Limits of Traditional Detection Methods
After years of managing SaaS detection across various sectors within large companies, Beamy has encountered the limitations inherent in traditional methods. These conventional approaches to identifying Shadow IT suffer from shortcomings in accuracy and coverage. These challenges are notably intensified in large organisations due to the substantial number of users, diverse application landscapes, and myriad of user behaviours.
Navigation / Proxy Logs: Traditionally, Shadow IT detection has relied on tools such as Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs) and analysis of navigation / proxy logs. However, these present a myriad of challenges.
Noise and Inaccuracy: A staggering 98% of navigation logs prove irrelevant for SaaS app detection, complicating CASB's subsequent analysis. This often results in unwieldy noise and false positives, requiring significant manual intervention.
Inability to Differentiate Usage Patterns: Traditional methods often fail to differentiate between simple visits, use of the application and login events. Moreover, they are unable to discern between personal and professional use, inflating counts with irrelevant applications used solely for personal entertainment, such as streaming services like Netflix.
Coverage Blind Spots: Furthermore, navigation logs and CASB analysis may overlook traffic from remote workers not connected to the VPN or Proxy, potentially missing a significant portion of SaaS usage data. This gap in visibility becomes a blind spot for understanding the true extent of SaaS usage within the organisation, a gap effectively addressed by the comprehensive coverage provided by the Beamy Web Browser Extension (WBE).
Single Sign-On (SSO): An alternative method employs Single Sign-On (SSO) to uncover Shadow IT by relying on login data. While SSO is an effective approach for monitoring SaaS usage and managing access to known applications, its effectiveness is hindered by limited coverage. This is particularly prevalent as many SaaS applications do not integrate SSO as part of their basic plans. It leads to significant detection gaps, notably with Shadow IT applications often inappropriately utilised under basic free plans.
Financial / Purchasing: Financial data analysis tools provide another way of detecting Shadow IT. While financial data can provide valuable insights regarding costs and which cost centres are liable, it usually lacks information on how these applications are used. Additionally, financial data fails to identify applications purchased outside the usual procurement process, such as direct purchases by employees and free applications in use.
With the explosion of SaaS adoption, the limitations of existing detection mechanisms have become even more problematic. This underlines the pressing need for innovative solutions capable of accurately and comprehensively detecting and monitoring the ever-expanding SaaS landscape.
Beamy's WBE Detection Approach
Beamy's Web Browser Extension (WBE) disrupts this conventional approach by introducing a revolutionary method to detect and manage SaaS usage. WBE's groundbreaking technology transcends the limitations of traditional tools:
Precise and Noise-Free Detection: Operating within the browser environment, WBE's direct navigation data analysis enables accurate SaaS app detection, drastically reducing false positives and the need for extensive manual intervention.
Distinguishing Professional and Personal Usage: Using login cues, WBE identifies the distinction between personal and professional email domains, ensuring a nuanced understanding and eliminating irrelevant non-work-related applications.
Comprehensive Coverage: The WBE's approach doesn't rely solely on SSO logins, ensuring comprehensive coverage across all SaaS apps, regardless of their login capabilities. Unlike tools analysing financial data, the WBE provides a comprehensive view that includes applications purchased outside usual processes or available for free. Identifying these apps, which are often inadequately covered by the legal department, ensures their inclusion within an organisation's contractual framework.
Additional Benefits of Beamy’s WBE
The Beamy WBE offers a range of additional advantages beyond its accurate detection capabilities:
Enhanced Security: The WBE ensures data security through local in-browser processing, stringent encryption protocols during data transmission and storage, and a transparent, auditable codebase.
Employee Privacy: the WBE minimises data collection, pseudonymizes and aggregates user data, and ensures compliance with EU data privacy regulations.
Easy Deployment at scale: Facilitating effortless deployment at scale across diverse IT environments through standard management tools like Mobile Device Management (MDM), Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM), Group Policy Object (GPO), or Google Workspace.
Comprehensive Insights: The WBE serves as the cornerstone of Beamy's SaaS Monitoring offering. Beyond its primary function of detecting SaaS apps and Shadow IT, the WBE provides comprehensive insights on user demographics by department and country, detailed metrics regarding app adoption and engagement. These granular insights empower IT leaders and teams to gain a comprehensive understanding of their SaaS landscape over time.
Beamy’s Web Browser Extension represents a significant leap in SaaS management, offering comprehensive insights, unparalleled security, and effortless deployment. Its transformative capabilities redefine how organisations detect, monitor, and govern their SaaS ecosystem, offering accurate data, comprehensive coverage, and an unprecedented level of understanding.