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GigaOm Key Criteria for Evaluating Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) Solutionsv2.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision-Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. CASB Sector Brief
  3. Decision Criteria Analysis
  4. Analyst’s Outlook
  5. About Jamal Bihya

1. Executive Summary

A cloud access security broker (CASB) is a technology solution that acts as an intermediary between users and cloud service providers, delivering visibility, control, and security for cloud-based applications. It serves as a crucial layer of defense in cloud security strategies by enforcing policies, detecting threats, and protecting data across various cloud services.

CASB is an important technology for several reasons. First, it addresses the challenges posed by the rapid adoption of cloud services, allowing organizations to extend their security policies and controls to the cloud environment. This extension is critical for maintaining compliance, mitigating risks, and protecting sensitive data from unauthorized access or breaches.

Second, CASB enhances visibility into cloud usage, providing insights into user activities, data interactions, and potential security gaps. This visibility enables organizations to assess their risk posture, monitor for suspicious behavior, and respond swiftly to security incidents.

Third, CASB offers advanced security capabilities, such as data loss prevention (DLP), threat detection, encryption, and access control. These features help organizations safeguard their data, prevent data leakage, and enforce security policies consistently across all cloud applications.

CASB functionality matters to a wide range of stakeholders within an organization. IT and security teams benefit from the granular control and visibility that CASB provides, allowing them to secure cloud environments effectively. Compliance officers rely on CASB to ensure adherence to regulatory requirements and industry standards, thereby mitigating compliance risks associated with cloud usage. Business leaders and executives value CASB for its ability to protect sensitive data, maintain business continuity, and safeguard the organization’s reputation.

From a CxO perspective, implementing CASB is a strategic imperative driven by the need to manage and mitigate the risks associated with cloud adoption. As organizations increasingly rely on cloud services for business-critical operations, the security of cloud environments becomes paramount.

CASB addresses key business imperatives such as:

  • Risk management: CASB helps organizations manage risks associated with cloud usage, including data breaches, insider threats, and compliance violations. By implementing CASB, an organization can proactively identify and mitigate security risks, enhancing overall risk management strategies.
  • Compliance assurance: Regulatory compliance is a top priority for organizations across many industries. CASB ensures compliance with data protection regulations, industry standards, and internal policies by enforcing security controls, monitoring data usage, and providing audit trails for compliance reporting.
  • Data protection: Protecting sensitive data is critical for maintaining customer trust and meeting privacy expectations. CASB offers data-centric security controls such as encryption, DLP, and access controls to safeguard sensitive information from unauthorized access, leakage, or theft.
  • Business continuity: Ensuring the availability and integrity of cloud services is essential for business continuity. CASB helps detect and respond to security incidents promptly, minimizing disruptions and ensuring uninterrupted access to cloud resources.
  • Reputation management: A security incident or data breach can have a significant impact on an organization’s reputation and brand trust. CASB plays a vital role in protecting the organization’s reputation by preventing data breaches, maintaining confidentiality, and demonstrating a commitment to security best practices.

In summary, CASB is not just a technology solution but a strategic enabler that addresses critical business challenges, enhances security posture, and supports business objectives in an increasingly cloud-centric environment.

Sector Adoption Score
To help executives and decision-makers assess the potential impact and value of a CASB solution deployment to the business, this GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a structured assessment of the sector across five factors: benefit, maturity, urgency, impact, and effort. By scoring each factor based on how strongly it compels or deters adoption of a CASB solution, we provide an overall Sector Adoption Score (Figure 1) of 3.8 out of 5, with 5 indicating the strongest possible recommendation to adopt. This indicates that a CASB solution is a credible candidate for deployment and worthy of thoughtful consideration.

The factors contributing to the Sector Adoption Score for CASB are explained in more detail in the Sector Brief section that follows.

Key Criteria for Evaluating CASB Solutions

Sector Adoption Score







Figure 1. Sector Adoption Score for CASB

This is the second year that GigaOm has reported on the CASB space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This report builds on our previous analysis and considers how the market has evolved over the last year.

This GigaOm Key Criteria report highlights the capabilities (table stakes, key features, and emerging features) and nonfunctional requirements (business criteria) for selecting an effective CASB solution. The companion GigaOm Radar report identifies vendors and products that excel in those decision criteria. Together, these reports provide an overview of the market, identify leading CASB offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.


The GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a detailed decision framework for IT and executive leadership assessing enterprise technologies. Each report defines relevant functional and nonfunctional aspects of solutions in a sector. The Key Criteria report informs the GigaOm Radar report, which provides a forward-looking assessment of vendor solutions in the sector.