Microsoft’s leash on shadow IT is open to all and now supports Google Apps

Microsoft toolset for monitoring corporate data in third-party cloud apps is now available for all customers.

Microsoft’s Cloud App Security is built on technology it acquired from cloud access security broker (CASB) vendor Adallom in September, which offered enterprise a way to protect data inside SaaS applications from Ariba, AWS, SalesForce, Box, Dropbox, ServiceNow, and Office 365.

The toolset lets admins see what cloud apps employees are using and how they’re using them, essentially to get a grip on any shadow IT and control potential threats such as data leakage, vulnerable apps, or as Microsoft points out, employees sponging of the company’s cloud storage.

The biggest change with Cloud App Security moving to general availability is support for Office 365 arch rival Google Apps. Cloud App Security works with the Google App Enterprise but is more powerful with Google Apps Unlimited, allowing near realtime file-scanning, and user activity monitoring, with file quarantine coming soon.

The addition of Google and the fact AWS remains suggests Microsoft was serious about its “cross-cloud approach” being a strategy to help customers secure all their IT.

Also new to the line up are Okta, and Microsoft Exchange.

The Microsoft app security service lets customers connect to SaaS apps through APIs from each service provider, offering admins visibility and control over user accounts, user and admin activity, and app permissions.

Depending on each SaaS provider’s APIs, admins can also scan unstructured data in real-time or every 12 hours.

According to Microsoft, setting up each app for monitoring with Cloud App Security can be done in two steps.

A manual setup would involve taking network logs from a web gateway and uploading to Cloud App Security, though it can be set up to automatically collect logs.

The admin would then need to connect sanctioned apps to the service.

Log analysis data can come from several supported security gateways.

Read more: US DoD targets 4m Windows 10 upgrades by 2017 to boost security
These currently include devices from Blue, Cisco, Zscaler, Fortigate, Palo Alto, McAfee, Check Point, Squid, Juniper, Sophos, Websense, and Microsoft.

To connect a sanctioned app, an admin needs to authorise Cloud App Security to access the app.

Microsoft’s product will then scan the app for activity logs, data, accounts and content, as well as enforce policies, detect threats and provide governance actions.

Microsoft helps customers decide what apps should be sanctioned or unsanctioned via a catalogue of 13,000 apps that have already been risk rated.

Customers can adjust ratings to their own needs.

Since the acquisition, Microsoft has also brought Adallom capabilities to Office 365, such as notifications if a user strays into admin territory, as well as monitoring for Office 365 data being uploaded to a other apps.

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