More and more, users are interacting with cloud environments and applications their organizations don’t manage. With that comes a lack of visibility into cloud activities.
This problem used to be labeled “shadow IT,” but that’s too narrow of a definition. The ownership of apps your users interact with now varies widely — from enterprise apps controlled by your IT department, apps owned by partners and contractors to apps owned by employees.
To address security requirements in this cloud-based world, organizations need the same security that they once had within the corporate perimeter. A comprehensive security service edge (SSE) solution, which would include technologies like secure web gateway (SWG) and cloud access security broker (CASB) with native data protection capabilities, would provide you both the visibility and control over these various environments.
Time to work with Shadow IT, not against
Shadow IT isn’t new. Employees have always sidestepped IT to acquire what they need for work. But over the past few years, this issue has exploded with the proliferation of SaaS and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs.
Yes, this boosted productivity, but it also turned security requirements inside out. “Unapproved” or entities, such as networks and devices, not under IT control might as well be the rule rather than the exception. Users are also switching between enterprise apps, apps owned by partner organizations and contractors, as well as apps they use personally, further complicating your cloud environment.
Rather than fighting against the lack of control, it’s better to work with the changing tide. Traditional tools for web and cloud app security are no longer adequate, and ultimately, it won’t protect data and keep organizations compliant. That’s where SSE comes into play.
Regain control with SSE
In light of the cementing of work from anywhere, it’s safe to say that this new wave of shadow IT, where countless apps are not under your direct control, is here to stay. To ensure your data is protected, here are key SSE capabilities that helps you regain control over those apps:
Visibility into all apps
The first step towards regaining control is visibility into all the apps that your users use, especially the ones not managed by IT. This enables you to better assess the risk levels of the various apps used, making it easier to onboard them into your organization.
With a next-generation inline proxy, SSE technologies are able to discover apps your users are using, including personal instances of popular enterprise SaaS apps, such as Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, so that you can prevent data from leaking out of your enterprise.
Enterprise-wide policy enforcement
With that same proxy, SSE also enables you to enforce corporate and governance policies across all those apps. A comprehensive SSE platform would include native endpoint security, user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) and data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities.
Armed with telemetry from those solutions, you can make smart access decisions based on the risk level of your users and endpoints as well as the sensitivity level of your data, ensuring you protect sensitive information while enabling productivity. You would also want enterprise digital rights management (EDRM) as part of your SSE, ensuring that policy is enforced even when data leaves your sphere of influence.
Keeping your security posture in shape
With SSE you can integrate with IaaS, platform as a service (PaaS) and SaaS for a holistic view of your tenant’s security posture and identify any misconfigurations. And you can fine tune against baselines and industry standards to ensure your data protection policy and compliance requirements are met.
Shadow IT brought to light
SSE is like shining a light on shadow IT — clouds, apps, and internet usage can no longer remain hidden. The time is now to accept that security requirements are at a critical turning point. By harnessing the many powers of converged security, SSE diminishes the worries of the unknown — regaining visibility and control with granular policies.
The team here at Lookout carefully crafted a cloud-native SSE platform that stays ahead of the threat landscape derived from the way people work. The Lookout Cloud Security Platform brings full-strength SSE that combines Secure Private Access, Secure Cloud Access, and Secure Internet Access with native data protection capabilities that ensure sensitive data is protected without hindering productivity.
Here’s how Lookout can help you get a handle on shadow IT and implement security policies to prevent data leakage.
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2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge (Free Report)
Lookout, a 2023 Gartner Magic Quadrant Visionary for SSE, ranks in the top three solutions for 2023 Gartner Critical Capabilities for SSE.