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Understanding The Need For SASE and The Challenges in It

SASE is a new network architecture methodology that combines networking and security functions into a single service. It eliminates the need for complex point solutions and enables teams to scale as their users, data centers, and applications evolve.

SASE combines backbone and edge services like content delivery networks (CDNs), cloud access security brokers (CASBs), VPN replacement, and edge networking with secure web gateways (SWG) and Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS). It authenticates users, applies granular security policies per transaction, and grants the least privileged access.

What is SASE?

SASE is a cloud architecture model that combines networking and security-as-a-service to distribute network and security functions to clients through a single cloud-delivered platform. It is used to improve remote access in an increasingly distributed workforce, bridge the gaps from managing various siloed network and security stacks and simplify infrastructure management.

As organizations adopt digital transformation and work-from-anywhere (WFH) initiatives, they must consistently ensure their users can access critical systems and resources. 

Today, more traffic is destined for cloud service providers and SaaS applications than the enterprise data center. Gartner predicts that more functions will be hosted outside the enterprise data center in public and private clouds than in on-premises enterprise data centers.

To fully implement a SASE solution, the organization needs to establish a uniform method of policy management, secure access, threat protection and device management. It requires a collaboration between the networking and security operations teams, which typically are organized by technology domains but rarely work together.

Moreover, it is crucial to identify your SASE solution’s exemplary architecture and integration capabilities. It will help you to choose the best security functions, consolidate others and deliver a flexible architecture that meets the unique needs of your business.

Why is SASE Important For The Enterprise?

Traditional network security methods can’t keep up in a modern world where data and applications are in the cloud and employees work remotely. Instead, IT organizations must be agile to accommodate these changes.

For this reason, many enterprises are moving towards SASE to improve network and security capabilities across global locations. With SASE, IT can easily manage security and networking services from a single centralized cloud application.

SASE also reduces costs by lowering the hardware and agents needed to connect branch offices and remote users to the Enterprise’s cloud-based applications and data. It enables lower up-front capital costs and fewer management and maintenance responsibilities for IT staff.

Moreover, SASE increases security by implementing identity-based, Zero Trust access policies. It eliminates gaps in the network perimeter and enables secure access to corporate resources regardless of where employees work.

A central, cloud-based management platform allows IT to set user policies and enforce them at distributed points of presence (PoPs) close to end users. It removes the need for IT to create and maintain local policy and authentication rules in each PoP and centralized policies for network traffic between each PoP.

SASE also delivers latency-optimized routing, which reduces network traffic through a global edge network that processes traffic as close to the user as possible. It helps reduce network latency and improves productivity for remote users and employees.

What are The Benefits of SASE?

As a digital transformation, work-from-home, and cybersecurity risks drive more enterprise users away from on-premises data centers and into SaaS applications, organizations need a better way to protect those assets. It is where SASE comes in, combining cloud networking and security functions to offer a unified service that supports rapid growth, technology improvements, and compliance needs at a reduced cost.

SASE’s full security stack is built into the underlying network infrastructure. All edges, from physical sites to mobile sites to the cloud, get the same uniform protection from a unified policy driven by user and resource identity. It makes it easier to manage network security, set uniform policies, spot anomalies, and make changes quickly.

Another key benefit is the ability to quickly scale up and down as business needs change without hardware and infrastructure upgrades. It means businesses can connect remote workforces with the click of a button or provision new resources easily for quick global expansion.

SASE combines security capabilities such as SD-WAN, FWaaS, Secure Web Gateway (SWG), and CASB to strengthen security at all levels of the network. It enables enterprises to set uniform policies, spot anomalies, and respond rapidly to threats. It also offers consistent security policy enforcement, reducing IT complexity and staff burden.

What are The Challenges of SASE?

Integrating with current IT infrastructure and adhering to data protection laws are two of the most significant hurdles businesses have when implementing SASE. These issues can be challenging to overcome, particularly if your networking and security teams are traditionally siloed and not in close contact.

To make a successful SASE deployment, network and security teams must collaborate. Ensure that both groups understand the enterprise’s business needs and agree on which components of SASE are required to meet those requirements.

The network and security teams should also work together to assess the maturity level of a potential vendor. It will help ensure that the SASE solution meets your specific scale, deployment and security needs and complies with data privacy regulations.

Ideally, SASE would be an integrated cloud service that delivers network and security functionality globally. It would eliminate tool sprawl, allowing for a centralized management console that handles failover planning, resource allocation and ubiquitous access across locations and devices.

Many vendors in the SD-WAN and SSE space have begun integrating their technologies to create single-vendor SASE solutions. The problem is that this integration is still in its infancy and needs to provide the convergence and performance enterprises expect.