Software as a Service is Changing the Rules
Web security used to be simple. Block offensive content and viruses and everything else is a HR and management issue. Unfortunately, with Software as a Service (SaaS) being attractive to workers and business unit managers, IT and risk personnel need to be equally concerned about what is leaving the network through the web, in addition to what is entering.
Web Now The Preferred Channel for Criminal Attacks
An added concern is that web is now the preferred channel for criminals to conduct attacks, deliver malware. Today, exfiltrating data and web filtering is no longer the simple proxy-with-filtering it used to be. Aside from managing user access to the web, a strong web filtering solution should also:
- Detect custom malware while being able to assess downloaded files quickly. End users will not tolerate a long wait while their file is sandboxed. Whitelists, file reputation, certificate checking and other ways of safely approving of a file needs to improve the end user experience
- Detect and manage Software as a Service usage, allowing IT and Risk managers to see when a new SaaS application has been adopted without the permission or knowledge of IT staff. This can also be employed by implementing a separate cloud access security broker which can automatically ingest logs from your existing proxy.
- Detect and manage end user behavior. A relatively new field but an increasingly important one, User Behavior Analytics or UBA, watches users for unusual behaviors which may indicate that they have been compromised or are disgruntled. For example, a sales person who normally only accesses a dozen records a day, mostly his own, suddenly starts accessing 5 records per second across all team members, may be copying off the database to move employers, or could have been compromised.
As the lines between ‘internal network’ and ‘external network’ starts blurring, Web Filtering and Cloud Access Security Brokers will become increasingly important. Maintaining control over your information can only be achieved by having a thorough and accurate understanding of how web applications are used by your staff.