However, the Cloud doesn’t just offer companies new opportunities. It also exposes them to new risks, for example if data wanders into Dropbox or BYO mobile devices automatically set up connections or send data. Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) are intended to provide a remedy for these problems. This software is usually installed at the interface between company network and internet, where it monitors access to Cloud services and ensures that customisable security guidelines are being observed. In addition, the software identifies any conspicuous or unusual Cloud activities on the part of employees. Naturally, AI is often used in this context. Frequently, it is only through CASB that companies discover which Cloud services they are actually using at all.
An interesting new technology going under the designations ‘bot mitigation’ and ‘fraud detection’ is dedicated to resolving another Cloud problem. Its objective is to identify and block unwanted or malicious bot traffic before it reaches a company’s web applications. This technology is focusing on the kinds of bots that target web applications fully automatically and try out login data, for example. But it also includes measures against web scraping bots that search through the websites of competing companies, for example, to detect and extract prices and product data. This security software does not so much analyse what is entered into a web front-end but rather how the inputs are made, to then be able to identify automated queries.
Munich-based start-up IDEE is also working on the access interface, in particular the authentication process. The young company’s approach is the generation and management of digital identities to make passwords superfluous in login processes. IDEE’s concept is based on the smartphone that can create a unique user profile using the integrated sensors and recognise individuals again. One of the company’s founders explains how it works: “If a user has already registered with a service e.g. in an app, and would now like to register with a second app or service, they can simply transfer their identity from the first service. We check in the background whether the data are authentic and ensure that they have already been verified before.” The concept won IDEE this year’s it-sa start-up prize, the UP19@it-sa Award.