Cloud has become the computing mode of choice for business employees and IT professionals alike. Whether it’s SaaS applications that improve productivity, or IaaS platforms used to deploy custom applications, companies in every vertical are going all in on cloud. The cloud computing industry has reached multiple milestones in the past year. 2017 is the first year when IT professionals decided to move the majority of computing workloads to the cloud.

It is also the fifth year of the cloud access security broker (CASB) market. This groundbreaking cloud security technology has enabled the cloud revolution by helping organizations to meet their security requirements for the new paradigm of enterprise computing. On October 24, Skyhigh will host a livestreamed event focused on the future of cloud security. Now, let’s look back on how the rise of cloud has set the stage for disruption of the legacy cybersecurity industry.

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Enterprise Computing’s New Normal Brings New Security Challenge

For many companies, rogue computing characterized the early days of cloud adoption. Employees started using cloud services without involvement from IT in order to work faster and better. At first, chief information officers (CIOs) and chief information security officers (CISOs) understood the business benefits of cloud but were reluctant to outsource data to third-party providers. Cloud adoption shifted into high gear when IT and security executives began to realize that business data could potentially become more secure in the cloud than it was in corporate datacenters. The caveat is that companies needed a control point for the new enterprise computing stack: a CASB.

As organizations decided to standardize on cloud solutions, sensitive data quickly accumulated in cloud applications. Office 365 and Amazon Web Services are the current breakaway horses in the business cloud computing market for SaaS and IaaS, respectively. In a clear sign that companies are relying on cloud for business-critical workflows, 17.1 percent of files in OneDrive and Sharepoint Online contain sensitive data such as confidential intellectual property, personal data, payment information, and health data. In fact, Office documents represent 58.4 percent of all sensitive data stored in the cloud. Companies deploy mission critical applications in AWS accessible by employees, partners, and customers. Sensitive data has conclusively moved to the cloud, and attacks from hackers are following the data.

Security for cloud platforms does not arrive automatically. When companies move to the cloud, they lose visibility and control that comes with software on the corporate network. Companies secure data in the cloud based on the shared responsibility model. The cloud provider assures certain layers of infrastructure and software security, but the customer is ultimately responsible for how data is used and accessed on cloud platforms. Gartner predicts that 95 percent of cloud security incidents will be the customer’s fault.

Attackers and researchers have already exposed weaknesses in enterprise cloud deployments. Skyhigh has detected multiple attacks on Enterprise Office 365 credentials, including a sophisticated campaign that targeted automated Office 365 accounts which typically lack multi-factor authentication. Research on Amazon Web Services security configurations has found that seven percent of corporate AWS S3 buckets were misconfigured to enable unrestricted access. The sheer scale and complexity of enterprise cloud deployments leaves organizations vulnerable to determined hackers and human error.

CASB Deployment – a Win for Security and Business

This is where a CASB comes in as the security platform to provide trust and authority across cloud services. CASB provides the security capabilities IT security had on premises, for the cloud – delivered with a cloud-native architecture that does not compromise usability. Data loss prevention, encryption, user behavior analytics, and other required security tools all must be reinvented for modern enterprise computing environments. Individual cloud services have their own security capabilities, but there is no substitute for a single point of control. Not a single company has chosen one cloud service for every enterprise technology need.

CASB takes a unique approach to existing security technologies by treating data as the new perimeter rather than treating devices or applications as proxies for data. In the enterprise cloud stack, data seamlessly moves from, to, and between different cloud applications. Security policies must be enforced in-real time across billions of transactions. CASB approaches security with the scalability, automation, and agility that cloud demands.

CASB is an opportunity for the security department to accelerate business. Companies have received recognition in the information security industry for CASB deployments that drive real impact towards their IT goals. For example, Honeywell, AstraZeneca, and American Express have all received the prestigious CSO50 award – reserved for security projects that drive business results – for their CASB deployments, and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey received a similar award for the same.

In short, CASB makes a company’s cloud strategy possible from a security perspective. With data serving as a differentiator in all industries, security cannot afford to be a barrier to technology adoption. To date, CASB has allowed hundreds of organizations to embrace cloud services. Join us on October 24 to hear from some of the formative players of today’s cloud and cybersecurity industries on what the future has in store for cloud security.