The emergence of secure access service edge, also referred to as SASE, has emerged as a priority investment for companies pursuing a cloud-first positioning for their technology strategy. In order to demystify SASE, it helps to know a bit about software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) as well as anything as a service (XaaS) and cloud security challenges.
What Is SASE?
In its simplest description, secure access service edge integrates security functions and features with SD-WAN. SASE is an on-demand service, delivered through the cloud and managed by the provider. It’s just one more of the as-a-service options available. SD-WAN allows IT teams to manage network connectivity and functionality through a virtual overlay rather than having to invest in specialized networking devices.
SD-WAN’s virtual overlay allows network administrators a high level of visibility and control, as well as management, configuration, and troubleshooting from anywhere.
SASE of SD-WAN and then improves it with security tools bundled into a single solution. It includes zero trust network access, firewall as a service (FWaaS), cloud access security broker (CASB) and secure web gateway (SWG).
These changes arrive as a point of necessity to address challenges in network security emerging due to cloud migration and adoption. The traditional hub-and-spoke distribution model for the WAN, which backhauls all transmissions back through a central data center, simply can’t scale to the demands of the cloud. In addition, companies are looking for ways to decentralize the network, so the existing WAN structure needed replacing.
While cloud solutions offer new operational agility and flexibility, the result is a broadened security plane and many more points of connection at the edge. Company data is being distributed not only through an on-site data center but through co-location facilities and public cloud data centers. It adds a high level of complexity for security teams.
The Evolution of SASE
Early versions of SASE introduced a complicated, difficult-to-use product that was challenging to scale and may require coordination between multiple vendor software solutions to effectively function. By contrast, current industry leaders offer single-stack SASE options.
The focus of SASE isn’t just equipping companies as they support teams working from home or in branch offices. Its overall benefit is that it offers a secure framework, with an end-to-end unified security architecture that is both designed for and operating in the cloud. It secures everything, from devices to services and edge computing locations.
The result is a new, more-secure connectivity that brings all the benefits of SD-WAN, such as reduced latency, better visibility, cost reduction, and traffic optimization, without being forced to bolt on security tools and wonder whether any gaps in the security plane remain.
If your company is considering a network upgrade, contact us at Independent Connections. We can help you evaluate secure access service edge for an integrated networking and security approach that supports your cloud strategy.