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What is OAuth?

Traditional security solutions don’t extend easily to cloud platforms because they often lack visibility into cloud applications. This creates vulnerabilities for error-prone users sharing and accessing data on cloud applications. Many organizations utilize cloud applications such as Salesforce, Dropbox, Google G Suite and Office 365, and in a modern security landscape it’s imperative to have tools in place to protect critical data on these applications.

Have you ever signed into a third-party application using one of your Internet identities? When an new app prompts you to sign in using Facebook or Google in order to simplify the identity process, that’s OAuth. OAuth is a widespread open authorization standard that makes for seamless and usable interaction between apps, but which also creates compliance and security challenges for cloud-connected organizations. Many apps request access to view, edit, share, delete and download data. Without a security tool in place to such as a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), applications may be given more permissions than necessary. Also, when third-party apps connect to your corporate G Suite or Salesforce via APIs, they are invisible to traditional anti-malware/anti-phishing solutions.

OAuth originated as an authentication method for the Twitter API back in 2007. It’s not inherently a bad thing, but the heavy use of OAuth in the Cloud is something that every organization should be watching and be aware of. Talk to your Volta rep about Cisco’s CASB CloudLock. It handles security and compliance for all your organization’s cloud applications. A full Cloud security platform we support is Netskope. Check it out here.

Spotify is just one of the many applications that allows other Internet identities to be used for login.

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