What is SASE: Secure Access Service Edge?

You have likely been a victim of a cyber attack recently — countless businesses worldwide have started receiving the most incredible experience with hackers. In a report that has continued to generate concerns, more than 8000 vulnerabilities were published in the first quarter of 2022

Network and security must combat the new and increasing sophistication of cyber attacks — hence the need for SASE.

What is SASE?

SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) is a security architecture built to integrate network and security solutions in a single cloud-based system to enhance secure and fast cloud transformation for network users. The incorporation of network connectivity technologies helps to deliver solutions for edge computing, digital business transformation, and workforce mobility.

As enterprise owners dive towards growth acceleration through cloud solutions, data, devices, applications, users, and services are used outside traditional enterprise premises — an indication that the enterprise perimeter is no longer a location. However, despite this shift from the perimeter, network architectures still maintain a design that necessitates resources passing through the network perimeter and back out.

Every user from their dispersed areas must still connect to the enterprise network by leveraging inefficient and costly technologies. This situation continues to create significant challenges regarding service availability, productivity, speed, and overall user experience. However, SASE helps to address these issues.

SASE is pronounced “sassy” and is a modern approach to tackling diverse security challenges in a much more effective way, especially considering a time when monster hacks and cyber attacks are crumbling traditional security systems.

With many companies waking up to the need to integrate cloud-based network security technologies, SASE adoption has continued to grow.

What is SASE Used For?

Three key market trends propelling the SASE adoption in networking and security include:

Cyber attacks have become speedily sophisticated. With the high level of cyber threat sophistication, organizations and security teams must rise to the challenge by regularly upgrading and updating their infrastructure.

Apps are diving towards SaaS. Traditional on-premises network systems boost security by backhauling SaaS traffic to the data center. However, this method leads to latency and high operational costs. Companies embracing cloud-based environments can move the data center close to their remote workforce and users.

Workers are more efficient being remote and mobile. Workers do not want to fall short of their duty regardless of where they are. Unfortunately, traditional security solutions do provide these security controls. In fact, they worsen the user experience on the network.

SASE empowers and secures workforces and improves their workspace experience wherever they are. It enables a unified, agile, and single-pane-of-glass system that considers provisioning with visibility and granular policy control.

What’s Included in the SASE Framework?

The SASE framework incorporates many main features that propel it to being adequately deployed for optimal security and network efficiency. All these features are delivered from the cloud via a single platform. Through this medium, SASE can provide resources to employees outside of the traditional office environment while also handing out better control to companies over data and traffic that transits between their internal networks.

Some prominent SASE capabilities are;

Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN )

SD-WAN is a crucial SASE component involved in creating robust and low-latency connectivity over a wide array of network transport while lowering network complexity. Furthermore, SD-WAN impacts hugely while utilizing cloud-native and real-time apps through WAN optimization, path selection based on path quality assessment, and integration with SaaS applications. Some SD-WANs also use a simplified setup of VPN tunnels and integrated intrusion detection/prevention systems (IDS/IPS) between SaaS apps and branch offices.

Secure Web Gateway (SWG)

SWG security solution is positioned between the internet and its users to inspect and deploy its security capabilities, including anti-malware defense, URL filtering, and application control. It blocks unauthorized activities, filters unwanted web traffic content, and enforces security policies. SWGs are great for remote systems as they can be deployed anywhere.

Firewall as a Service (FWaaS)

A firewall secures a network’s entry and exit points to provide access to only trusted users. In addition, it offers cloud-based protection, applications, and infrastructure from external attacks. While this security solution is not a physical appliance, it is a collection of security capabilities that includes URL filtering, uniform policy management, anomaly-based (signature-less) threat detection, anti-malware software, IDS/IPS solutions, and intrusion prevention.

Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)

CASB carries out a variety of functions for cloud-based services, including securing confidential data, ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations, and providing safe data operation through access control and data loss prevention (DLP). With CASB, an organization can control the activities of all SaaS apps — approved and unapproved.

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)

ZTNA is founded on the principle of least privilege for users accessing sanctioned web applications. It tightens the security of enterprise resources and prevents data breaches through real-time user verification and application protection. ZTNA is identity-based and determines access based on identity information from cloud services. This SASE component helps to reduce complexity and enhance user experience.

Why Must Organizations Consider Deploying the SASE Architecture?

1. Reduced Complexity

Unlike traditional security services that require IT teams, SASE integrates the technologies into a single cloud-based solution to deal with several security products and solutions. This approach makes it easy to deploy and get better results on security efforts.

2. Flexible Architecture

SASE is very flexible. You can easily implement and deliver security services such as DNS security, threat prevention, sandboxing, web filtering, next-generation firewall policies, data loss prevention, and credential theft prevention.

3. Cost-Effective

SASE comes at a much more affordable cost since it comes from a single vendor and technology stacks and reduces complexity and cost. The traditional system requires multiple point products, which would have heightened expenses and the number of resources invested in network security.

4. Better Performing Network

SASE helps to reduce latency with its cloud infrastructure that allows users to connect from any location around the globe. With a globally available network, users can access apps, data, and other resources wherever they are located. As a result, employees from different organizations can access the resources they need to carry out their day-to-day functions without necessarily being physically present at the office.

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