Published April 2019

Sponsored by Forcepoint

Executive Summary

Cloud services enable fast time-to-market for productivity and collaboration tools, but the easy availability of these capabilities poses significant security risks for organizations. For example:

  • Employees may be using insecure cloud services for sharing business documents that contain confidential or sensitive information.
  • Unauthorized actors may gain access through credential harvesting or brute force attacks, triggering a data breach.
  • A disgruntled employee may download confidential documents just before leaving the organization to go work for a competitor.

A Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is a security offering that provides visibility into and protection for the cloud applications being used by employees in an organization. In general, this means that CASBs report on what cloud applications are being used (both sanctioned and unsanctioned), can alert an administrator when a specific action or chain of actions is identified in a cloud application, and can interject varying types of controls in real-time as action is unfolding.

In this paper, we compare and contrast the capabilities offered in two CASBs that work with Office 365: Microsoft’s own Office 365 Cloud App Security offered in the Office 365 Enterprise E5 plan, and Forcepoint’s CASB offering. In brief:

  • The Office 365 Cloud App Security service is included in the Enterprise E5 plan. Office 365 Cloud App Security is a tightly scoped edition of the full Microsoft Cloud App Security service. The latter is available standalone, as part of the Enterprise Mobility + Security E5 plan, or as part of a Microsoft 365 E5 plan. Office 365 Cloud App Security deals with Office 365 and a small set of similar cloud apps. Microsoft Cloud App Security deals with many thousands of cloud apps that are both similar and dissimilar to Office 365, including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Neither support Exchange on-premises.
  • Forcepoint CASB provides visibility, policy enforcement and user behavior analysis for thousands of cloud apps, including Office 365. It is available as a cloud service and as an on-premises server, and is one element of Forcepoint’s comprehensive security platform that includes malware detection, data loss prevention, and email security, among others.

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