Netskope. Like it’s dearly departed namesake, Netscape, Netskope is very much focused on the Internet, and allowing safe access to and from Internet resources.
Netskope, however, isn’t the browser that Netscape once was, but is a ‘cloud access security broker,’ or CASB.
The company quotes Gartner’s description of a CASB or cloud access security broker, noting that it is ‘an on-premises or cloud-based security policy enforcement point that is placed between cloud service consumers and cloud service providers to combine and interject enterprise security policies as cloud-based resources are accessed.’
Netskope’s description of itself is also simple and sweet - ‘Netskope gives IT the ability to find, understand, and secure cloud apps,’ and ‘empowers organisations to direct usage, protect sensitive data, and ensure compliance in real-time, on any device, for any cloud app so the business can move fast, with confidence.’
In today’s world, filled with a myriad cloud apps, with public clouds, private clouds, hybrid clouds, apps that can share, send and receive information, this makes sense, and is a real problem that some companies are likely still only just discovering they have - while others must be acutely aware by now.
Cloud data synchronisation services, of which Dropbox, Box and others are just two of many, many examples, are even attack vectors into companies, where an infected file can be replicated across a large number of users very, very quickly.
Netskope claims to be the leader in the space, mitigating cloud app usage risk, helping ensure compliance in the cloud, providing visibility and control over cloud spend, accessing cloud app usage risk and protecting against cloud malware and threats.
I learnt about Netskope and its capabilities from its AN/Z Regional Sales Director, Yu-Jing Cheng, and visiting from Netskope HQ in the US, Krishna Narayanaswamy, the company’s charming and knowledgeable Chief Scientist.
Although I straddle both the consumer and business sides of tech, I’m often more up-to-date with the consumer side of things, so it was a very interesting discussion to learn that companies like Netskope exist to solve what, in hindsight, have become obvious issues for businesses - with Netskope clearly having already reached an impressive level of maturity in the space of just a few short years.
As the popularity and ongoing deployment of cloud services grows, it is no surprise to see Gartner estimating that by 2020, 85% of large enterprises will use a CASB solution for their cloud services, a massive jump from the fewer than 5% who did so in 2015.
What’s also needed in such a solution is a high degree of granularity, so the right information is be blocked or allowed with ease, and without massively annoying employees simply trying to get work done - all while keeping the IT department fully appraised of everything and fully in control of the situation.
To this end, it’s interesting to see that one of Netskope’s taglines in that ‘Allow is the New Block,’ given that Netskope ‘enables you to find, understand, and secure cloud apps in real-time and across any app,’ and that its ‘granular policies let you shape activities, not block apps,’ with the conclusion that this is ‘how cloud security solutions should work.’
Netskope also released a 2016 Worldwide Cloud Report last month (Feb 2016), and it is is available here for free download, you just need to enter your details for access.
More below, please read on.
Ultimately, if you’re in business, it’s obvious that you and/or you employees, colleagues and superiors are using cloud services and cloud apps.
With an average of 915 cloud apps used per enterprise, Netskope reports its customers are often shocked to see precisely what is transpiring within the organisation once they undertake Netskope’s cloud risk assessment.
So - if you are in business, especially medium to large business, it is effectively inevitable that you will require the services of Netskope or a company like it, lest the benefit of cloud to business turns against you to become the competitive fog of war - and to your detriment!
Naturally, Netskope would love to talk to you, as would its competitors, so what you do now is up to you, but if you’re not already taking care of this side of your business, or your IT people aren’t, there’s little time to lose - this is a technology your company needs to stay safe and secure.
Netskope's site is full of great information, very easy to read and understand.
Here’s three of Netskope’s videos that do a great job of explaining the company and what it does to help businesses:
1. Get to know Netskope in 2 minutes:
2. Netskope demo - Malware attack fan out:
3. How a US financial services company was able to allow rather than block social media sites and still stay compliant with US FINRA guidelines: