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How Cloudflare CASB and DLP work together to protect your data


3 min read

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How Cloudflare CASB and DLP work together to protect your data

Cloudflare’s Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) scans SaaS applications for misconfigurations, unauthorized user activity, shadow IT, and other data security issues. Discovered security threats are called out to IT and security administrators for timely remediation, removing the burden of endless manual checks on a long list of applications.

But Cloudflare customers revealed they want more information available to assess the risk associated with a misconfiguration. A publicly exposed intramural kickball schedule is not nearly as critical as a publicly exposed customer list, so customers want them treated differently. They asked us to identify where sensitive data is exposed, reducing their assessment and remediation time in the case of leakages and incidents. With that feedback, we recognized another opportunity to do what Cloudflare does best: combine the best parts of our products to solve customer problems.

What’s underway now is an exciting effort to provide Zero Trust users a way to get the same DLP coverage for more than just sensitive data going over the network: SaaS DLP for data stored in popular SaaS apps used by millions of organizations.

With these upcoming capabilities, customers will be able to connect their SaaS applications in just a few clicks and scan them for sensitive data - such as PII, PCI, and even custom regex - stored in documents, spreadsheets, PDFs, and other uploaded files. This gives customers the signals to quickly assess and remediate major security risks.

Understanding CASB

Released in September, Cloudflare’s API CASB has already enabled organizations to quickly and painlessly deep-dive into the security of their SaaS applications, whether it be Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, or any of the other SaaS apps we support (including Salesforce and Box released today). With CASB, operators have been able to understand what SaaS security issues could be putting their organization and employees at risk, like insecure settings and misconfigurations, files shared inappropriately, user access risks and best practices not being followed.

“But what about the sensitive data stored inside the files we’re collaborating on? How can we identify that?”

Understanding DLP

Also released in September, Cloudflare DLP for data in-transit has provided users of Gateway, Cloudflare’s Secure Web Gateway (SWG), a way to manage and outright block the movement of sensitive information into and out of the corporate network, preventing it from landing in the wrong hands. In this case, DLP can spot sensitive strings, like credit card and social security numbers, as employees attempt to communicate them in one form or another, like uploading them in a document to Google Drive or sent in a message on Slack. Cloudflare DLP blocks the HTTP request before it reaches the intended application.

But once again we received the same questions and feedback as before.

“What about data in our SaaS apps? The information stored there won’t be visible over the network.”

CASB + DLP, Better Together

Coming in early 2023, Cloudflare Zero Trust will introduce a new product synergy that allows customers to peer into the files stored in their SaaS applications and identify any particularly sensitive data inside them.

Credit card numbers in a Google Doc? No problem. Social security numbers in an Excel spreadsheet? CASB will let you know.

With this product collaboration, Cloudflare will provide IT and security administrators one more critical area of security coverage, rounding out our data loss prevention story. Between DLP for data in-transit, CASB for file sharing monitoring, and even Remote Browser Isolation (RBI) and Area 1 for data in-use DLP and email DLP, respectively, organizations can take comfort in knowing that their bases are covered when it comes to data exfiltration and misuse.

While development continues, we’d love to hear how this kind of functionality could be used at an organization like yours. Interested in learning more about either of these products or what’s coming next? Reach out to your account manager or click here to get in touch if you’re not already using Cloudflare.

We protect entire corporate networks, help customers build Internet-scale applications efficiently, accelerate any website or Internet application, ward off DDoS attacks, keep hackers at bay, and can help you on your journey to Zero Trust.

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