The transition to remote working and increasingly distributed networks has left many organizations scrambling on the security front. Security experts say the solution is to apply security at the endpoints to protect users, devices and applications no matter where they are.
“The pandemic has added urgency to the situation,” said Exclusive Networks Canada VP Sales Suresh Singh. “CIOs and IT groups now have some or most of their staff working offsite – a vastly expanded attack surface. Company security must be totally on the mark now. They need to be more adaptable and quicker to react than ever.”
The pandemic has accelerated and intensified the need among businesses for not just secure networking but also for the ability to empower a remote workforce. This is where secure access service edge (SASE) comes into play to secure changing environments.
What is SASE?
In its 2019 The Future of Network Security Is in the Cloud, Gartner defined SASE as “an emerging offering combining comprehensive WAN capabilities with comprehensive network security functions (such as SWG, CASB, FWaaS and ZTNA) to support the dynamic secure access needs of digital enterprises.”
“SASE is tailor-made for these times,” said Singh. “Network security has moved from strictly data centre into the cloud. With many now working outside the office, the perimeter security model becomes, if not obsolete, at least inadequate and in need of an update. Successful cybersecurity now requires IT teams to come up with a new approach to securing users, apps, devices, and data no matter where they are located.”
SASE is no fad. Gartner thinks 40 percent of businesses will have clear strategies to adopt SASE solutions by 2024 – a dramatic jump from just one percent in 2019.
What SASE can do
SASE brings many benefits to organizations, including but not limited to:
- Reduced costs – Companies with a SASE model in place reduce the number of cybersecurity tools and solutions they’re using – a great cost savings
- Better visibility – The SASE model consolidates IT security and networking functions in a single solution, which means better transparency overall
- Remote security – SASE solutions give remote users secure, worry-free access to the apps and resources they need to be productive in their job
- Centralized management – As it combines security and network functions, SASE enables staff in both areas of operation to do their work effectively and efficiently
“SASE comes into view at exactly the right time,” said Singh. “Rather than building out, and managing security and network in the locations where they’re needed, this new model involves leveraging a security private cloud and service-delivery method, which a company can co-manage with the vendor.”
Here are just a few questions you should be asking when evaluating SASE solutions:
- Is it a cloud-native solution? A true, identity-centric SASE solution accounts for all network edges, including mobile, cloud, and on-prem. Point solutions on their own do not meet this key requirement.
- Is there Zero Trust? Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is an essential part of SASE as it provides an advanced approach to security. SASE solutions without ZTNA aren’t identity-centric and thus are not to be considered complete.
- Is there networking and security integration? True SASE offers a network fabric comprised of both security services and enterprise-grade networking.