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What Is SASE And How Does It Strengthen Security?


Considered by many to be the next step for SD-WAN innovation, SASE could be the network connectivity solution countless brands are looking for.

Though still a relatively new concept, the global “Secure Access Service Edge” (SASE) environment is heading towards a market value of $5429.7 million by 2027, representing a growth of 10.4% CAGR. Yet, even despite this phenomenal growth, many people still don’t fully understand what SASE is, or what it means for the future of connected businesses.

Today, we’re going to explore what SASE is, why it’s so valuable, and why it’s particularly beneficial to companies looking to improve their security standing in 2022.

What is SASE? Secure Access Service Edge

The term “SASE” stands for “Secure Access Service Edge” and was first coined by Gartner in a 2019 report about the future of network security in a cloud-first world. SASE was defined as a cloud-delivered service, intended to combine network and security functions with WAN capabilities.

Essentially, SASE combines all the benefits of virtualised environments for WAN via SD-WAN, with powerful applications for controlling the network and improving overall security services. Regardless of location, SASE allows users to take advantage of Firewall as a Service features, zero-trust network access, and secure web gateways, alongside other threat detection functions.

SASE extends networking and security capabilities, and essentially ties together a host of crucial tools for the future of networking. In today’s world, where enterprise networks are becoming increasingly dependent on cloud-based applications to run processes and support distributed teams, SASE is growing to become an increasingly valuable concept.

The conventional enterprise network has grown beyond the typical network edge, challenging infrastructure leaders to deal with a growing attack surface, among other new challenges. While networks are rapidly advancing to support the workflows of newly remote and cloud-based teams, with tools like SD-WAN, security tools haven’t always kept up.

What Does SASE Offer Businesses Today?

For companies to remain competitive in a transforming environment, all endpoints need to be properly secured and managed with the same networking and security policies as companies would access on-premises, regardless of where users are located. SASE allows for the extension of these policies, ensuring staff can access security solutions no matter where workloads, applications, or devices are.

In the right circumstances, SASE offers:

·      Constant flexible security: Deliver a comprehensive range of security services, from NGFW policies to threat prevention at any edge environment, ensuring zero-trust network access so you always know who is on your network, what is on your network, and where assets lie.

·      Reduced total cost of ownership: Users can reduce product sprawl by using a single platform approach for security and networking. The result can be minimised operational and capital expenditure costs.

·      Reduced complexity: Reduce architecture complexity by consolidating various security and networking functions from disparate products into an all-in-one environment business leaders can manage remotely.

·      Optimized performance: With access to cloud availability, team members can easily and securely connect to applications, the internet, and resources wherever they are, without having to compromise on quality of service.

Why is SASE Beneficial for Security?

One of the biggest benefits of SASE, is it’s ability to build on the power of concepts like SD-WAN, with enhanced security features. SASE converges your security and networking capabilities into an all-in-one, centrally-controlled environment. Not only does this improve the overall performance of your network strategy, but it can also strengthen security in the following ways:

·      Zero trust principles: SASE leverages zero trust access strategies that assume a hostile network environment and demand extensive authentication of all devices and users. The technology can check locations and policy compliance for users, restrict broad network access based on location or IP, and prevent unnecessary access to certain resources.

·      Ensures consistent policy: A SASE architecture improves security with consistent policy enforcement, and comprehensive UTM services for any network edge. By enforcing policies implemented by the business leaders essentially, and dynamically allowing connections based on business rules and identity checks, SASE secures the workforce.

·      Supports IT Staff: A centralized, role-based management environment for network connections can empower IT staff to make the workplace as secure as possible. Staff gain complete visibility and control over their respective areas of responsibility, and they can access more intelligent about the network overall.

·      Threat prevention: SASE tools come with application and resource cloaking, segmentation and isolation with distributed data planes and control. SASE also provides support for inline decryption and encryption, as well as incorporated user, device and location based profiling and risk assessments. Security is essentially built into the fabric of the SASE technology.

·      Secure remote access: As the world of work becomes increasingly distributed, SASE can allow for better access to various assets for remote users. By securing DIA, SASE can reduce latency and simultaneously detect malicious traffic, intervening before it reaches the enterprise.

For companies hoping to transform their networking strategy and drive better security results at the same time, SASE has the power to change the network space forever.