Do You Need A Google Cloud Access Security CASB?

Secure your organization’s G Suite with a Google cloud access security CASB

So, you’ve moved to Google G Suite. Congratulations! Like many system admins, you may be noticing that you suddenly don’t have the visibility and control over who is sharing what information that you used to. With a Google cloud access security CASB, you can have your cake and eat it, too.

A Brief History of CASB

First, what is CASB? In the beginning, there was what most people think of when they think of cybersecurity: network security. Network security evolved as the Internet became mainstream and cyber criminals first became a financial threat. It includes perimeter-based technology, such as proxies, firewalls, and secure gateways to protect a network from external intrusion.

Network security is as important and relevant today as it’s ever been. But shifts to cloud computing technology exposes vulnerabilities in its traditional perimeter-centric approach to data security. Thus, the CASB industry was born.

CASB, or Cloud Access Security Broker, is a term coined by Gartner to describe the host of solutions that secure cloud-based applications, like Google G Suite, Office 365, and Slack. The first solutions in the market use traditional proxy agents and/or gateways to try to secure cloud applications. But, later, a new generation of CASB came along that is built to work with the applications native APIs—essentially making the tool a part of the cloud application itself. This breakthrough has led to a revolution of cloud security technology and functionality that makes cloud computing both affordable, convenient, and secure for organizations of all sizes.

What Is Google Cloud Access Security CASB?

What does all this mean for Google? What exactly is Google cloud access security and why do you need a CASB?

First, you need to know what it means to secure cloud access, and why it’s important. Cloud access security has to do with securing data stored in cloud applications, such as Google G Suite, from unauthorized access and/or use. For example, you don’t want Karen in HR accidentally setting files that contain employee social security numbers to “public” for anyone to view.

Most data breaches are the result of internal users either accidentally or maliciously exposing sensitive data. But most organizations will be targeted by outside cyber criminals as well. Malware and phishing schemes are popular tools for hackers to gain access to information that can be sold on the dark web. Traditional network security, such as firewalls, proxies, and gateways, can protect the perimeter of your cloud applications. But they can’t give system admins the visibility into activity inside a cloud application. Nor do they give them the control to remediate bad actions.

Google G Suite is a cloud application. Your Gmail, Google Drive, Team Drives, Calendar and more are accessed on the web and are operated by Google using their remote data centers.

One thing you can be sure of is that Google takes data security very seriously. The ability to tap into their expert security infrastructure is just one of the many benefits of switching to cloud computing.

“G Suite has been built from the ground up to mitigate the unique threats for cloud systems. Google’s standards for performance and reliability apply to businesses, schools and government institutions around the world.

The technology, scale, and agility of our infrastructure bring unique security benefits to our customers. Our vast network of data centers are built with custom-designed servers, that run our own operating system for security and performance. Because Google controls its entire hardware stack, we are able to quickly respond to threats that may emerge.”

– G Suite Security FAQs

Google offers many ready-made security tools within the G Suite Admin console. While many are available to subscribers of all levels, the more advanced audit and control features are available through upgrades to Business or Enterprise licenses.

All G Suite licenses have access to the Admin console, where system admins can customize system configurations, access control, and more. G Suite also provides customers with security features such as 2-step verification, single sign-on, secure transport enforcement, and basic data loss prevention capabilities.

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3rd Party vs Google Cloud Access Security CASB

Despite all the great native G Suite security features, even Google recognizes that some customers need more advanced security and monitoring tools. That is why they partner with leaders in cybersecurity to help customers secure their critically sensitive data.

There are a few benefits to using a 3rd party cloud security solution along with your Google cloud access security CASB.

  1. If your organization uses more cloud applications than just G Suite, you’ll need a tool that can provide security, visibility, and control over them as well. Popular SaaS applications such as Microsoft Office 365, Slack, Box, and more are subject to the same security vulnerabilities as G Suite. If anyone on your team is using them, they’ll need to be secured as well.
  2. A 3rd party Google CASB can introduce effective redundancy into your cloud security tech stack for a reasonably low price. As much as we all love Google, we also know that it’s Admin console can become a bit bloated. Some 3rd party Google cloud security solutions are developed with this in mind, creating value in simplicity while providing an additional layer of security.
  3. 3rd party cloud access security solutions that are also Google cloud partners have the added advantage of using Google’s powerful technology and innovations. This means that customers are gaining from companies that use Google technology in innovative ways, and often at a much lower cost than upgrading to G Suite Business or Enterprise editions.
  4. Unsanctioned cloud applications are the scourge of any IT and security manager. Employees sign up for all kinds of applications without thinking twice about the security consequences. Most 3rd party cloud security vendors provide system admins with visibility into what applications have become part of their environment, the access level of those applications, and they can remove them from their system with a couple of clicks of the mouse.

The good news about Google cloud access security and other CASBs is that you don’t necessarily need to choose one or the other. When your organization switches to G Suite, you automatically gain the powerful data security architecture that comes with it. At a much lower rate than upgrading to Business or Enterprise, you can also gain easy visibility and control over your G Suite and other cloud application environments.

If your organization is a G Suite customer, you must have a Google Cloud Access Security CASB in place. Protecting the data stored in G Suite from data breaches is ultimately your responsibility. Without a cloud security solution in place, your organization could have far more vulnerabilities than you are aware of. Take a free risk assessment today and see what you’ve been missing.

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