Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is generally defined as a security architecture for combining software-defined network connectivity and security technologies into a single cloud platform for rapid and secure migration to the cloud. The convergence of networking and network security capabilities in the SASE architecture addresses the demands of digital business transformation, edge computing, and workforce mobility.
Impact of Secure Access Service Edge on Network Security
As businesses seek to accelerate development through the cloud, they increasingly rely on things beyond the conventional company perimeter: data, users, devices, apps, and services. Despite the trend toward cloud migration, network architecture is still constructed in such a way that all traffic entering and exiting the network travels via the network perimeter.
Users must still transit through the corporate network, frequently using expensive and inefficient technologies, and then back out to the outside world. This creates a slew of issues in terms of service availability, user performance, and productivity. As you will learn, the Secure Access Service architecture is capable of resolving these issues.
The reliance of network architectures in this mode of operation has implications for how businesses provide security and risk management. When individuals, devices, and data live practically everywhere, protecting the environment, including visibility and control, may become increasingly challenging.
“Security and risk managers require a converged Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture supplied via the cloud to accommodate this trend,” Gartner says. Gartner’s SASE model has evolved as a comprehensive solution that enables speedy and secure cloud migration by delivering a dynamic set of edge connectivity and security capabilities on demand from the cloud.
Related: Benefits of SD-WAN for Small Businesses
The secure access service edge framework enables the dynamic design of a policy-based SASE architecture, independent of the location of the entities demanding these capabilities or the network capabilities they wish to access. The SASE framework advocates a converged offering of unified threat defense and data protection capabilities for security. This convergent service is built on ubiquitous, low-latency gateways deployed extremely close to the user’s location, regardless of geography.
While Secure Access Service Edge framework installation will take time, the shift to SASE solutions is accelerating and becoming essential. Gartner predicts that “by 2024, at least 40% of companies will have defined strategies for SASE adoption,” up from less than 1% at the end of 2018. Adoption of SASE architecture has risen dramatically in the last 18 months, owing in part to the pandemic, which is driving businesses to emphasize telecommuting.
How the SASE Framework Works
Secure Access Service Edge architecture combines traffic prioritization and network security, omnipresent threat and data leakage prevention, and high-speed direct network-to-cloud connection. While adopting a SASE architecture used to necessitate compromising either speed or control, technological advances today allow organizations to reap the benefits of both.
The SASE framework enables security professionals to use identity and context to determine the precise amount of performance, dependability, security, and cost required for each network session. Enterprises that utilize the SASE framework benefit from enhanced speed and a stronger presence in the cloud while also dealing with the additional security problems native to these environments.
For example, let’s say you need to improve the sales team’s efficiency through mobility. Accessing the internet from a public Wi-Fi network can be dangerous. Connecting to business applications and data quickly and securely is, therefore, a real challenge.
A Secure Architecture Service Edge framework provides the structure to improve access speed and performance while ensuring tighter control of users, data, and devices, passing through the networks, regardless of when, where, or how they are accessed.
Advantages of the Secure Access Service Edge Architecture For Network Security
Gartner’s study states, “Users, devices, and network capabilities they require to securely connect to can be situated everywhere in a cloud-centric digital organization … In a digital company, security and risk management experts want a global network mesh and network security capabilities that may be implemented when and where network capabilities are required to be accessible to entities that need them.”
What does this mean for a business?
- Reduce cost and complexity: It is vital to have a single provider for network connectivity and security. Keeping the number of suppliers and technology stacks to a minimum lowers costs and complexity.
- Agility: Take advantage of new digital transformation scenarios (applications, services, APIs) to safely exchange data with partners and contractors.
- Better performance and latency: Optimize access to workloads living in the cloud.
- Simplicity and transparency: Reduce the number of agents per device and operating costs by updating to new risks and regulations without adding hardware or software, and embrace new features more quickly.
- ZTNA technology: Gain network access based on user, device, and application identification rather than IP address or physical location for seamless protection within and outside the network, as well as end-to-end encryption. Tunneling to the nearest secure gateway also protects endpoints on public Wi-Fi networks.
- More efficient network and network security teams: Priority should be given to mission-critical tasks such as mapping business, regulatory, and application access to SASE capabilities.
- Centralized policy with local implementation: Benefit from centralized, cloud-based management and distributed application and decision making.
The SASE framework is the right choice for establishing a direct-to-cloud architecture without sacrificing security visibility and control, performance, or adding complexity and expense. Accelerate SASE adoption while maintaining security.
From SD-WAN to SASE:
Throughout the 2010s, SD-WAN developed into the de facto standard as a more flexible and cloud-friendly alternative to WAN connectivity. Thanks to its huge number of workloads migrating to the cloud, SD-WAN provided companies with a more dependable option for internet-based VPN and a more flexible, more cost-effective alternative to MPLS for various use-cases.
SD-WAN helps organizations enhance their network performance and handle difficulties such as the high prices of MPLS bandwidth and the trombone-routing problem by abstracting away fundamental network transport services (xDSL, MPLS, 4G LTE, and so on) and providing a software-defined approach to the WAN. Furthermore, SD-WAN can provide increased resilience and fault tolerance in the last mile.
Disadvantages of SD-WAN Alone:
While the data reveals that SD-WAN use is increasing, it has become evident that SD-WAN cannot provide the comprehensive WAN transformation that modern digital organizations want. Despite SD-WAN’s cost and agility advantages, organizations that used SD-WAN equipment were continually let down by their networks during digital transformation.
Many of the reasons why SD-WAN users are dissatisfied originate from the reality that modern networks are about more than simply site-to-site connection and utilizing public Internet bandwidth for cloud services.
SD-WAN products help corporations reach their goals, but they aren’t built to handle all of the security concerns that modern businesses confront. SD-WAN equipment, in particular, suffers the following flaws:
- There is no global backbone. SD-WAN equipment is installed on top of the underlying network infrastructure. This means that SD-WAN gadgets alone cannot fulfill the demand for a performant and stable network backbone.
- Inadequate sophisticated security features. SD-WAN products aid in the resolution of many current networking use cases; however, they do not aid in the resolution of security needs. As a result, organizations are frequently required to maintain a patchwork of security and networking equipment from many manufacturers (such as CASBs) to suit their requirements. As a result, network costs and complexity rise as each device must be procured, provisioned, and managed by in-house IT or an MSP.
- There is no support for mobile workers. SD-WAN equipment is designed for site-to-site networking, and it does not address the issue of securely connecting mobile users.
Related: Advantages of Partnering with an SD-WAN Managed Service Provider
Choosing the Right Solution
As we have seen, SD-WAN has several significant advantages, but SD-WAN alone is not a complete solution. This is where Secure Access Service Edge comes into play. SD-WAN is an essential component of SASE, although it is not the only component.
The fundamental advantage of Secure Access Service Edge is the establishment of a single, worldwide network that links and protects all organizational edges — sites, mobile users, and cloud resources — without sacrificing the cost savings, agility, or reach of the internet or the predictability and performance of MPLS. Edges employ any available connection to route traffic to the nearest gateway of the SASE global network, where it is optimized, secured, and routed to its destination.
When it comes to your security architecture, don’t go it alone.
To effectively use an SD-WAN and SASE solution, you need to consider providers with extensive knowledge and credentials. If you want a tailored solution, partner with our experienced team at BCM One.
We can assess your current infrastructure needs and tailor-make a solution just for you. Contact us today, and let’s build this together.