Deploying Cloud App Security

I have been recently investigating Cloud App Security how it can benefit organizations already paying for this functionality without even knowing. Do you already pay for the following Microsoft licenses?

  • Microsoft Cloud App Security
  • Microsoft Cloud App Security + Enterprise Mobility & Security E3 (EMS E3)
  • Enterprise Mobility & Security E5 (EMS E5)
  • Microsoft 365 E5 Security
  • Microsoft 365 E5
  • Microsoft 365 Education A5
  • Office 365 E5
  • Azure AD Premium 1

If yes, you are licensed to enable Cloud App Security for your organization

For more information about the licensing requirements

Click on the following URL
Starting with Cloud App Security

Cloud App Security – Dashboard

Getting started with Cloud App Security

Log process flow: From raw data to risk assessment

The process of generating understanding the risk within your organisation from a Cloud Securtity starts here with the following. You can upload data to Cloud App Security and the process takes between a few minutes to several hours depending on the amount of data processed.

  • Upload – Web traffic logs from your network are uploaded to the portal.
  • Parse – Cloud App Security parses and extracts traffic data from the traffic logs with a dedicated parser for each data source.
  • Analyze – Traffic data is analyzed against the Cloud App Catalog to identify more than 16,000 cloud apps and to assess their risk score. Active users and IP addresses are also identified as part of the analysis.
  • Generate report – A risk assessment report of the data extracted from log files is generated.


Continuous report data is analyzed twice a day.

Supported firewalls and proxies

Cloud App Security support data uploads from the following Firewalls and Proxies.

  • Barracuda – Web App Firewall (W3C)
  • Blue Coat Proxy SG – Access log (W3C)
  • Check Point
  • Cisco ASA with FirePOWER
  • Cisco ASA Firewall (For Cisco ASA firewalls, it’s necessary to set the information level to 6)
  • Cisco Cloud Web Security
  • Cisco FWSM
  • Cisco IronPort WSA
  • Cisco Meraki – URLs log
  • Clavister NGFW (Syslog)
  • Digital Arts i-FILTER
  • Forcepoint
  • Fortinet Fortigate
  • iboss Secure Cloud Gateway
  • Juniper SRX
  • Juniper SSG
  • McAfee Secure Web Gateway
  • Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway (W3C)
  • Palo Alto series Firewall
  • Sonicwall (formerly Dell)
  • Sophos SG
  • Sophos XG
  • Sophos Cyberoam
  • Squid (Common)
  • Squid (Native)
  • Stormshield
  • Websense – Web Security Solutions – Investigative detail report (CSV)
  • Websense – Web Security Solutions – Internet activity log (CEF)
  • Zscaler
Create Cloud Discovery snapshot report
Sample Report

Automatic Risk Assessment

Cloud App Security also enables organizations to automatically discovery the Cloud Apps in use via actives on your firewall logs. This is done via Log Collectors that allows organizations upload logs to Cloud App Security. Every single long is automatically transfers to the portal, there is 2 different behaviours if you are using FTP or Syslog

FTP Uploads

FTP logs are uploaded to Microsoft Cloud App Security after the file finished the FTP transfer to the Log Collector

SysLog Uploads

The Log Collector writes the received logs to the disk. Then the collector uploads the file to Cloud App Security when the file size is larger than 40 KB

However, you may what to check that the data being used for Automatic upload is in a valid format. Check out this link for more information.

App connectors

App connectors use APIs from cloud app providers to integrate the Cloud App Security cloud with other cloud apps. App connectors extend control and protection. They also give you access to information directly from cloud apps, for Cloud App Security analysis.

To connect an app and extend protection, the app administrator authorizes Cloud App Security to access the app. Then, Cloud App Security queries the app for activity logs, and it scans data, accounts, and cloud content. Cloud App Security can enforce policies, detects threats, and provides governance actions for resolving issues.

So how does the look from the portal?

List of Connected Apps available today

Lets connect Office 365 for the purpose of this post.

Connect Office 365
Select the components you would like to monitor and connect the app

Conditional Access App Control protection

Microsoft Cloud App Security Conditional Access App Control uses reverse proxy architecture to give you the tools you need to have real-time visibility and control over access to and activities performed within your cloud environment. With Conditional Access App Control, you can protect your organization:

  • Avoid data leaks by blocking downloads before they happen
  • Set rules that force data stored in and downloaded from the cloud to be protected with encryption
  • Gain visibility into unprotected endpoints so you can monitor what’s being done on unmanaged devices
  • Control access from non-corporate networks or risky IP addresses
Conditional Access App Control protection

With Conditional Access App Control protection you can define you want to Monitor what is being accessed or block.

Conditional Access Policies

When configured you will notice the below appear for all access control applications


Once you have configured the basics above the next steps is to enable policies you would like run within your environment. Out of the box you will receive a number policies deemed appropriate from Microsoft but there may be additions ones you would like for example;

In my environment I have created a policy that check for OneDrive Documents shared outside my business to specific domains

This policy also has the power to remove the external user to prevent access and this is where Cloud App Security really comes into its own. As it allows organisations and IT Administrators to the power to real take control of corporate data.

I hope you found this run through helpful

The Author – Blogabout.Cloud

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