“Just when a new technology pops up, and everyone finds it helpful and trying to settle down with it, another more fascinating one surfaces. The market is evolving, and the next big thing is SASE.” This is a rephrase of Gartner’s SASE introduction on their blog in 2019.
SASE meaning (Secure Access Service Edge) is pronounced “sassy” and combines different network security features such as Firewall as a Service (FWaaS), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), ZTNA, and Secure Web Gateway (SWG) with Wide Area Network (WAN) potentials (i.e., SD-WAN). Gartner defines the SASE architecture as a technology that combines (Wide Area Network) capabilities with comprehensive network security features to foster the security demands of digital companies.
Core SASE Framework Capabilities
The post-pandemic era has geared many companies towards remote and hybrid work patterns, which creates the need for secure access for remote workers to company networks.
Organizations have to secure a variety of networks to enable their businesses’ smooth and safe running. As part of SASE’s strong feature, SD-WAN creates a virtual path to applications and resources stored in the cloud and appropriately distributes networks across the WAN for optimal performance.
Before a corporate network is accessed, ZTNA ensures user identity authentication and validation. And after the authentication process, Zero Trust still doesn’t offer broad access to all resources. Instead, it limits user access to resources based on what they need per session.
Firewall as Service (FWaaS) and Secure Web Gateway (SGW) help heighten cybersecurity and circulate user-generated traffic across the network. They also monitor and detect unauthorized user access or malware. Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) intercedes between applications and users and monitors how data flows between them.
Every SASE stack element is accompanied by the same provider and is targeted at meeting specific needs. The multiple security solutions work seamlessly to offer several benefits to bolster organizational network safety and growth.
1. Edge to Edge Security
SASE integrates powerful security features at the edge since it is mainly enforced at the network endpoints, putting it in a vital position to offer enhanced cyber security components.
For steady security benefits from this security model, digital enterprises need beyond next-generation firewalls and encryption. Instead, they need content inspection and more unique solutions like Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) for increased capabilities to combat malware and prevent sensitive resources from being accessed by unauthorized individuals.
Deploying these security features at the edge is the SASE design and connects WAN in a simple holistic approach that helps to increase efficiency. Lead components like FWaaS, CASB, ZTNA, and SWG combine to form a single top-level cloud platform that enhances performance and intensifies security capabilities.
As SD-WAN plays a major role in the SASE solution, features like WAN optimization and active-active failover bolster network speed, stability, and performance. In addition, SASE secures all edges and network access and obtains proper network visibility based on its primary components.
2. Impressive Network Scalability and Efficiency
SASE can fit into the goals and policies of different levels of an enterprise. It is very flexible within a company’s Wide Area Network and offers a real-time view of inbound and outbound process connections in a single network interface or portal.
Steady overseeing network functionality uncovers connection quality and performance, including those circulated around data centers and virtualized cloud environments.
The benefits of having different network security features accessible from a single vendor, unlike the traditional security options, help reduce complexity and costs.
Less physical hardware means reduced downtime required for updates, making scalability a possibility. And can be done efficiently across organizations of various employee sizes.
SASE helps enterprises solve the exchange between integrated systems and best-of-breed point solutions. And the unified advantage of software and appliances from a single provider makes room for less complex solutions, which also help to save costs and improve visibility and analytics across a myriad of solutions.
3. Simplified Security Model and Transparency
Legacy solutions fall short of modern features such as NGFW, IPS, and SWG. So, enterprises needed to deploy increased solutions to meet the security challenges. Network security is simplified with systems and devices geared to keep up with the standards and modern security demands.
SASE uses FWaaS as a solution to integrate URL filtering, anti-malware, IPS, and firewalling into its architecture. FWaaS also makes enterprise network security management easy and helps apply changes where necessary. In addition, it helps apply uniform protection to the system, supports policy implementation, and uncovers irregularities. With reduced software agents, needed transparency in the network becomes significant, and delivering consistent network visibility remains a top-level quality.
SASE also relieves the workload on IT teams on managing a plethora of resources and locations. They have fewer devices to patch, track, manage, and update. Like SD-WAN, SASE solutions deliver agility — the ability to respond to competitive changes and change direction — for increased network speed. In addition, it supports new digital business scenarios (APIs, apps, services) and enables data to be shareable to contractors and other external players in an organization with less exposure risk.
4. Enhances Overall User Experience
SASE focuses on two aspects of improving the overall user experience by making features easy to use and removing lag in the network performance.
As an easy-to-use solution, identity-centric policy enforcement uses user identity-based single sign-on (SSO) approaches to simplify tasks. It offers a consistent experience regardless of the device, user location, or application.
In the aspect of preventing lag in application performance, factors like end-to-end latency can cause delays that frustrate users. SASE helps to catch traffic speedily from an endpoint, employs the necessary security tactics, and sends the traffic to its destination as fast as required. SASE achieves its security functions by reducing the number of encryptions and decryptions, wiping out unnecessary chains built up while delivering security services, and offering an approach sensitive to latency.