Why Next-Gen Firewalls Can’t Replace CASBs

This post was originally published here by  Joe Green.

A security solution is only as good as the data it protects. Some solutions focus on data protection on the corporate network, others focus entirely on cloud data, and a select few enable security at access from any network.

Next-gen firewalls (NGFWs) are the traditional solution for many organizations looking to secure their corporate networks. They are effective at what they do, securing corporate network traffic by routing everything through on-premises appliances. As corporate data begins moving outside the corporate network, as it does with cloud and mobile, the NGFW can no longer provide protection. Major gaps include access from managed devices that don’t use VPN while outside the corporate network, access from unmanaged devices like employees’ personal mobile devices, and cloud data-at-rest.

Why are cloud and mobile such a big gap? With the flexibility and mobility provided by cloud apps, employees often work outside premises-based security infrastructure. Additionally, unmanaged devices with unmitigated access to corporate apps (whether in the cloud or on premises), can be lost, stolen, or abused by malicious insiders. IT needs to secure data in these situations, yet a perimeter-focused security tool like an NGFW has no way to secure this traffic.

Providing security beyond the firewall typically requires a data-centric approach rather than a control-oriented approach. After all, with cloud and BYOD, the organization neither controls the applications nor the underlying infrastructure on which those applications reside. As a result, organizations must move from network- and application-based allow/block controls to robust, data-centric tools like data loss prevention (DLP) and encryption. Other key requirements of a data-centric approach are remediation (such as DRM, redaction, and more), identity integration and strong authentication, and data-at-rest scanning. All of these capabilities must be delivered via an architecture that can intermediate users’ connections to an app, like Office 365, even when they use a personal device or public network – no small task, and definitely not one an NGFW can handle!

Recognizing these gaps, and the future impact on the firewall market, some NGFW vendors have acquired or built basic API-based cloud access security broker (CASB) offerings. Unfortunately, these offerings don’t provide real-time data & threat protection, and have proven unable to keep up with the rapidly evolving CASB use cases in the enterprise. As a result, the last couple of years have seen CASBs rise from an unknown acronym to the de facto standard for data & threat protection in the cloud and mobile enterprise, complete with their own Magic Quadrant from Gartner.

Apps have evolved and moved to the cloud – shouldn’t you?

Only a CASB built from the ground up to protect data in a cloud- and mobile-first environment can secure cloud apps and BYOD. Instead of opting for a tool that simply augments existing firewall capabilities, adopt a solution that provides visibility and control over all corporate data wherever it goes.

Only Bitglass, the Next-Gen CASB, provides real-time functionality for all of your cloud apps. Download the Top CASB Use Cases below.



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