Since the technology was first established in 2019, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) has proven to be the future of connecting businesses with locations and employees worldwide. In 2020 and 2021, SASE enjoyed considerable growth as organizations searched for solutions to allow fast and secure remote user connections to enterprise networks as many offices closed for the COVID-19 pandemic.
The need for secure connections in remote and hybrid office environments continues to drive the growth of the technology, with the SASE market size expected to reach $5.9 billion by 2028 and an annual compound growth rate of over 10%.
This blog will explore SASE and why many businesses are adopting the technology. We will highlight the benefits of SASE and where to use the technology, and how to choose a managed provider for your solution.
What Is SASE and Why Are So Many Businesses Adopting It?
SASE or Secure Access Service Edge is the solution to security and networking issues for organizations of all sizes. For almost a decade, businesses have relied on a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) to allow users to access the company network virtually. Employees and other users can access the network from locations around the world. Using a virtual private network (VPN) or tunnel protocol, the company could prevent unwanted intrusions into the network and its communications.
SASE is the next step in remote access to network resources within an organization. It provides access to the company network from anywhere in the world over the internet. SASE does not rely on complex tunneling to reach the company’s network, and instead, the network runs on the cloud as a service rather than on the organization’s on-site infrastructure. Users can access SASE securely regardless of the connection they are using.
An organization’s SASE runs on any cloud service, including the organization’s private cloud, the public internet, or a combination of the two. SASE offers greater security with a Zero Trust security model and protection against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and can include security in the cloud. Organizations are switching to SASE for security and its near-limitless flexibility and scalability without investing in on-site resources and infrastructure to connect and secure users on the virtual network.
If your organization is already happy with its configuration, SASE does not have to replace an SD-WAN completely. It can run over the network to provide improved security and performance. SASE can provide consistent policy enforcement that is difficult to achieve with an SD-WAN, and it can speed up connections and provide reliable, low-latency access worldwide. This is especially true if your company invested in SD-WAN during the COVID-19 pandemic and still wants to use it to offer remote and hybrid work to employees.
What Are the Benefits of SASE?
SASE provides various advantages over other technologies. It offers a simplified and consolidated solution for networking and securing remote connections to an organization’s network as a cloud-based service. Your organization will no longer need on-site resources and infrastructure to allow users worldwide to access your business’ network with the appropriate authorization securely. It provides a consistent experience across geographic regions and devices with a consistent policy and the most direct connection. Your business and users can enjoy the following benefits when you adopt SASE.
Reduce On-Site Costs and Complexity
SASE is a software network in the cloud, so there is no need for on-site network infrastructure to manage remote connections from users. Many SASE providers offer an affordable and scalable subscription model priced per user. Your organization will only pay for required services, eliminating the need for costly on-site infrastructure that you may not fully utilize. If you already use an SD-WAN, SASE can run on top of your existing configuration. SD-WAN options also exist, so there is no need to invest in one after implementing SASE.
While SASE can reduce your in-house expenses on networking, it can also improve your security without any additional costs. SASE relies on a Zero Trust security model. Zero Trust means that no connecting device, user, or system has complete trust, and only fully-authenticated connections are allowed access to the network. The security model has gained support recently, with over one-third of information security professionals already implementing Zero Trust. Another quarter is looking to implement the model within the next two years.
SASE delivers network- and client-level security for all devices connecting to it by routing them through a private network with encryption. The service also provides a consistent enforcement policy, allowing connections dynamically based on authorization.
While security is a significant reason to use SASE on top of your SD-WAN or in its stead, it can also improve network performance. It provides minimal latency and eliminates traffic backhauling since the service operates on the internet rather than an organization’s backbone. The service routes user traffic through a private network in the cloud to the closest gateway. It is optimized for business traffic, such as accessing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions like AWS and Salesforce. SASE offers near limitless scalability since it is a cloud service, allowing the network to scale up dynamically to accommodate increases in traffic and users. The network can scale down when the demand decreases without your organization paying for new infrastructure or services.
Flexible User Access
Since SASE is a service operated in the cloud, it provides exceptional scalability and a better experience for users connecting from remote locations worldwide. It secures their connection and allows users to communicate with the same experience regardless of where they are connecting from, providing optimal bandwidth and low latency. SASE is optimized for remote and hybrid office environments, including users securely accessing the network from mobile devices. It provides the most direct and low-latency path to every user.
Where Do Businesses Use SASE?
Organizations worldwide are adopting SASE for its security, performance, and user experience benefits to accommodate workforces that prefer mobility. While early adopters are already enjoying the benefits of the technology, BetaNews predicts that more than 40% of companies will have a SASE adoption plan by 2024. Some areas where SASE improves the experience for businesses and users include the following.
SASE for the Remote or Hybrid Office
SASE is a recent technology that experienced significant growth following COVID-19 and the mass movement from the traditional office to remote and hybrid dynamics. While many organizations have returned to the office, offering a hybrid office environment has become preferred by businesses, with more than half of employees seeking flexible working arrangements. If your organization is using SD-WAN or another technology to allow remote workers to access network resources, SASE can be a more secure, high-performance, and cost-effective solution. It offers low-latency remote access to employees worldwide.
SASE for Networking and IT
While SASE can improve user experience by connecting users worldwide with the lowest latency and most direct path, it also helps IT and network administrators implement the technology and manage the network. Your IT team can easily integrate their new SASE solution with your existing SD-WAN or in some cases replace it altogether, and since it is on the cloud, minimal resources are required on-site. Your organization can deploy the service globally faster than other solutions, and the network converges and propagates automatically. Encrypted connections are formed dynamically and assigned the most direct path with the lowest latency to ensure stability, speed, and security.
The administration of the SASE is centralized, and it can assign role-based tasks to make network monitoring and administration more effective. Administrators can see analytics from the service to simplify management.
SASE for Security
As mentioned above, SASE provides exceptional and inherent security, making mitigating risks easier for IT and security personnel. As a Zero Trust solution, the service protects against unauthorized access. SASE offers a complete security stack, regardless of where it is being used and can help mitigate DDoS and other intrusions as part of an overall security strategy. User policies remain consistent but offer granular adjustments to permit and deny certain users, groups, regions, and devices access to specific network resources based on customizable criteria.
Clients using SASE have a secure connection while using the service with inline encryption and a private network. Your organization can use its own security appliances, firewalls, and those operating within the service. A managed SASE provider provides access to a portal where security can audit policies on demand.
Considerations When Choosing a Managed SASE Provider
While SASE provides various security, performance, and user-experience benefits, selecting the right provider when switching to a managed SASE is important. Look for a provider with the following essential qualities.
Ideally a Managed SASE provider can support your existing SD-WAN as well as your new SASE solution. Look for a partner that provides 24/7 support after the sale and can assist your IT team with deploying a hybrid solution while they migrate to the cloud. The ideal provider can assign a project manager to help your team deploy, configure, optimize, and secure the solution to a worldwide workforce.
If your organization considers SASE a flexible, hybrid, or remote workforce solution, your provider must offer the flexible pricing and options you need. The ideal partner allows you to bring your existing SD-WAN and devices. While the service provides a consistent user experience with a uniform policy, IT can modify it for specific users and groups. SASE provides exceptional security while allowing authorized users to connect with low latency using the most direct path, regardless of location and device. The service can provide users with an always-on solution or if desired give the user an option to turn it off.
SASE provides more scalability and elasticity than other solutions. When choosing a solution with the elasticity of the cloud, finding a provider that offers per-user pricing subscriptions can eliminate unexpected costs. Your organization will only pay for the number of users connecting to the service during a subscription period, so you can dynamically scale up and down depending on the number of users at the moment without a penalty.
A managed SASE provider delivers your connectivity with inherent security for the network and its users. Along with Zero Trust, SASE offers cloud access security broker (CASB) to monitor data and enforce security policies to prevent vulnerabilities when a user accesses a cloud service. If users inadvertently disconnect from their VPN, they can remain secure with a secure web gateway (SWG). SASE is often called a single-pane-of-glass solution because it unifies the policies across an entire organization into a single solution.
Prepare for Future Business Needs With Managed SASE
A Managed SASE can bring your business into the future with low latency, reliable and secure connections in the cloud. It can run on your existing SD-WAN or standalone with an SD-WAN integration inside the cloud service. It allows users worldwide to connect with a consistent experience and provides granular control to IT and security of who and what devices have access to the network. SASE is optimized for security with a Zero Trust security model and provides a direct connection through a private network to the nearest gateway for services like SaaS. It is easily implemented and highly customizable for your business’s remote and hybrid office needs.
When you rely on managed SASE from BCM One, you get a project manager and 24/7 support to ensure a smooth and frustration-free transition to the service. You and your users get reliability and security on a fast connection. You can find SASE configuration options and audits on demand in a simple web portal. We also allow you to operate the service over an existing SD-WAN and integrate your unified communications (UCaaS) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) into your SASE. The solution is scalable and cost-effective with BCM One’s per-user subscription plan. Contact us to learn how a managed SASE from BCM One can help your business.