Modern enterprise workflows move more work and sensitive data outside the traditional network perimeter. This creates new risks for the organization and requires security integrated with networking at the edge.
SASE solves this challenge by centralizing and consolidating networking and security functions into one cloud-native service. This simplifies the service’s management and eliminates many technology vendors, integrations, day-to-day network performance, and security firewall alert management.
The network must adapt as user work moves outside the traditional enterprise perimeter. Organizations need a software-defined approach for secure client-to-cloud experiences that is scalable, simple, and fast.
Traditional networking and security solutions require heavy initial hardware and IT staff investments to deploy, manage and maintain. Now, what is SASE? SASE eliminates these upfront costs by deploying on-demand cloud services in a pay-as-you-go model. This reduces operational expenses and frees IT staff for value-driven projects like security threat detection and response.
Traditionally, network and security tools are deployed on separate appliances and communicate via a network tunnel to exchange data with each other. SASE eliminates this dependency and combines both functions on a single platform to deliver better performance by eliminating backhauled traffic flows. This enables users to access apps and cloud resources without waiting for the device and network to connect to a central server before they can use it.
Integrating networking and security features into one platform provides flexibility for businesses with multiple offices or remote employees. For example, SASE enables the central management of policies and rules by providing a standard management interface for security and networking features. This helps organizations avoid a “Swiss army knife” architecture with disparate tools that can lead to misconfigurations or missed opportunities for optimization.
In addition to centralized policy management, SASE offers the option to have some functions deployed at distributed points of presence (PoPs) close to users. This enables organizations to enforce policies based on user and device context rather than location or IP address. This capability supports remote and mobile workers, IoT systems, edge computing, and other applications.
Choosing an all-in-one SASE solution with integrated networking and security capabilities eliminates the need for multiple hardware devices in the network, which reduces the risk of failure or compromise. It also ensures that the web is optimized for performance and minimizes latency. This translates into a better user experience and increases the likelihood of users completing business tasks on time and within budget. In addition, an all-in-one SASE platform eliminates the need to purchase and maintain network hardware, and updates can occur quickly as the needs of the network change.
The benefits of SASE go beyond just delivering high-speed access to applications and data. It helps secure data and prevent security breaches — inside and outside the corporate perimeter — by separating traffic into different categories. These different categories are then filtered based on the type of traffic, which can include URLs, DNS queries, and more. This prevents malware-based attacks and data exfiltration from the company network.
With more user work being done remotely and sensitive corporate data located at more locations than ever before, it is critical to bolster the network’s security architecture. This is especially true if employees need fast, zero-trust access to cloud and SaaS applications for remote and hybrid work. In addition, the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) and other connected devices creates new points of entry that need to be protected. The structure of SASE, combining networking and security capabilities into one solution delivered as a service, provides the flexibility and security required to meet these evolving needs.
To maximize the value of SASE, enterprises should consider partners with comprehensive networking and cybersecurity solutions. These partners offer various solutions and expertise, including transport and network design, to ensure that all the security and networking ecosystem parts are correctly configured and integrated into the SASE architecture. This unified configuration helps companies avoid costly functional overlaps when implementing multiple specialized cybersecurity systems.
When choosing a SASE partner, looking for a unified solution that includes SD-WAN, CASB, and firewall technologies is essential. This converged approach makes setting and managing policies for all users, devices, and applications easier from a single portal. In addition, it reduces operational costs by enabling businesses to deal with fewer vendors and reduce the number of hardware installations that need to be managed.
As more work is performed and data resides outside the traditional enterprise perimeter, IT needs a way to secure remote users’ connections to cloud applications. SASE, which stands for Secure Access Security Edge, addresses this need by providing an identity-driven security approach to zero trust that works across dynamic services and distributed edges, including public clouds and SaaS applications.
A managed SASE service combines SD-WAN, firewalls, and authentication systems to allow enterprises to connect their remote workforces with critical cloud applications while reducing costs and complexity. This converged architecture eliminates the need to buy separate point solutions and integrate them manually, which could lead to inefficient traffic flows, poor performance, and security gaps.
When choosing a SASE solution, look for one that offers a single management console, client, and policy engine to streamline operations and boost effectiveness for network and security teams. This approach will also prevent problems caused by tools that don’t seamlessly interact with each other, such as bogging down information flow or requiring time-consuming searches for answers.
The best SASE solutions will offer integrated analytics and threat intelligence that can be accessed by both the client and server side of the solution. This allows businesses to run holistic behavior analyses and detect anomalies that might not be apparent in siloed systems. This can make identifying potential threats easier and mitigating them before they become full-blown attacks.
In addition, SASE can protect against malicious attacks on the edge by filtering and rerouting internet traffic to reduce bandwidth usage. It can even block specific IP addresses and encrypt connections to prevent attacks like DDoS. SASE providers can also protect against data leaks by encrypting sensitive information, allowing them to comply with regulatory compliance and industry standards.
Consider the provider’s global footprint and peering agreements when choosing a SASE solution. The global presence of the service provider ensures that data stays close to its source, which can significantly reduce latency and improve the overall quality of user experience. A high-performing SASE solution will also have an efficient global network that connects offices directly to cloud infrastructure, enabling them to bypass the public internet and minimize data leakage.