Cloud computing is increasing in popularity, and always-connected mobile devices has led to more and more businesses transferring their data and software onto the cloud.
Cloud storage brings with it reduced costs, increased mobility, and easier scalability, among many other benefits. Thus, Software as a Service (SaaS) providers like Evernote and Dropbox; and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies are fast becoming the norm in the business world.
However, the cloud also brings with it issues related to data privacy, security and residency. Although it’s not a good idea to turn your back on the cloud because of these issues, that doesn’t mean you have to accept the risks as being part of cloud computing.
So if you own a business and want to take advantage of the cloud while still keeping your company’s data safe and secure, here are five tools worth considering.
What is Shadow IT?
But before we begin, you must first understand what “Shadow IT” is.
Shadow IT refers to IT systems and services that are used without the knowledge and consent of an organization. It’s not entirely a new phenomenon, but it has become a greater security risk when cloud computing was introduced, and the potential for SaaS applications being used without the company knowing it.
This only worsens the problem related to data security and privacy. Since the company isn’t aware of these applications being used, it’s not possible to implement policies to ensure the security of company data with these unknown cloud apps.
Some of the apps in this list aim to alleviatethe dangers brought about by Shadow IT by implementing cloud app detection. Check them out.
CipherCloud is a cloud security software suite that encrypts or tokenizes data directly at your business gateway. Compared to other services, it doesn’t aim to discover shadow IT, but ensures the security of your data contained within known clouds. This software encrypts data during the upload process, and decrypts during download. The encryption keys used for this process will remain within your business network, so unauthorized users accessing data in the cloud will only see indecipherable text.
CipherCloud also features built-in malware detection and prevention of data loss. There are specific builds for commonly used cloud apps like Salesforce, Office 365, Gmail and Box, as well as a variant that can be configured to work with any cloud-based app that your company uses.
This cloud security tool discovers, analyzes and secures your company’s use of cloud apps. It uses logs from your existing firewalls, proxies, and gateways to quickly discover what cloud apps your employees are using. From this, it provides you with a customizable risk assessment of all the cloud apps that are currently being used. The analysis tools that come with it can detect inconsistencies in your security policies, as well as potential data leaks.
Lastly, Skyhigh Networks has a so-called 3-Click Security which utilizes reverse-proxy technology to grant contextual access to the cloud, implements consistent policies across cloud apps, and allows direct access to clouds without the need for VPNs or device agents. What’s more, it can also encrypt data and prevents data loss.
Okta is somewhat different from other cloud security solutions in that its goal is to provide secure Single Sign-On (SSO) for all the cloud, on-premise and mobile apps used in your business. It comes packaged with common business apps from Google, Microsoft, Salesforce.com, and many others. Some of its features include automated user management, support for mobile devices and apps, multifactor authentication, and flexible security policies.
Okta also provides audit logs, allowing you to keep track of user access to cloud apps, as well as giving you the ability to set access policies from a centralized position. It also features role-based administration, providing you with detailed granular control over Okta’s features and the administrative rights for these features.
Bitglass provides transparent protection for your corporate data. It can be used on computers and mobile devices, and aims to reduce the risk of data loss and maintains your data’s visibility, even within the cloud, as well as on mobile devices.
This software combines various types of security into a single package. And, as far as cloud apps are concerned, it has the ability to detect the usage of cloud apps, as well as encrypt data uploaded onto the cloud. Bitglass also keeps track of your corporate data anywhere on the Internet, so you maintain visibility even when your employees upload data onto personal file-sharing services. On top of these, it also protects your company against the risk of lost or stolen devices. It can also wipe data on a mobile device without the need to install any agent.
Netskope discovers and monitors cloud apps and Shadow IT used on your business network. It monitors users, sessions, shared and downloaded content, as well as the shared content’s details. It also provides analytics based on this information, allowing you to ask business- or security-related questions in order to identify weaknesses or opportunities. Additionally, these analytics can construct a detailed audit trail in the event of security threats.
Netskope’s strict policy enforcement means that you can allow your employees to use their preferred cloud apps while only blocking unwanted activities. They can continue using cloud apps for increased productivity without compromising data security.