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Gateway + CASB: alphabetti spaghetti that spells better SaaS security


4 min read

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Gateway + CASB: alphabetti spaghetti that spells better SaaS security

Back in June 2022, we announced an upcoming feature that would allow for Cloudflare Zero Trust users to easily create prefilled HTTP policies in Cloudflare Gateway (Cloudflare’s Secure Web Gateway solution) via issues identified by CASB, a new Cloudflare product that connects, scans, and monitors your SaaS apps - like Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 - for security issues.

With Cloudflare’s 12th Birthday Week nearing its end, we wanted to highlight, in true Cloudflare fashion, this new feature in action.

What is CASB? What is Gateway?

To quickly recap, Cloudflare’s API-driven CASB offers IT and security teams a fast, yet effective way to connect, scan, and monitor their SaaS apps for security issues, like file exposures, misconfigurations, and Shadow IT. In just a few clicks, users can see an exhaustive list of security issues that may be affecting the security of their SaaS apps, including Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Slack, and GitHub.

Cloudflare Gateway, our Secure Web Gateway (SWG) offering, allows teams to monitor and control the outbound connections originating from endpoint devices. For example, don’t want your employees to access gambling and social media websites on company devices? Just block access to them in our easy-to-use Zero Trust dashboard.

The problems at hand

As we highlighted in our first post, Shadow IT - or unapproved third-party applications being used by employees - continues to be one of the biggest pain points for IT administrators in the cloud era. When employees grant access to external services without the consent of their IT or security department, they risk granting bad actors access to some of the company’s most sensitive data stored in these SaaS applications.

Another major issue affecting the security of data stored in the cloud is file exposure in the form of oversharing. When an employee shares a highly sensitive Google Doc to someone via a public link, would your IT or security team know about it? And even if they do, do they have a way to minimize the risk and block access to it?

With these two products now being used by customers around the world, we’re excited to share how visibility and basic awareness of SaaS security issues doesn’t have to be the end of it. What are admins supposed to do next?

Gateway + CASB: blocking identified threats in three (yes, three) clicks

Now, when CASB discovers a problem (which we call a Finding), it’s now possible to easily create a corresponding Gateway policy in as few as three clicks.

This means users can now automatically generate fine-grained Gateway policies to prevent specific inappropriate behavior from continuing, while still allowing for expected access and usage that meets company policy.

Example 1: Block employees from uploading to their personal Google Drive

A common use case we heard during CASB’s beta program was the tendency for employees to upload corporate data - documents, spreadsheets, files, folders,  etc. - to their personal Google Drive (or similar) accounts, presenting the risk of intellectual property making its way out of a secure corporate environment. With Gateway and CASB working together, IT administrators can now directly block upload activity from anywhere other than their corporate tenant of Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive.

Example 2: Restrict repeat oversharers from uploading and downloading files

A great existing use case of Cloudflare CASB has been the ability to identify employees that are habitual oversharers of files in their corporate Google or Microsoft tenants - sharing files to anyone that has the link, sharing files with emails outside their company, etc.

Now when these employees are identified, CASB admins can create Gateway policies to block specific users from further upload and download activity until the behavior has been addressed.

Example 3: Prevent file uploads to unapproved, Shadow IT applications

To address the concern of Shadow IT, CASB-originating Gateway policies can be customized, including being able to restrict upload and download events to only the SaaS applications your organization uses. Let’s say your company uses Box as its file storage solution; in just a few clicks, you can use an identified CASB Finding to create a Gateway policy that blocks activity to any file sharing application other than Box. This gives IT and security admins the peace of mind that their files will only end up in the approved cloud application they use.

Get started today with the Cloudflare Zero Trust

Ultimately, the power of Cloudflare Zero Trust comes from its existence as a single, unified platform that draws strength from its combination of products and features. As we continue our work towards bringing these new and exciting offerings to market, we believe that it’s just as important to highlight their synergies and associated use cases, this time from Cloudflare Gateway and CASB.

For those not already using Cloudflare Zero Trust, don’t hesitate to get started today - see the platform yourself with 50 free seats by signing up here.

For those who already know and love Cloudflare Zero Trust, reach out to your Cloudflare sales contact to get started with CASB and Gateway. We can’t wait to hear what interesting and exciting use cases you discover from this new cross-product functionality.

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