic from mobile and IoT devices.
Consistent, system-wide updates keep networks secure and lead to faster responses when new security threats arise.
Before deploying a SASE solution on a business network, businesses will need to consider potential limitations.
As organizations increasingly rely on cloud-based infrastructure and service providers could introduce potential security and operational risks.
The complexity of the architecture and the range of services included may require specialized expertise to implement and maintain.
Potential latency and performance issues may arise due to the use of cloud-based services, particularly for bandwidth-intensive applications and resources.
A trusted and specialized provider, like Perimeter 81, has extensive expertise when it comes to deploying and managing SASE implementation. We can provide valuable insights, guidance, and best practices to help you avoid pitfalls and challenges that might arise during implementation and the infrastructure to ensure reliable and secure connectivity for your organization.
ZTNA, SASE, and CASB are all related security technologies that aim to protect applications and resources from cyber threats and data breaches. However, they have different focuses and functionalities.
CASB provides security for cloud-based applications and services. It can help businesses gain visibility and control over their cloud-based applications, detect and prevent data breaches, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
ZTNA is based on the principle of zero trust and also provides secure access to applications and resources from any location, device, or network, without compromising security. Along with identify verification, it provides granular access controls and real-time monitoring to prevent unauthorized access and detect threats.
SASE is a broader networking and security architecture that aligns with zero-trust and combines various network and security services into a single, cloud-based solution. With CASB and ZTNA at its core, a SASE platform provides full control and visibility of access to networks and applications that can be managed from a centralized dashboard.
While ZTNA, SASE, and CASB are distinct security technologies, they can be used together to provide comprehensive security for applications and resources in the cloud. For example, businesses can use ZTNA for secure access to applications, CASB for security and compliance, and SASE for comprehensive network and security management for cloud-based applications and services.
If you employ a remote workforce and use multiple cloud-based applications to do business, you can no longer rely on an on-premises, legacy solution to meet your cybersecurity needs. Powered by CSAB and ZTNA capabilities, with a zero-trust foundation, Perimeter 81’s comprehensive, scalable solution has got you covered.
Ensure your remote users can access all (and only) the resources needed to perform their duties, enforce organizational policies, and meet compliance requirements while your IT team maintains maximum control and visibility from an easy-to-use dashboard. Protect your users, data, and applications with Perimeter 81.