Automation Is Key for Effective SaaS Security

Nov 29, 2016
3 minutes

The first step for many organizations migrating to the cloud is the adoption of SaaS applications such as Office 365, Box, Salesforce and many more. As an IT professional, this means you are giving permission to your users to store data in the cloud with corporate-approved services, such as OneDrive or SharePoint Online. The decision to move to the cloud is usually supported by a long list of cost and operational benefits. Infrastructure cost reduction? Check. Increased productivity? Check. License cost reduction? Check. But, have you thought about data governance and compliance, malware protection, and collaboration with external vendors? These are great questions to ask as you make this transition.

With the adoption of SaaS, organizations look to reduce the threat surface for your organization as your data is now hosted in data centers that are not managed by you. When you start your research, you may come across such terms as Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Cloud Security Gateway (CSG) or cloud-based Data Leakage Prevention (DLP), depending on your source of information. Security providers, including us, belong to these new categories and are essentially solving the same customer problems: SaaS usage control, data governance and threat protection for your corporate cloud apps. Palo Alto Networks SaaS security provides a different, but effective, approach by extending our industry-leading security platform to your SaaS applications.

Palo Alto Networks Next Generation Security Platform includes our Aperture service, which provides our customers with complete SaaS security, including the ability to enforce consistent policies across the network, endpoint or cloud. We continue to adapt to the ever-changing SaaS ecosystem and have recently added several new enhancements to Aperture to significantly improve and optimize SaaS security for your organization while keeping your daily tasks at a minimum. Here is a quick recap of some the new features added over the last three months:

Automated Remediation

Aperture now supports complete automation with the ability to instantly discover and remediate risks. You can create policy rules that automatically quarantine compromised assets, change sharing to maintain your security posture, and notify owners when an asset is vulnerable. When you enable this feature, you can process and fix large volumes of risks in record time with minimal overhead.

Enhanced Search

The Asset and Activity Search feature provides customers with unprecedented visibility by searching through terabytes of cloud assets within seconds to identify assets or users at risk. If these basic search filters are not sufficient, Aperture also supports advanced search capabilities that allow you to apply multiple filters and logical operators. With advanced search, you can find an exact list of important assets that match your criteria while ignoring items that may not be important to you.

Find Malware in Office 365 Documents, PDFs and Executables

Customers can choose whether to submit files to the WildFire cloud for analysis and can now submit Windows executables, Microsoft Office files, or PDF files. This feature ensures that known and unknown malware hosted in your SaaS applications is quarantined or deleted immediately to prevent propagation or malicious data exfiltration.

This is just a brief review of the most recent Aperture enhancements. A complete listing of updates is maintained at the Aperture New Features Guide.

If you would like to learn more about SaaS security from Palo Alto Networks, here are several resources:

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