CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker) and SSPM (SaaS Security Posture Management) are two security solutions that focus on different aspects of cloud security. CASB primarily concerns itself with enforcing existing company policies regarding employee access to cloud applications, while SSPM specializes in alerting and solving problems like SaaS shadow IT, SaaS supply chain risks, vendor risk management and sensitive data shared across SaaS. Let’s look at the differences between CASB vs. SSPM.
What is CASB
CASBs typically sit between an organization’s on-premises network and the cloud, with the ability to serve as a proxy for all traffic to and from the cloud. This positioning allows CASBs to monitor and regulate user access to cloud applications, enforce security policies, and prevent data breaches.
CASB has held a leadership role in the field of cloud security for over a decade. Functioning like a firewall, CASBs enforced corporate policies by directing all user connections to the cloud through a CASB proxy server, effectively blocking any unnecessary or unwanted connections. In the modern era, CASBs have evolved to adopt an API-driven approach, seamlessly integrating with major SaaS applications while operating beyond the traditional network. CASBs aim to put corporate policies into action by regulating user behavior.
What is SSPM
On the other hand, SSPM (SaaS Security Posture Management) provides visibility into the security configuration and usage of SaaS applications, identifying and alerting organizations to security vulnerabilities and misconfigurations. This becomes increasingly vital as SaaS tools have become prime targets for malicious actors. SSPMs focus entirely on securing SaaS usage.
These systems continually monitor and analyze all SaaS activities in a non-intrusive manner. They offer automated remediation workflows for security issues detected within the SaaS realm. SSPMs manage application permissions, compliance, configurations, and proactively guard against data misuse or abuse by SaaS users. They particularly address issues like SaaS sprawl, shadow IT, and risky applications within the organization.
Ease of Deployment and Management
One significant advantage that SSPMs hold over CASBs is their ease of deployment and management. Implementing CASBs can often be a complex and labor-intensive process. In contrast, SSPMs offer a seamless onboarding process and better integration capabilities for automating security processes and SaaS application remediation. This simplifies and streamlines security efforts, ensuring that your team isn’t burdened by unnecessary complexities.
Choosing the Right Path
If your primary goal is securing SaaS applications, SSPM is your best option. It strengthens the core of your SaaS infrastructure against both internal and external threats, reducing the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access. SSPM is the more suitable choice if the security of your SaaS environment is a top priority.
While CASBs have been instrumental in cloud security for many years, SSPMs offer a more agile, comprehensive, and cost-effective solution, especially when considering the evolving landscape of SaaS usage and security threats.
Numerous organizations opt for a combined approach, implementing both a CASB and an SSPM, to establish a robust and comprehensive cloud security framework. This strategic approach leverages the unique strengths of each solution to enhance the overall protection of the cloud environment. By uniting CASB and SSPM capabilities, organizations empower themselves to navigate the complexities of the modern cloud landscape with a more comprehensive and adaptable security layer.
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