What Is Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)?

Gartner introduced a new enterprise networking category called Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). With SASE, you can combine SD-WAN components such as Firewall as a Service, CASB, SWG, and ZTNA into one cloud-native device. The old way of implementing network access used point solutions, which were managed as silos and were costly and complex to implement. IT agility suffered as a result.

secure access service

The SASE process can streamline developing new products, releasing them to the market, and responding to changes in business conditions. A SASE architecture determines which users and devices will be used, determines the policy-based security that will be applied, and provides secure access to the appropriate software or data. Organizations can utilize this method regardless of where their users, applications, or devices reside.

It can be beneficial to your organization in several ways if you use the SASE model:

  • Flexibility.

Integrated cloud architecture can provide security services such as threat prevention, web filtering, sandboxing, DNS security, credential theft protection, data loss prevention, and next-generation firewalls.

  • Reducing costs.

Using a single platform significantly reduces your IT costs and resources compared to buying and managing multiple-point products.

  • Complexity is reduced.

The simplicity of your IT infrastructure will allow you to consolidate your security stack into a cloud-based network security service model, thus reducing the number of products your IT team has to update, manage and maintain.

  • Enhanced performance.

With a cloud infrastructure, it is easy to connect to any resource, regardless of where it is located. It is possible to access apps, the internet, and corporate data from anywhere in the world.

  • Zero Trust Network Access.

When users, devices, and applications connect to the cloud, zero trust assumptions are removed. If you install SASE, you can protect your sessions anytime, regardless of whether you are on or off your network.

  • Preventative measures against threats.

Your network will be more secure and visible with full content inspection integrated into a SASE solution.

  • Protection of personal data.

In the context of a SASE framework, it is important to implement data protection policies to protect sensitive data against unauthorized access.

A Brief Overview Of SASE

Providing the highest level of network security, data protection, and ultra-fast, direct network-to-cloud connectivity simultaneously, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) integrates network traffic and security priorities. Businesses used to have to choose between speed and control regarding SASE, but now improved technology offers both. For every network session, a SASE framework allows security professionals to specify the parameters of performance, reliability, security, and cost that are desired through identity and context. The SASE framework allows organizations to accelerate the performance of their clouds and achieve greater scale while also addressing new security challenges.

Mobile technology, for instance, can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of a sales force. Public Wi-Fi can pose a security risk when using the Internet. As a result, corporate data and business applications cannot be accessed efficiently and securely. The SASE framework allows users, data, and devices to traverse networks more efficiently while allowing for a more stringent level of control over how, when, and where they go.

The Driving Force Behind SASE Adoption

Cloud-first culture and remote working are significantly transforming enterprise networks and information security. Organizations must deploy new services and meet new requirements faster than ever since networks have changed, and they must accommodate new needs as soon as possible.

As this new environment becomes more agile and flexible, it is imperative to have a SASE architecture. With SASE, new branches can be deployed remotely with minimal overhead. As well as protecting employees and contractors from intrusion, it provides a stack of security and allows them to access systems from any location. According to Gartner, 20% of organizations will start using SWG, ZTNA, and FWaas from the same vendor by 2021. There will be an official SASE adoption strategy in at least 40% of organizations by 2024.

An Overview of SASE’s Major Components

  1. Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN).

WAN management can be optimized with SD-WAN. By utilizing SD-WAN, we can provide optimized network routing, global connectivity, WAN and Internet security, cloud acceleration, and remote access to our clients.

  1. Firewall as a Service (FWaaS).

An effective network security stack begins with a firewall. A full network security stack is extended wherever SASE needs using FWaaS to provide scalability and elasticity.

  1. Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA).

With ZTNA, users can use a modern approach to secure their access to applications. It adopts a zero-trust policy, where applications are automatically accessed according to the identity of the user, the location, the type of device, and others.

  1. Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB).

A cloud computing security warehousing application (CASB) helps companies adapt to the new threats that cloud computing entails. CASB into other point security solutions is simplified when delivered through SASE.

  1. Secure Web Gateway (SWG).

Web-borne threats, including malware, phishing, and other web-borne threats, can be prevented with SWG solutions. The SASE solution maintains policies across multiple points, allowing SWG protection to be available to all users at all locations, and eliminating the need to maintain policies across multiple points.

  1. Unified Management.

Managing multiple disparate products becomes simpler with SASE. All network and security solutions can be monitored and managed from one interface in a true SASE.

Does SASE Just Serve As a Marketing Ploy?

Service providers and media focused on network and security are paying much attention to the SASE framework. Most compelling is that networking and security architectures focusing on the data center have become ineffective. Marketing catchphrases aren’t all there is to this concept. There has been widespread acceptance of it in the industry. What about SASE makes it so valuable compared to traditional enterprise network security that interconnects offices via private networks and routes traffic through firewalls and secure web gateways?

According to Gartner, traditional models of connectivity and security should focus on user and device identities rather than the data center. The report points out that secured access to cloud-based applications and users is essential in a modern digital business.

Hub-and-spoke networks have evolved significantly since they were conceived, so today’s workflows, traffic patterns, and use cases are dramatically different. This is due to the following reasons:

  • Data centers are losing ground to cloud services in terms of user traffic.
  • It is more common to perform work off-network than on-network.
  • Cloud services are used more often than data centers to run workloads.
  • The number of SaaS applications is higher than the number of local applications.
  • Cloud services hold a greater amount of sensitive data than enterprise networks.

Is It Necessary To Have SASE?

Streamlining processes and improving security are critical to digital business transformation. Furthermore, modern enterprises need to ensure their users get the best possible user experience wherever they are.

SASE has moved from an option to a necessity due to these circumstances. The following four reasons explain why:

  1. Regardless of how big or small your business is, SASE will scale with it.

The network and security of your enterprise need to be able to handle the resulting increase in demand as the enterprise grows. SASE enables you to scale business, network, and security through its cloud-based model.

  1. The SASE system makes it possible for you to work anywhere.

It is impossible to keep remote employees productive using legacy network architectures that cannot handle the bandwidth required. Using SASE, all users and devices are protected at enterprise levels, wherever they are located.

  1. Cyberthreat evolution is met with SASE’s resilience.

To protect against the latest threats, security teams are always on alert. SASE gives them the power to handle advanced threats, wherever they originate, by providing them with superior security and ease of management.

  1. With SASE, you can adopt IoT on a foundational level.

IoT technology and capabilities are proving beneficial to businesses worldwide, but building an IoT ecosystem requires a solid platform. With SASE’s unprecedented connectivity and security, you’ll be able to meet your IoT goals.

Due to all these factors, networking and security vendors have constructed their SASE architectures. Many vendors claim to engineer cloud-delivered products, but many are actually only “cloud platforms” created on legacy hardware.

SSE vs. SASE: How Are They Different?

Security Service Edge (SSE) provides secure access service edge essentials for web, cloud, and private applications as part of a comprehensive Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) strategy. By delivering networking and security as a cloud service, SASE replaces the need for data centers with connection-based services. A complete SASE platform, which includes cloud-delivered network security services, is maintained by SSE teams with software-defined wide area networking.

What Is The Difference Between SASE and SD-WAN?

In any case, SD-WAN capabilities, WAN optimization, and security capabilities are all included in the SASE, making it a unique solution. Despite this, companies often deploy the solutions at different locations. A best-of-breed SD-WAN solution is typically available on a company’s infrastructure, unlike SASE, which is cloud-native architecture.

Even though SASE and SD-WAN are different, newer SD-WAN solutions allow cloud access. These newer SD-WAN solutions connect users to cloud solutions through a virtual cloud gateway and the Internet, which provides high-performance security. In this case, SD-WAN or SASE could be the most suitable solution for your cloud acceleration needs. Your decisions regarding cloud and local routing will depend on where you are in the process.

One Of The Biggest Differences Is Security

SD-WAN and SASE have a great deal in common, but their biggest difference is security. SASE focuses on security by integrating network and security decision-making into the same solution. SD-WAN, on the other hand, is focused on providing smart routing. An extensive security practice or a siloed approach might make this sense for companies with an established security practices. When security is not handled intelligently, it may not be as effective or affect performance as it could otherwise be.

A single solution is formed by stacking multiple acronyms to form SASE’s security focus. For web-based threats protection, think of Secure Web Gateways (SWGs). In the case of cloud applications, a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is useful to secure traffic from and to the cloud according to desired policies. Alternatively, Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) can be used to verify the identity of application users, and Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) can be used to protect endpoints.

Is SD-WAN better than SASE?

When should you use SASE over SD-WAN since they are both aimed at similar goals? The first reason to consider SD-WAN over SASE is that it is better for data and appliances that are locally hosted and secured. In this case, separating Operations and Information Technology at a branch location might be necessary. The best way to balance cloud and on-premises networking in terms of performance and security would be to integrate hybrid SD-WAN.

When you do not want to customize secure access, you should choose SASE instead of SD-WAN. You are therefore looking for a seamless solution that integrates performance and security policies into one single system that puts the focus on users and devices. Since you only need to deal with one vendor for your network and security solutions, you will not only easily increase your security levels, but you will also be able to decrease costs and complexity.

Are There Any Challenges To Implementing SASE?

In Gartner’s view, SASE represents a vision of what enterprises should strive for in the future regarding secure networking. As of right now, no vendor offers this service. In today’s cloud-managed SD-WAN and cloud-delivered security environment, SASE is best exemplified by the convergence of these two technologies.

With IT rethinking how to connect remote employees with distributed information resources, moving to a SASE model will be gradual. Additionally, “as-a-service” procurement models with greater flexibility will likely become more popular.

The Primary Challenges Associated With SASE

In addition to embedding security into the global network fabric, SASE also encompasses a package of technologies that makes it available wherever the user is, wherever the application or resource is being accessed. Whatever combination of transport technologies is used to connect the user to it. There is no instant panacea for all security issues. Still, SASE protects against new vulnerabilities as networking interactions increasingly disassociate themselves from known devices or locations, and yesterday’s fixed-border security measures fail to meet modern security needs.

In the case of SASE implementation, there will be bumps in the road, as with any new technology. Implementing a solution successfully is influenced by selecting the right strategy and choosing the right partner or vendor. To navigate the most likely obstacles to SASE implementation, Gartner and other industry analysts recommend paying close attention to the following aspects.

  1. The SASE is an integrated technology, not a new one.

It has long been a fact that networking and security arose simultaneously as separate yet interconnected technologies within the IT industry. As such, specialized skills, IT structures, vendors, and products have developed over time. New rules, solutions, and technology packaging are integrated into SASE, creating a new playing field.

  1. The deployment of cloud gateways in a distributed system.

Cloud-native SASE solutions are limited by the distribution of available cloud gateways (POPs). It is necessary to create global POPs to ensure that all users will experience high performance and high quality of service. Smaller businesses may be able to use their gateways, but these can be more expensive. SASE vendors or service providers may provide gateways that are cheaper.

  1. SASE Providers and Vendors You Can Trust.

To ensure a SASE solution fits their needs before implementation, organizations should select vendors carefully and conduct adequate pilot testing. A policy of no single-sourcing is difficult to implement for SASE, as it encompasses all networking and security technologies. As part of the evaluation process, enterprises should familiarize themselves with the technology and security practices underlying a proposed SASE solution and the vendor’s capabilities to provide specific features they may need.

  1. The skillset of the vendor or provider of SASE services.

With SASE, traditional networking and security solutions are integrated into a single solution. 

It may not be the best choice to work with legacy hardware vendors who hold backgrounds in either field since they may not be experienced in the other one. The resulting lack of performance and insufficient integration capabilities may also result from their lack of a real cloud-native mindset. While the SASE market settles, various offerings are expected from vendors with different technical backgrounds.

  1. Scalability is essential for SASE architecture.

Regardless of the number of endpoints, users, devices, or applications, SASE must scale to ensure top application performance across many geographical locations. Encryption and decryption must be processed at line-rate speeds to enforce security policies. As well as providing scalability for the data plane, the control and management planes, and cloud-native and on-premises solutions, the SASE architecture must be able to scale for both the data plane and control and management plane.

An architecture that uses multiple policy engines simultaneously, ideally in-memory, in a streamlined, single-pass approach to receive the required scalability would include a streamlined, single-pass architecture where traffic is interfering with fragmentation, potential decryption, and scrutiny all at the same time, without the need for chaining several inspection services. All these advantages can be gained from the SASE implementation of Versa SD-WAN from the ground up.

  1. The integration and interoperability of systems.

In light of SASE’s scope, providers must have integrated features rather than standalone plug-ins that are now included in SASE. Several types of proxies are required in the overall solution, including integration with other SASE agents to simplify deployments.

  1. The culture within an organization.

Rather than a single technology or a package of technologies, SASE is much more than that. There are traditionally two teams and responsibilities within IT separated into security and networking. It is also necessary for the IT team to work closely in terms of their responsibilities, operational areas, deployment, and management methods, and the selection of vendors means of integrating the technologies into a single solution.

There is an increasing shift towards the on-demand model in the business world. Increasingly, companies will see SASE gain prominence as they transform towards a more flexible and agile business structure.

  1. It is best to avoid DIY solutions.

When SASE solutions are cobbled together from an array of single-purpose appliances or services, they will have undesirable performance issues.

  • Management and infrastructure are complex.
  • A high latency rate.
  • There is no predictability when it comes to attacking surfaces.
  • A lack of scale-capacity performance.
  • It is difficult to comply with industry standards and government laws and regulations because limited visibility, control, and administrative tools are available.
  • A well-designed SASE system requires insufficient flexibility, simplicity, and security.

Gartner recommends adopting a true SASE solution offered by only one or two vendors. Instead of just comparing datasheets, enterprises should test SASE solutions thoroughly to ensure it meets their scale, deployment, and security requirements.

Get in touch with Twingate if you would like to learn more about securing your remote workforce!

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