Bursting onto the scene in 2019, thanks to Gartner analysts, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) has triggered a revolution in network security. SASE simplifies security and WAN (Wide-Area Networking) via the delivery of both at once straight to the connection source, whether that be the user or branch office, in the form of a cloud service.
It manages to do without the latency-adding step of having to backhaul WAN traffic to a data center for inspection, thereby improving performance. In all, it’s a great approach to managing network security for the era of remote working, rather than on-prem connectivity.
Network security is one of the big selling points of SASE. With organizations rushing to get on the cloud services bandwagon, organizations have new requirements for their technology.
Classic approaches to network security involved a corporate, perimeter-based network that was protected by myriad security services and tools. But while that was eminently fine when the majority of employee devices were to be found inside the confines of the classic network perimeter, that’s now no longer the case.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees do not work in the physical office. Instead, they increasingly work on the move, often separated by vast geographic distances from their colleagues. What enables this to work is cloud-based services, letting colleagues log into systems and access data even when they are not on-premises. This is why SASE is perfect for current working requirements.
Here are four of the big advantages that it brings with it:
#1. Ease of deployment at reasonable cost
SASE doesn’t need specialized network infrastructure or pricey Multi-Protocol Label Switching (commonly abbreviated to MPLS) circuitry in order to function. Instead, it’s able to leverage commodity broadband networks and private network link investments. The results are easy, inexpensive deployment. Since high costs of setup can be off-putting for organizations (especially if they’re still concerned about the economic uncertainty caused by COVID), the knowledge that SASE can be implemented easily and without fuss or considerable cost is a major advantage.
#2. Better security
This, as mentioned, is the big one: SASE is a much-needed game-changer when it comes to security. SASE is able to safeguard data that are sensitive while protecting against threats like spoofing, malicious traffic, and man-in-the-middle (MiTM) attacks in which cyber attackers interrupt a conversation or data transfer by inserting themselves into the middle of the interaction.
SASE is able to encrypt traffic for all-important remote devices. It can also be used to implement inspection policies for publicly available networks — for example, on unsecured public WiFi. With cyberattacks and other cybersecurity threats only ramping up and becoming more complex, it’s essential that organizations are protected using state-of-the-art technology. SASE fits the bill perfectly.
#3. It’s all about central management
Security could get pretty complex when it was only organizations dealing with on-prem threats. Needless to say, the world of remote working and the cloud has utterly transformed that challenge.
This is why the central management of SASE is so important. It offers a single pane of glass platform for management that is able to both implement and control security policies as applied across the organization as a whole. In doing so, it can greatly simplify operations, especially compared to the classic site-centric solutions out there.
#4. Integrates with edge and backbone
SASE is able to combine backbone networks (the part of a computer network that interconnects networks, thereby laying a path for the exchanging of information between different subnetworks or LANs) and edge services like Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), edge networks, VPN, and Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB).
SASE packages together multiple essential bits of technology into one “must-have” package. The four components that any true SASE solution must have to include a Secure Web Gateway (commonly abbreviated to SWG), Firewall as a Service (a.k.a. FWaaS), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), and Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB). By bringing together all of these, not only do customers get a single subscription-based service that provides all four but a comprehensive solution that’s truly more than the sum of its parts.
In just a couple of short years, SASE has become one of the biggest buzzwords in security. That doesn’t look set to change, either. For reasons already mentioned, SASE interest has exploded during the pandemic. But this isn’t just technology that is going to run out of steam and necessity as the world starts to get back to normal.
Many of the changes that led to a remote workforce will continue to shape the way that work is carried out in the months and years to come. Using a solution like SASE is a positive step in preparing for this brave new world.
It allows organizations to optimize their network security in a way that was wholly impossible only a few years back.