Networkworld Magazine - CASB - 2005ManagedMethods CASB keeps usage data on-premise as you discover, analyze and secure cloud applications

by Linda Musthaler, Principal Analyst with Essential Solutions Corp.

Published in Network World Magazine May 11, 2015

Companies today are dealing with a whole different cloud economy compared to just a few years ago. SaaS applications are now available for core business functions throughout the enterprise. Marketing and Sales teams use CRM and automation tools like Salesforce and Marketo. Finance and HR departments run their business on accounting and employment applications like NetSuite and Workday. Practically every business unit relies on cloud-based productivity applications that have become integral to their mission.

Of course, some workgroups and workers have become a bit too enthusiastic about using cloud applications, going so far as implementing tools outside the purview of the IT department, giving rise to what many call Shadow IT. Consider these statistics from various industry reports:

  • The Ponemon Institute reports that an average of 50% of cloud services are deployed by departments other than corporate IT. What’s more, an average of 44% of corporate data stored in cloud environments is not managed or controlled by the IT department.
  • The average number of SaaS applications in use within enterprise organizations is 923—up 21% since 2014, according to Skyhigh Networks.
  • A Cloud Security Alliance survey says only 8% of companies know the scope of Shadow IT within their environments. 72% of survey respondents say they don’t know how pervasive the problem is but they would like to know.

And they should know how pervasive the problem is. Left unchecked, Shadow IT can put companies at risk due to insecure or non-compliant data handling and storage practices. For example, one industry study found that among users of cloud-based file sharing applications, 34% have uploaded sensitive information, such as personally identifiable information (PII) or payment card information to one of these services.

Knowing the extent of the Shadow IT problem is half the battle; the other half lies in doing something about it. This has given rise to a category of solutions that Gartner calls the Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) market. CASB tools are designed to be security, visibility and policy enforcement points placed between cloud services and the consumers of those services.

ManagedMethods is a new entrant in the CASB market. ManagedMethods’ products help companies monitor and control the use of cloud applications (SaaS) and reduce the potential risk of Shadow IT. What’s interesting about ManagedMethods in a teeming CASB market is the solution can do its data collection and analysis entirely on-premise, if desired. The solution can be installed on-premise as an appliance or as a software offering, or it can be delivered as a SaaS solution with on-premise data collection. This makes it a good choice for companies that are reluctant to or
prohibited from sending activity information outside the organization.

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