By Scott Hogrefe, Senior Director, Netskope
Content inspection has come a long way in the past several years. Whether it is our knowledge and understanding of different file types (from video to even the most obscure) or the reduction of false positives through proximity matching, the industry has cracked a lot of the code and IT and businesses are better off as a result. One constant that has remained true, however, is the fact that you just can’t inspect content you can’t see. This probably seems like an obvious point, and for traditional solutions, we can solve for this by simply pointing the tool at repositories that might have been (for whatever reason) overlooked. But these repositories are relatively easy to discover because, frankly, it’s harder to hide content when it’s occupying storage that IT is responsible for maintaining in the first place. It’s hard to lose a NAS (though not impossible — some of us have stories we could share, no doubt). But this changes when it comes to content in the cloud. Let’s break down some of the challenges here:
- There are 153 cloud storage providers today and the average organization, according to the Netskope Cloud Report, is using 34 of them. Considering IT are typically unaware of 90% of the cloud apps running in their environment, this means that content is in 30+ cloud apps that IT has no knowledge of (and that’s just cloud storage, the average enterprise uses 508 cloud apps!).
- Once you know that an app is in use, inspection of content in the cloud has required movement of said content. Since many traditional tools perform inspection of content as it flies by, the scope of inspection is limited to when content is being uploaded or when it is downloaded. Therefore, content may exist in a cloud app for several years before it’s ever inspected.
- The “sharing” activity so popular in cloud apps today is done by sending links rather than the traditional “attachment” method. Since the link doesn’t contain the file, the inspection is useless.
For the first of our challenges above, vendors like Netskope can quickly discover all apps running in your enterprise and tell you whether the usage of these apps is risky or not.
For challenges two and three, Netskope just introduced Netskope Active Introspection, which enables customers to examine, take action or enforce policies over all content stored in a cloud app. This means that regardless of whether the data was placed in a cloud app yesterday or years ago, enterprise IT can take advantage of this solution’s leading real-time and activity-aware platform to protect it. In addition, Active Introspection provides data inventory and classification, understands app and usage context, creates a content usage audit trail, and can be deployed alongside Active Cloud DLP.
What’s even more killer is that Active Introspection can be run as part of your overall policy framework and can typically run through an entire repository in less than 30 minutes. So let’s say that you want to encrypt specific data – Active Introspection discovers the content, understands whether the content meets certain criteria (such as sensitive or high value content), and completes the step of encrypting it, right then and there. There are additional actions that can be triggered automatically, such as alerting the end user, changing to ownership of the content to the appropriate person, encrypting the content, and many more.
My colleague, Rajneesh Chopra, just published a Movie Line Monday that talks about how customers are using Active Introspection and inspection capabilities together. If we think of this as a spectrum, imagine that on one side you’ve got content that’s constantly being moved in and out of a cloud app – for that, we have inspection that’s happening in real-time. On the other side of the spectrum you have content that’s already in the cloud app and being shared via links – for that, we have introspection. It’s complete coverage. You should check it out here, but suffice it to say, for our customers, the availability of Active Introspection within the Netskope Active Platform means that they are now able to go more confidently into cloud apps they’ve cautiously embraced. For these customers, there’s a strong understanding that safe cloud enablement requires a comprehensive solution that can be flexible enough to cover the myriad use cases they’re confronted with.
Do you have a solid handle on the cloud apps in your organization? What about the content contained within them? We’d love to hear from you and address any questions you have or show you a demo. Reach out to us at [email protected] or @Netskope to get a conversation started.