Corporate computing environments have evolved far beyond centralized devices that reside in office locations and data centers. The modern workforce is increasingly remote, and businesses have found a myriad of uses for mobile technology and IoT to gain efficiency and deliver value to customers. This shift, having been underway for several years caused tech research firm Gartner to develop and start evangelizing the concept of secure access service edge, or SASE (pronounced “sassy”), in 2019. Since then, it has become one of the hottest topics in networking in recent memory.
SASE is described as a convergence of wide area network management and network security functions used to enable today’s digital environments that are commonly characterized by:
- A heavy reliance on cloud computing.
- A dispersed base of users, including an increasingly remote workforce.
- A wide range of devices.
In short, the SASE framework provides today’s cloud-first organizations with a roadmap to deliver a well-managed, agile, and secure network environment to support today’s workforce.
The Five Key Elements of SASE
The SASE framework generally consists of five categories of cloud-based services:
Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN)
SD-WAN technology uses software to control the connectivity, management, and services across a wide area network. It provides customers with the ability to control how traffic flows over the network, which affects application performance and user experience.
Secure Web Gateway (SWG)
Secure web gateways protect organizations from web-based threats by inspecting web traffic for malicious content, enabling and blocking access to websites, and enforcing security policies to access websites and applications.
Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)
CASB is a cloud-based security service that sits between users and cloud services to enforce security policies. With a CASB solution, organizations can prevent employees from using unauthorized cloud services, prevent data leaks, maintain compliances like GDPR and HIPAA, and enforce security policies.
Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW)
Organizations implement next-generation firewalls to protect networks from advanced threats. Typically, an NGFW will include features such as deep packet inspection, intrusion prevention systems and application control.
Zero Threat Network Access (ZTNA)
ZTNA is a type of network security solution that provides secure access to applications and data for remote users. ZTNA differs from traditional virtual private networks (VPNs) in that it grants access only to specific services or applications, where VPNs grant access to an entire network. It can be a valuable tool for organizations that need to provide secure access to applications and data for remote users. It can also eliminate the need for VPNs.
SASE is a new and emerging concept, and there are still some challenges that need to be addressed. For example, SASE can be complex to deploy and manage, and it can be difficult to get the right level of security and performance. At the same time, SASE lays a solid foundation to help organizations meet the challenges of today’s digital world.
Advantages of SASE
SASE presents a multitude of advantages over traditional on-premises network solutions. Below are the primary reasons why organizations should consider transitioning to a SASE architecture:
Decreased IT expenses and complexity
Conventional network security models require multiple solutions to secure the network perimeter, leading to increased complexity and expenses for IT departments. SASE streamlines the process by reducing the number of necessary security solutions, resulting in cost savings and simplifying administration.
Increased flexibility and scalability
Since SASE is cloud-based, both the network and security infrastructure are entirely scalable. As your enterprise expands, so can the system, enabling faster digital transformation.
Designed for hybrid work
Traditional hub-and-spoke networks struggle to accommodate the bandwidth needed to keep remote employees productive, whereas SASE maintains enterprise-level security for all users, no matter how or where they work.
Enhances user experience
SASE intelligently manages security exchanges in real-time, optimizing security for users. This minimizes latency when connecting to cloud applications and services and decreases the organization’s attack surface.
In the SASE framework, various threat intelligence technologies converge to provide secure access to company resources for remote workers while lowering the risk of lateral movement in the network. All connections are scrutinized and secured, and threat protection policies are explicitly defined in SASE, leaving no room for ambiguity.
SASE Solutions for Business
Looking for a comprehensive network security solution that’s scalable, adaptable, and cost-effective? Look no further than SASE. SASE solutions can greatly benefit businesses seeking comprehensive threat and data protection, as well as accelerated digital transformation and support for remote or hybrid workforces. It is crucial for organizations to consider adopting a SASE framework to achieve these goals.
As your trusted telecom advisor, we can help you source the best SASE solution for your organization’s unique needs. Our expert team will work with you to evaluate your current environment and identify any critical gaps that need to be addressed. From there, we will identify SASE solutions that allow you to leverage your existing technology investments and integrate with current tools that already adhere to Zero Trust principles. Finally, we will pit the various vendors against each other to compete for your business base on your specific use case. We handle all the heavy lifting and ensure you have a positive buying experience. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you implement a SASE framework and enhance your organization’s network security.