Configuring the SaaS Security API Connector for Slack

This article explains how to configure the Slack connector for the SaaS Security API policy for your account and create rules that use this connector in the Data Protection Policy.

The SaaS Security API policy requires a separate Cato license. Please contact your Cato representative or official reseller for more information.

Overview of the Slack Connector

Create the connector for the Slack workspace for your organization. Then define rules in the Data Protection policy that include the Slack connector and define that traffic that is scanned and inspected. You can create a single Slack connector for each tenant.


  • Admin permissions for the Slack workspace

  • The connector monitors files, other actions will be supported soon

Required Permissions for the API Connectors for Slack

To enable Cato's SaaS Security API to scan assets and content for Slack messages, the connector gives Cato the following permissions and actions with the Slack app:

  • Grant access to the app using Oauth2

  • Receive a token from the app to establish and maintain a secure connection

  • Connect to the Slack APIs and fetch data and scan files according to the SaaS Security API Data Protection policy, including:

    • Read messages and files in workspace

    • View content and info about:

      • Admin account (you)

      • Channels and conversations

      • Organization's workspace

Working with Slack Connectors

This section explains how to create API connectors for Slack, and to connect your organization's Slack workspace to your Cato account.

Creating the Slack Connector

Use the Cato Management Application to create the Slack connector, there's no need to configure settings in Slack. The Slack connector lets the Cato SaaS API engine scan messages and attachments for the content that you define in the Data Protection policy.

To create the connector for Slack:

  1. From the navigation pane, select Security > SaaS Security API and select Connectors Settings.

  2. Click New. The New Connector window opens.

  3. Create a new Slack SaaS Application.

    Only Read permissions and actions are currently supported for the Slack app. However, Read/Write permissions and actions are coming soon.

  4. Click Authorize and Save.

    The Slack permissions screen opens in a new browser tab.

  5. Give permissions for your Cato account to access the Slack app.

    1. Allow the permissions for Cato to access the Slack app.

    2. The screen shows that you have successfully applied the permissions for the app.


      You can close the browser tab and return to the Cato Management Application. It can take Slack several seconds to process the request, so if you receive an error, refresh the browser.

      While Slack is processing the request, the Status for the connector is Pending user consent (see below Understanding the Connector Status.

  6. The Slack SaaS application is added to the Connectors Settings screen.


Understanding the Connector Status

The Status column on the Connectors Settings screen shows the status of the connection between the Slack app and your Cato account. These are the explanations of the statuses:

  • Connected - Your account is connected to the app and working correctly

  • Connection error - Connectivity or permissions issue with the Slack connector. Please open a ticket with Support.

  • Pending user consent - The Slack connector is created in the Connect Settings screen, however you haven't completed the process in the Slack account to authorize it to connect to Cato.

Adding Slack Rules to the Data Protection Policy

This section explains how to use the Data Protection policy to monitor and manage the messages and attachments that your users send and receive over Slack.

Configuring Slack Rules

Use the Data Protection screen to add the SaaS application rules in your Data Protection policy.

For Slack users, the connector distinguishes between bots and user accounts. You can define one rule for users and a separate rule for bots.

For more information about the Slack rule settings, see below Understanding the Slack Rules.


To create a new Data Protection rule for the Slack app:

  1. From the navigation pane, select Security > SaaS Security API and select or expand Data Protection.

  2. Click New. The New Rule panel opens.

  3. In Application Connector, select the Slack app.

  4. Enter the General settings for the rule.

  5. In Sender, select one or more Slack Users that are Slack messages (default value is Any).

    When you select multiple users, there is an OR relationship between them.

  6. In Sharing Options, select one or more types of Slack messages and channels that are scanned (default value is Any).

    When you select multiple options, there is an OR relationship between them.

  7. In Attachments, define the criteria to specify the file attachments which are scanned (the default setting is to scan all files).

  8. In Content Profile, select the DLP Content Profile for this rule.

    For more about DLP Content Profiles, see Creating DLP Content Profiles.

  9. In Actions, select the Monitor option.

  10. (Optional) Configure tracking options to generate Events and Send Notifications.

    For more information about notifications, see the relevant article for Subscription Groups, Mailing Lists, and Alert Integrations in the Alerts section.

  11. Click Apply. The rule is added to the Data Protection policy.

Understanding the Slack Rules

This section explains the settings for the Data Protection rules that use the Slack connector.

  • Sender - Slack users in your workspace (default value is Any)

  • Sharing Options - Select the types of file sharing permissions that match this rule (default value is Any)

    • Public Channel - Slack channel where any user can join the channel

    • Shared Channel - Slack channels that contain users from outside of your organization

  • Attachments - Criteria for attachments that are scanned (default value is all attachments)

    • File Type

    • File Name

    • File Size (maximum file size is 100 MB)

  • Content Profile - DLP Content Profile that defines the DLP content inspection

    You can create or edit Content Profiles in Security > DLP Configuration > Content Profile

  • Actions - Select if you want to generate an event when the rule is matched

Defining Files or Attachments for a Rule

You can define specific files (or attachments) for a rule and limit the SaaS API engine to only scan the specified files to see if they match the DLP Content Profile.

When you add multiple files to a rule, select the relationship between them:

  • Satisfy any (OR) - Match only one of the File Types in the rule

  • Satisfy all (AND) - Match all the File Types in the rule (otherwise, the rule is ignored)

You can use the File Name setting in a rule to define the exact file name or use wildcards to define keywords. For example, you can define the File Name as internal to match all file names that contain the word internal.

Working with Ordered Data Protection Rules

The SaaS Security API engine inspects the data sequentially, and checks to see if it matches a rule. If the data does not match a rule, that it is not inspected. Rules that are at the top of the rulebase have a higher priority and they are applied before the rules lower down in the rulebase. Each type of application or connector is only applied to the data once.

Best Practice - To maximize the efficiency of your rulebase, we recommend that for each connector type, rules for specific users have a higher priority than rules with that apply to Any users.

For example, if the data matches a connector in rule #2, the data is inspected by the SaaS Security API engine. The engine does not continue to apply rules #3 and below for the same connector. However, the data could match a lower priority rule with a different connector.

Adding Threat Protection to the Connector

You can create Threat Protection rules for the connector to scan files and attachment for malware and viruses using the Anti-Malware and Next Gen Anti-Malware engines that are enabled for your account. The SaaS Security API engine scans the connector traffic and applies the action and tracking options that you configure for the rule:

  • Monitor the traffic (block will be supported soon)

  • Generate events

  • Send email notifications

When you create a SaaS Security API Threat Protection rule, the Anti-Malware engines that are enabled for your account (Security > Anti-Malware) perform malware scans on the files that are sent for that connector application.

The following screenshot shows a Threat Protection rule for the OneDrive connector that scans files sent by Internal users or Guests:


Creating an Exception for a File

Sometimes there is file blocked by Cato's SaaS Security API engines that you know is safe, and you need to allow it in the network. The Events page lets you use the file hash to create exceptions that bypass the Threat Protection scans. After you open an event for the specific file that was blocked, click the file hash to open the Exception Configuration panel and add the file as an exception for the account. You can choose the time duration for the file exception, or configure the exception to last forever.

File Exceptions for Anti-Malware and SaaS Security API

File exceptions apply across the Anti-Malware and SaaS Security API Threat Protection policies. When you create exceptions from Anti-Malware and NG Anti-Malware events, these exceptions also apply to the SaaS Security API Threat Protection policy. Similarly, when you create file exceptions from SaaS Security API Anti-Malware events, the exceptions also apply to the Anti-Malware policy. The full file exception list is shown on both the Anti-Malware page and the SaaS Security API Threat Protection page.

To create an exception for a file:

  1. From the navigation menu, select Monitoring > Events.

  2. Filter for the event using the Sub-Type of SaaS Security API Anti Malware.

  3. From the Time column, expand the event.

  4. In the event, click the File Hash link.

    The Exception Configuration panel opens.

  5. From the Duration drop-down menu, select how long the file is excluded from the Anti-Malware and NG Anti-Malware engines.

    To create a permanent exception, select Forever.

  6. Click Apply.

    The exception is created and added to the File Exceptions section in the Threat Protection tab, and in the Anti-Malware page.


Removing a File Exception

Remove an exception for the Threat Protection policy when it is no longer necessary.

To remove file exceptions for the Threat Protection policy:

  1. From the navigation menu, click Security > SaaS Security API.

  2. Select the Threat Protection tab.

  3. In the File Exceptions section, click Delete.png for the exception you want to remove.

  4. Click Save.

    The exception is removed.

Analyzing SaaS Security API Events

The Monitoring > Events screen shows all the SaaS Security API events for your account. The powerful search tools let you drill-down and identify the few events that contain the relevant data that you need.

SaaS Security API events can be identified by the following fields:

  • Event Type - Security

  • Sub-Type - SaaS Security API Data Protection and SaaS Security API Anti Malware

You can learn more about using the Events screen here. You can use the SaaS Security API Data Protection preset to filter the events.

Explaining the SaaS Security API Events Fields

Field Name


Connector Name

Name for the connector that is defined for the rule

Connector Type

SaaS app that is defined for this connector

DLP Profile

DLP Content Profile that generated this event

File Name

Name of the attached file

Matched Data Types

Data Types in the Content Profile that matched the rule


Email addresses of the users that received the file


Name of the rule in the Data Protection policy


Slack user that sent the message or file


Severity defined for the rule

Sharing Scope

Sharing Options for the Slack attachment

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