As the modern workforce evolves and continues to trend toward digital business models, company data and applications are migrating to the cloud from on-premise data centers. While this evolution gives individuals and lines of business (LOBs) more control, reduces cost, and enables businesses to run more efficiently than ever before, it also changes the role of IT from local security enforcers to global business enablers, and increases the need for a unified data protection offering to secure data and prevent data loss.
Creating a security strategy to support this shift to a new reality of distributed data and cloud adoption across the organization isn’t simple, and businesses will first need to overcome a number of challenges.
- Hidden data loss in encrypted traffic – When workers were in-office and on the company network, data and applications resided in central data centers, encrypted traffic was limited, and on-prem solutions were sufficient. With the move to the cloud, encryption has shifted from the exception to the rule. If your data protection solution isn’t classifying and controlling data in encrypted traffic, you will miss the majority of sessions in which data exposure and misuse is a possibility, leaving your organization vulnerable to data loss and breaches.
- Gaps between data protection services – With the move to the cloud, data is distributed across SaaS and public cloud applications, and each is often created and maintained by individuals and LOBs across the organization. For example, a cloud access security broker (CASB) service is used to secure SaaS applications, while a secure web gateway (SWG) with data loss prevention (DLP) is used to secure internet applications, and cloud security posture management (CSPM) is used to secure public cloud applications. This complexity makes data protection uniformity and communication challenging, and can cause redundant functions and gaps in visibility and control across applications.
- Limited context when controlling data usage – Granular visibility and control are imperative when protecting company data. Most data protection options provide IT limited visibility into who is attempting access, the user’s location, and the state of the application, limiting the control needed to enable effective and safe data usage and making data protection decisions unnecessarily difficult.
- Poor user experience – With workers and applications moving from on-prem data centers to the cloud, the infrastructure in use is now the internet itself, limiting IT’s ability to anticipate, identify, and mitigate issues. When the majority of apps used by workers are out of the organization’s control, it becomes more difficult to ensure employees have a good user experience and maintain productivity.
- Compliance violations across clouds – Failing to meet and maintain required industry regulations can mean hefty fines and even loss of business. With data distributed across cloud applications and services, compliance visibility and remediation ability are reduced, potentially putting your company at risk.
Five ways to combat them
To combat these challenges and make the transition to the cloud as seamless as possible, your data protection solution and protocols should include:
- Full SSL inspection of all traffic – Stolen data is often disguised and sent uninspected through SSL, and according to the latest Google Transparency report, 95 percent of traffic is encrypted and therefore not subject to inspection by traditional DLP solutions. Partial inspection of your traffic leaves your business vulnerable to data loss, as sensitive data passing through may be missed. A cloud-based data protection solution can inspect every byte leaving your network, ensuring your data is secure.
- Unified protections – Provide a consistent level of security to all your users worldwide, whether onsite or remote, by moving your security to the cloud. Zscaler Cloud Data Protection can monitor data in motion across locations with Cloud DLP and unified data at rest across SaaS and public cloud applications with out-of-band CASB.
- Elastic scale with consistent enforcement – Zscaler prevents sensitive data from leaving your network instead of limiting you to damage control after data has been compromised. With Zscaler Cloud DLP, policy follows users wherever they work—on- or off-network—providing the same level of protection to all users at all times. The Zscaler security cloud scales elastically with performance guaranteed by service-level agreements.
- Improved user experience – Many appliance-based security offerings require traffic to be backhauled to a central location, creating bottlenecks and causing latency, which directly affects user experience and productivity. A solution that embraces the concept of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) puts data security as close as possible to the user, reducing latency and significantly improving user experience.
- Compliance reporting and remediation – Enable unified compliance visibility and control company-wide across internet and SaaS applications using 14 different compliance standards, including Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), GxP, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), among others.
As data and applications move from the office to the cloud, your company must stay one step ahead to avoid becoming the next victim of data loss. Company and customer data security should be a top priority with a cloud-based data protection solution. To learn more about how to close gaps in your data protection strategy with Zscaler CASB and Cloud DLP, read this white paper or download this eBook.
Steve Grossenbacher is a Director of Product Marketing at Zscaler