The SASE Way to Transform Your Network
- By Michael Wood
- May 03, 2021
This past year has seen a shift for organizations in everything from how they have operated, to the increase of digital transformation. However, current security and network solutions have failed to effectively meet the evolving needs of today’s digital businesses. Requirements to support remote work, for example, left organizations scrambling for a way to secure and connect networks from multiple locations, creating a growing demand for infrastructure solutions that allow organizations to connect to many locations more reliably and securely, all at higher speeds.
To keep up with these evolving requirements and networking trends, organizations have sought solutions that deliver functionalities such as security, quality, agility and flexibility to address today’s new secure networking needs.
One technology approach that is gaining traction and proving effective in meeting these evolving network requirements is Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). While the functions of SASE aren’t new, Gartner began popularizing the term just a few years ago, with their prediction that SASE will be implemented by 40 percent of companies by 2024, calculating its critical place in the evolution of the network.
The Advantages of SASE
SASE is the integration of networking and security solutions such as firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS) and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) with wide area networking (WAN) into a unified service that can be delivered entirely through the cloud. Today’s advanced SASE approaches are more tightly integrated and offer both cloud and on-premises options.
With the networking and security functions of SASE integrated, the solution can be managed by a single unified UI, which allows organizations to deploy authentication policies and identity management uniformly across all locations, with the ability to identify unusual behavior and apply risk-based authentication automatically. This integration delivers financial benefits to organizations with improved security and networking performance as well, while eliminating the need to deploy and pay for multiple services at once.
Organizations can also realize significant benefits from SASE with notable connection speed improvements and reduced latency for users. Advanced SASE solutions leverage a single software stack, so data is not required to pass through multiple devices, server stacks or virtual network functions (VNFs). When separate SASE functions such as SD-WAN and FWaaS run on independent networks, overlap and multiple repeated steps are created, leading to latency, inefficiency, performance degradation, and security concerns.
SASE Cloud Delivers Network Security and Flexibility
The integration and flexibility of SASE’s cloud capabilities deliver additional benefits for organizations unseen in other solution offerings. Organizations have been driving demand for solutions that secure the cloud due to their shift from storing data on-premises to the cloud, and executing on digital transformation initiatives. As a result of the pandemic, demand for these solutions has rapidly increased. It’s no mystery why SASE adoption has spiked during this time, giving organizations the flexibility to deploy security services via the network wherever needed for users. When lockdowns were in effect, SASE enabled organizations to support their hybrid workforces, while addressing security concerns of a much bigger attack surface created by work from home (WFH).
With SASE, organizations benefit by simplifying the IT infrastructures currently in place, due to SASE’s integration of multiple technologies into one solution – which can all be delivered through the cloud. In addition, SASE enables organizations to distribute security policies across multiple locations including remote offices, branch locations and individual users. This reduces costs as well as the likelihood of vulnerabilities and security gaps that can be introduced when connecting and deploying multiple security solutions together. SASE really is the enabler of the new network.
Industries Benefitting from SASE
The integration of networking, security and cloud delivers benefits for many industries, but an example of where SASE especially excels is in the retail and banking industries. Retailers and banks often have multiple branches across various locations, which all require different amounts of network traffic through their networks each day. In addition, the data that travels on these networks is often sensitive since it includes personal and financial information. SASE helps these organizations avoid attacks from cyber criminals looking to hack into a network to steal valuable private information.
The pandemic has driven organizations in the retail and banking industries to execute more quickly on digital transformation initiatives, while keeping focused heavily on security. Particularly in these industries, organizations need a security and network solution that deploys across all locations, while improving the quality of the network, both key benefits of SASE.
SASE Enables the New Network
Any organization that needs to integrate cloud and network security can implement SASE. Since SASE enables integration of multiple services, it is easy to deploy with a network. Once an organization has one SASE service such as SD-WAN implemented, it becomes easier to expand its SASE deployment and add more services.
For example, an organization may start by rolling out security services to their network from the cloud, and can easily expand these security services to multiple areas, such as users’ laptops or an ATM. Organizations can start with one SASE service, knowing that it can be expanded as the company grows and their networking needs change.
With SASE, organizations have the opportunity to invest in long-term solutions that can facilitate high-quality connections and impressive returns, as well as secure remote working. The flexibility and scalability of SASE effectively meets the growing demand of users who want a seamless networking experience, and allows organizations to take full advantage of this fast-emerging solution area.
SASE delivers the security and networking services required by organizations that are operating both digitally and physically across a wide range of locations. With more companies transitioning to the cloud, solutions need to be considered that can deliver increased security to their remote offices, branch locations and individual users, as well as can improve business and application performance for multi-cloud and on-premises deployments. SASE will ensure organizations are keeping up with today’s evolving security and networking needs, to keep pace with the developing requirements of the business.