Every company is now essentially a software company, and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) applications power the digital revolution.

Organizations in all verticals provide and host their own applications for customers, partners, and internal users. IaaS has transformed the speed, cost, and reliability with which organizations can create and deploy applications. 52 percent of organizations today use some form of IaaS, and the vast majority rely on multiple providers.

Security teams are tasked with providing solutions to empower their organizations to use IaaS platforms without violating internal policies or industry regulations. Securely enabling IaaS provides an opportunity for security teams to deliver a competitive advantage for their organizations.

Top IaaS Use Cases for a CASB

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Top IaaS Use Cases for a CASB

Limitations with native IaaS security capabilities typically leave customers to manually manage dozens of configurations across thousands of transactions. In many cases, security teams lose visibility completely into behavior in custom applications. Companies strategically using cloud services demand a dedicated IaaS security solution. A cloud access security broker (CASB) offers a comprehensive platform for monitoring and enforcing security across all cloud applications, including IaaS environments.

The question for organizations implementing a new cloud security approach is frequently, “Where to begin?” Typically security leaders look for the capabilities that will address the highest risks to the most valuable data, providing the best return on security investment. We’ve consolidated findings from our customers’ CASB deployments to identify the top 10 CASB IaaS use cases. Here’s a preview:

1. Audit and Monitor Security Misconfigurations

Headline after headline list data leaks of massive scale coming from the misconfiguration of security settings on IaaS environments. Enterprise IaaS providers offer capabilities that can make data more secure in cloud environments than anywhere else, but these features are worthless if not properly configured.

Inactive activity logging or storage environments set to be publicly readable are examples of major security risks incurred by incorrectly implemented security settings. Auditing IaaS environments with a CASB detects high risk security configurations through cloud service APIs, allowing IT security to address unnecessary risks to corporate data and cloud environments.

2. Automate Policy Corrections

The ease and speed of cloud deployments introduces increased risk of misconfiguring security settings, and the scale of IaaS environments makes manually auditing these settings practically impossible. Enterprise organizations have an average of 14 misconfigured IaaS/PaaS instances running at one time, resulting in an average of 2,269 individual misconfiguration incidents per month.

Too many security solutions can detect a vulnerability without taking action, resulting in ignored alerts. A CASB can detect policy violations and automatically address the risk based on pre-determined policies.

3. IaaS Data Loss Prevention

Organizations rely on IaaS to host applications using high value information, meaning security teams must prepare to monitor and protect sensitive data in IaaS environments. Personal records, payment information, and even intellectual property can all be exposed to risk in IaaS storage.

A CASB allows companies to extend DLP policies from on-premises solutions to cloud environments, monitoring and enforcing enterprise policies consistently. CASB DLP takes effect dynamically and as an on-demand scan upon initial deployment. When organizations turn on DLP for IaaS, they see an average of 1,527 DLP incidents.

4. Enforce Controls for Custom App Activity

Security teams typically lose all visibility into activity within custom applications deployed on IaaS platforms. The alternative is often to create a custom security solution for each custom application, delaying the application deployment process and ensuring some applications will slip through the cracks without proper security.

A CASB has the unique capability to map custom application behavior into universal actions and then enforce standardized security policies across the application. This allows IT to empower the business without compromising security.

5. Detect Malicious Behavior

IaaS environments are accessible through the internet by nature, creating new vectors of attack with stolen account credentials. 27 percent of organizations using IaaS have experienced data theft from their IaaS environments. Security teams also need to monitor behavior for threats from malicious insiders.

CASB solutions analyze activity within IaaS platforms and custom applications. Based on User Entity Behavior Analytics powered by machine learning, a CASB identifies anomalous usage indicative of compromised accounts, insider threat, and privileged user threat.

Download the brief to read the rest of the top 10.

A Device-to-Cloud Security Platform

Companies typically implement IaaS as part of a wider move to modern IT solutions. A CASB provides a platform for securing all cloud services, including IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. Without a dedicated cloud security tool, an enterprise will struggle to effectively implement security across thousands of cloud applications and millions of transactions each month. McAfee offers a CASB solution that integrates with existing security infrastructure, applying security consistently to data created in the cloud, and as data travels from cloud services to devices and back again.

Every organization will have their own journey to secure cloud enablement. These top use cases for securing IaaS platforms with a CASB can help companies evaluate their own cloud security priorities given their own strategies for transforming their businesses with cloud applications.