Applies to: Microsoft Cloud App Security

Set up Cloud Discovery

Cloud Discovery analyzes your traffic logs against Microsoft Cloud App Security's cloud app catalog of over 16,000 cloud apps that are ranked and scored based on more than 70 risk factors, to provide you with ongoing visibility into cloud use, Shadow IT, and the risk Shadow IT poses into your organization.

Snapshot and continuous risk assessment reports

There are two types of reports you can generate:

  • Snapshot reports provide ad-hoc visibility on a set on traffic logs you manually upload from your firewalls and proxies.

  • Continuous reports analyze all logs that are forwarded from your network using Cloud App Security’s log collector. They provide improved visibility over all data, and automatically identify anomalous use using either the Machine Learning anomaly detection engine or by using custom policies that you define.

Log process flow: From raw data to risk assessment

The process of generating a risk assessment consists of the following steps and 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.
  • The log collector compresses data before it is uploaded. The outbound traffic on the log collector will be 10% of the size of the traffic logs it receives.

Using traffic logs for Cloud Discovery

Cloud Discovery utilizes the data in your traffic logs. The more detailed your log, the better visibility you get. Cloud Discovery requires web-traffic data with the following attributes:

  • Date of the transaction
  • Source IP
  • Source user - highly recommended
  • Destination IP address
  • Destination URL recommended (URLs provide higher accuracy for cloud app detection than IP addresses)
  • Total amount of data (data information is highly valuable)
  • Amount of uploaded or downloaded data (provides insights about the usage patterns of the cloud apps)
  • Action taken (allowed/blocked)

Cloud Discovery cannot show or analyze attributes that are not included in your logs. For example, Cisco ASA Firewall standard log format does not contain the number of uploaded bytes per transaction nor Username, and does not contain Target URL (but only target IP). Therefore, these attributes will not be shown in Cloud Discovery data for these logs, and the visibility into the cloud apps will be limited. For Cisco ASA firewalls, it is necessary to set the information level to 6.

In order to successfully generate a Cloud Discovery report, your traffic logs must meet the following conditions:

  1. Data source is supported (see list below).
  2. Log format matches the expected standard format (this will be checked upon upload by the Log tool).
  3. Events are not more than 90 days old.
  4. The log file is valid and includes outbound traffic information.

Supported firewalls and proxies

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


Cloud Discovery supports both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.

If your log is not supported, select Other as the Data source and specify the appliance and log you are trying to upload. Your log will be reviewed by the Cloud App Security cloud analyst team and you will be notified if support for your log type is added. Alternatively, you can define a custom parser that matches your format. For more information, see Use a custom log parser.

Data attributes (according to vendor documentation):

Data source Target App URL Target App IP Username Origin IP Total traffic Uploaded bytes
Barracuda Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Blue Coat Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Checkpoint No Yes No Yes No No
Cisco ASA (Syslog) No Yes No Yes Yes No
Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cisco FWSM No Yes No Yes Yes No
Cisco Ironport WSA Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cisco Meraki Yes Yes No Yes No No
Clavister NGFW (Syslog) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dell SonicWall Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Digital Arts i-FILTER Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fortigate No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Juniper SRX No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Juniper SSG No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
McAfee SWG Yes No No Yes Yes Yes
MS TMG Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Palo Alto Networks No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sophos Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Squid (Common) Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
Squid (Native) Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
Websense - Investigative detail report (CSV) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Websense - Internet activity log (CEF) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Zscaler Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

See also

Create snapshot Cloud Discovery reports

Configure automatic log upload for continuous reports

Working with Cloud Discovery data