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SASE – Revolutionizing Network Security for the Digital Age

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SASE combines security and networking services into one platform, reducing the number of on-site IT solutions businesses must deploy. The solution leverages a cloud architecture and distributed point-of-presence (PoP) technology.

It also uses zero-trust network access to ensure security based on user identity and continuous evaluation during real-time connections. This includes assessing the origin of users, their devices, and even the time of day they connect.

Security as a Service

Ditch the security toolbox. Embrace the cloud shield! SASE meaning: security delivered as a service. Imagine ditching hardware firewalls and scattered tools for a unified, cloud-based platform that protects your network edge wherever users and data roam.

SASE unifies security and networking functions as a single service. It delivers backbone and edge services such as SD-WAN, CASB, and virtual private network replacement through a single platform that can follow the user-to-app connection wherever they are, whether at home, work, or public Wi-Fi. This unified approach streamlines management and minimizes the security gaps often found between point solutions that must be designed to work together.

A core component of SASE is its Zero Trust model. This security framework assumes everything is malicious and requires users, devices, data, and applications to prove their identity before accessing the network. This helps protect against threats that bypass traditional network perimeters and enables organizations to adopt new digital business scenarios, such as working from home or on the go, with greater efficiency and effectiveness.

In addition to its superior protection, SASE is also cost-effective. Consolidating security and networking options into a single service enables IT teams to save on hardware, software, and maintenance costs. The SASE architecture also provides a flexible foundation to meet future network and security needs as businesses grow. For example, SASE can scale seamlessly without adding or replacing hardware by delivering these services via the cloud. This flexibility also reduces the time it takes to set up and troubleshoot SASE, increasing operational efficiency and agility.

Unified Access Control

A SASE architecture converges network connectivity and security elements in a single service delivered from the cloud. This reduces infrastructure bloat, streamlines IT operations, and eliminates the need to manage multiple-point solutions at the edge or end-user device level. This allows for greater flexibility in supporting digital business transformation and agile workforces.

A unified SASE service architecture combines SD-WAN, global private backbone, and full network security stack into a single platform. This enables a zero-trust approach that automatically adjusts application access based on user identity, device posture, location, and other factors for seamless corporate network protection.

Unlike a traditional network architecture, SASE doesn’t rely on inspection engines in the data center. Instead, traffic from users’ devices is sent to a nearby point of presence for inspection before being routed to its destination. This reduces latency and allows a SASE solution to support work-from-anywhere users and provide better performance for hybrid workloads.

A SASE architecture also enables secure access to resources for third-party contractors, partners, and temporary workers that might not be part of the company’s internal network. This can help mitigate the risk of overprovisioning contractors and improve the security posture of the overall network by removing external users from the attack surface. SASE also supports a Zero Touch Network Access (ZTNA) policy, enabling network access based on the user’s identity, device, and application rather than IP address or physical location.

Zero Trust Network Access

As security services become more complex, IT personnel must spend much time managing disparate technologies. Fortunately, unified SASE solutions simplify management, reduce costs, and increase performance by combining networking and security services into one platform.

The ideal SASE solution will provide a comprehensive set of capabilities that include firewall as a service (FWaaS), Secure Web Gateway (SWGaaS), and Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB). The goal is to deliver consistent policies across these functions and eliminate the need for separate tools such as a CASB. This unified architecture also reduces latency and allows for more practical application control.

In addition to delivering consistent policy enforcement, the best SASE providers will offer integrated visibility and control of sensitive data and applications across your distributed enterprise. The ability to perform holistic behavior analytics can help enterprises spot threats and anomalies that wouldn’t be apparent in siloed systems.

In addition, the best SASE providers will offer a global SD-WAN service with a private backbone. This reduces the amount of traffic routed over the internet, which can create performance problems. This will also enable companies to connect their offices, branches, and devices to the SASE network through private circuits, saving money on costly MPLS connections. The resulting architecture is highly secure and scalable, which means more flexibility for your business as you grow.

Unified Monitoring

In a unified SASE architecture, security and networking are combined into one platform for consistent visibility, controls, and experiences regardless of the user or application accessed. This new approach removes multiple architectural layers and point solutions and reduces the total cost of ownership by consolidating network and security capabilities into a single cloud-based service.

Instead of routing remote access traffic to the data center to run security protocols, SASE architecture enables the inspection and verification of connection requests at the nearest points of presence (PoPs). This eliminates VPN tunnels and allows more bandwidth for better performance. It also provides a more secure experience by ensuring access is always direct to the application or website without being routed to company servers first.

The SASE approach also adopts the Zero Trust philosophy, which rejects the idea that a connection should be trusted based on its network location. SASE solutions can detect threats from the cloud, the internet, or even inside the organization.

SASE technology is available in a range of configurations to meet the needs of your business. Start by selecting an SD-WAN to provide networking functionality, then layer on a SASE provider that will combine networking with security capabilities into a single solution. The selection process should consider your current network infrastructure, expected business outcomes, and risk model.

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