What is SASE?

What Is SASE and Why Should You Care?

In today’s world, we are experiencing a shift in the workplace from on-site to remote, and network connectivity and security systems need to be able to keep up with this change. 2020 saw more people working from home than ever before in every kind of role, everywhere in the world. With little warning to adjust to these changes, many companies rolled out distributed workforce technology without sufficient time to consider all aspects of what moving to remote work would mean for longterm. Since then, there’s been a surge in converting network connectivity and security technologies into a single cloud-delivered system.

What Is SASE?

When remote work becomes the norm, the company’s enterprise perimeter is no longer restricted to its location. This shift outside of the typical boundary means that we need to learn how to shift how our network architecture works as well. At the moment, network architecture is designed in such a way that all information must pass through it and then back out to users. That means that users, regardless of their location, must channel back into the company’s network, usually using inefficient and expensive technologies. The current system creates challenges regarding user performance and productivity as well as service availability.

Changing the way that organizations approach security and risk management is where SASE comes into play. A converged cloud-delivered Secure Access Service Edge (SASE, pronounced “sassy”) provides security and risk management leaders with a means to adjust to the perimeter shift. SASE is a comprehensive framework that allows fast and secure cloud transformation built on an array of dynamic edge connectivity and security capabilities delivered on an as-needed basis via the cloud. Gartner first introduced SASE in the 2019 “Future of Network Security in the Cloud” report and has since expanded on it.

SASE converges wide-area networks (WAN) and network security systems into a single, cloud-delivered service to manage network connectivity and security. SASE capabilities can be delivered based on real-time context, the entity’s identity, and address enterprise security or compliance policies as well as continuously assess trust and risk throughout use. The entity’s identity can be set up as devices, services, applications, people, groups of people, edge computing locations, and Internet of Things (IoT) systems. SASE is customizable to the needs of your organization.

How Can the SASE Security Model Help Your Organization?

SASE enables organizations to use secure access on their technologies regardless of the location of the devices, applications, or users. SASE opens up the entire world to your organization, allowing you to employ and utilize users around the world. The SASE security model can help with the following:

  • Cost savings  Using one platform reduces the cost of buying and managing multiple products to manage security and network connectivity. It will also reduce the overall cost of IT services.
  • Increased performance  Access to corporate data, the internet, and applications are made available anywhere in the world, allowing you to connect to where those resources are located quickly and easily.
  • Threat prevention Organizations benefit from the full content inspection integrated into a SASE security model due to more visibility and security within the network.
  • Data protection  Prevent unauthorized access or abuse of data using data protection policies built into the SASE framework.
  • Flexibility  Implementing and delivering security systems becomes easier with a cloud-based infrastructure. These include DNS security, sandbox, credential theft prevention, web filtering, threat prevention, next-generation firewall, and data loss prevention policies.
  • Reduced complexity  SASE allows your organization to reduce the number of security products required, making it easier for IT teams to maintain, manage, update, and consolidate the security stack.
  • Zero Trust  SASE provides complete protection of each session, whether a user is on or off the corporate network, removing the trust assumption when devices, applications, or users connect.

What Is the Future of SASE?

The need for SASE appears to be gaining urgency, especially with the mass exodus from the traditional workspace into homes and mobile offices. Less than 1% of organizations had invested in SASE security models in 2018. Considering that the technology was still very new at that time and people were working from one location, this isn’t surprising. However, Gartner predicts that at least 40% of organizations will develop explicit strategies to move to a SASE security system by 2024.

The pandemic forced the hand of many organizations to transform how their business is operated, which has, in turn, accelerated the adoption of SASE. A primarily remote workforce needs to address the network connectivity and security issues differently, so businesses have actively sought solutions to these challenges.

What Are the Benefits of SASE?

When properly executed, SASE can provide several unique benefits to your organization, including:

  • Seamless, secure, and scalable delivery of cloud and internet access anywhere, anytime
  • Agility for your business in this ever-changing world
  • Consolidated security functions, thus reducing the complexity and increasing efficiency
  • Simplified policy enforcement, management, and deployment in all environments
  • Access control for the user and cloud edge

SASE accomplishes this by consolidating services, controlling and protecting data everywhere, and evolving to meet the ever-changing needs for security and the network.

How do I Implement a SASE model?

A SASE model can be implemented in six steps:

  1. Define your edge. How does your organization view your boundaries? Will your edge be built around thin or heavy branches, cloud-native or heavy cloud, delivered locally? Each organization is different, so the first step is to define what edge computing looks like for your organization.
  2. Determine critical capabilities. A SASE model is a framework for your organization to access specific capabilities for network as a service (NaaS) and network security as a service (NSaaS). You will need to determine the critical capabilities your organization requires.
  3. Conduct a gap analysis. A gap analysis will determine where you need to invest to achieve your SASE strategy. The gap analysis also looks at critical features for your business. External consultants may be preferable for the investigation to provide you with a fresh perspective.
  4. Define technical debt. Optimize, customize, and update any tools your organization is currently using to determine your security debt, or buildup of vulnerabilities, in applications and infrastructure.
  5. Plan your transition to SASE. Prioritize your risks, create a Zero Trust network, secure web gateway and a cloud access security broker, and build the foundational capabilities as a service.
  6. Get buy-in from stakeholders. Discuss the reduction of cost and complexity with your stakeholders to gain their support.

As a part of your organization’s transition to SASE, consider saving time and money while managing your IT assets with services from vCom Solutions.