As more than 90% of companies had moved portions of their infrastructure to the cloud by 2021, any company involved in the almost half-trillion dollar industry requires the most robust cloud-security services possible. Organizations can now secure vital off-site information with cutting-edge security protocols that, in many ways, rival even the best on-premise security practices. To keep your company’s data protected during and after cloud migrations, it’s crucial to know the top cloud-based security options.
Private networks running SASE security layers over SD-WAN systems are now widely considered the most reliable cloud-based security architecture. With advanced trustless security practices, company data can be kept as secure as possible while integrating with numerous SaaS and IaaS resources – resulting in a better, safer, and more versatile end-user experience that your IT department would approve of.
Adapting Technology to Habits
Hybrid and remote workforces expect on-demand access to their company’s digital properties just as quickly as any website or app they rely upon. However, company platforms are almost always private or semi-private, requiring strict controls for access and the prevention of malicious activity. In the best case, making employees responsible for following complex and stringent security procedures invites risk into the system, especially if the platform involves exchanging files back and forth.
Doing so also slows them down when trying to add value to the company. The solution is not burdening your employees with fallible security practices but custom-designing a better security environment.
Building Your New Digital Environment
The best security solution is one that both employees and IT managers hardly even have to think about. With a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), you obtain better control over your WAN and the applications flowing over it.. This is perfect for remote work because, other than requiring a small SD-WAN box, legacy physical connectivity, such as MPLS, no longer needs to be established. It’s also quicker, easily scalable, and highly affordable.
That takes care of your new private or semi-private network – but how do you keep it private?
If the SD-WAN is akin to the space where your employees must gather, then you need to secure that space. What will serve as the doors and locks at the network’s edge to keep your digital properties secure on your new cloud platform?
Related: SD-WAN 101: A Guide for Getting Started
Your SD-WAN requires a digital overlay to keep the environment secure. SASE (or “Secure Access Service Edge”) is the service architecture that manages every one of the SD-WAN’s inbound or outbound requests – it’s the veritable locks and keys to your decentralized network. With SASE, those locks must be as numerous as the number of access requests to meet or exceed the same level of security within your server farms.
Traditionally, company networks had physically secured infrastructure that was not easy to access by intruders. Watching the network’s edge was much easier because the central network was not exposed. Once someone was on the premises or had the necessary credentials, authorizing access to the network was usually done once – or, at most, periodically whenever user sessions timed out.
This is a highly “trust-based” security arrangement, where greater physical security of the network is leveraged for greater ease of use.
Zero Trust Means Greater Security
Since an SD-WAN lacks the physical security of an on-premise network, it must operate on a “zero-trust” basis, whereby user credentials are checked during every data exchange. Just as browsing different websites involves continually downloading small amounts of data, you must manage every data exchange on your SD-WAN. SASE’s zero-trust foundations protect the entire network from unauthorized attempts to log in, “spoofing,” Man-in-the-Middle, and other hacking methods at virtually every point of contact with your network service.
Employee credentials do not necessarily need to be input manually every time. With SASE, users have an encrypted key that the network automatically detects and authenticates almost instantaneously. As a result, your workforce can log into their company’s SD-WAN from anywhere with internet access. They likely won’t notice much happening behind the scenes as they access the necessary company data.
More Than a Single Service
SASE, unveiled in 2019, is the most modern approach to Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA) principles, but it is more than ZTNA, which is at least as old as 2010. By building on ZTNA’s “principle of least privilege” approach to network access authorization protocols, SASE brings much more to the virtual SD-WAN arena. It is, in fact, an entire suite of cloud-based software services, including:
- Secure web gateways
- Firewall as a Service
- Credential tokens
- Zero-trust framework
- Cloud Access Security Brokers
The purpose of SASE is more than just regulating your employees’ access to your network – it’s to provide a complete suite of security service protocols. With one central bundled SaaS solution, your employees and IT department will experience greater ease and security rather than continually endure disparate vendor management hassles.
Related: SASE Security – What is Secure Access Service Edge?
For Either Hybrid or Purely Remote Workforces
If your business has an entirely remote workforce, it’s possible to build your SD-WAN straight into the SASE framework, negating the need to layer SASE on top of a preexisting SD-WAN. This amounts to building a custom security architecture and network service together from the ground up – and although SASE’s adaptability to existing network and service infrastructures is one of its key assets, a custom-built network/security system combo is still a superior option.
Of course, some companies maintain at least some on-premise infrastructure that their workforce needs to access critical work services remotely. However, they also use the company’s standard, existing system when in the office. In this case, your IT manager will need to look at how your SASE architecture must accommodate that existing system, and the right product for you would be a SASE layer on top of your existing SD-WAN.
In either case, the network administrator has the same oversight to grant or revoke access to specific digital properties with granular control. Based on an employee’s needs and role in the organization, they can be given more or less access in customized ways. The system can then be scaled up or down as easily as any other software service, allowing your SASE and SD-WAN platform(s) to adapt to your company’s changing needs and enabling your employees to work productively, whether remotely or on-site.
Selecting the Right Cloud-Based Security System
Above all, your SASE and SD-WAN provider should focus on your IT managers to ensure they fully receive the products and training they need to ensure their system works as intended. It’s also advantageous to find a SASE provider offering hybrid deployments for adaptability during the migration process.
Further, there is no reason your pricing arrangement can’t be equally versatile, as with per-user subscription models where you only pay for what you use. For the best client experience, don’t settle for anything less than a highly experienced and respected partner of IT leaders across the nation. They must be equally adept at working with mid-sized and multi-site organizations and offer a broad range of cloud-networking solutions bundled into an easy-to-use, comprehensive suite.
The bottom line is that you must fully customize your cloud-based solutions for the challenges your company must overcome – and you should accept nothing less than a team of experts, ready with white-glove service as promptly as it is thorough.
A Single Unified Stack for Greater Efficiency
With mass migration to the cloud, businesses require secure, compliant, cost-effective IT solutions for essential work functions. Since 1992, BCM One has provided a world-class experience with a human touch, and we’ve maintained an average NPS score of 88 year after year. Our team has thousands of hours of combined experience solving the most common and uncommon IT challenges imaginable.
Our business model gives our clients access to subject matter and industry experts, and we’ve partnered with over 50 tech providers to make it possible. To start experiencing the proven benefits of applying one single ideal stack to your entire organization, contact us today and receive the single-source support, in-house services, and integrated software solutions your business needs to thrive in the cloud.