The best SASE providers offer an integrated framework that combines network as a service with security as a service. This approach offers single-view management, reduces costs and complexity, and helps IT teams eliminate siloed data analysis to spot trends.
SASE enables secure direct internet and cloud access for branch offices and remote workers without sending all internet-destined traffic back to the corporate data center. This eliminates security loopholes and enables better performance.
What Is SASE?
SASE solution converges networking and security into a single framework to deliver a seamless experience for employees connecting to business applications. It shifts the security model from traffic-flow based to identity-centric and provides security at the edge. This enables businesses to connect employees to applications wherever they are—whether in the cloud, at home, in a branch office, on an IoT device, or in any other location and network.
It provides visibility into sensitive data and protects against threats with cloud capabilities like NGFW, SWG, DLP, and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). This fully integrated framework delivers performance-based security with full access control to business applications and networks.
The rise of digital transformation, remote work, and cybersecurity risks are driving enterprises to rethink their networking and security models. Rerouting all traffic to a central data center for security controls is no longer practical, especially when employees work from home or travel. To solve these complexities, a SASE solution embraces SD-WAN and runs a unified security framework end to end across a secure network edge. SASE is a game-changer because it combines network with security as a service, delivering a seamless experience for connected employees and the flexibility to handle changing IT environments. It also delivers consistency of policy enforcement across multiple services.
SASE Embraces SD-WAN
SASE combines and unifies various networking functions and security services to provide a secure experience for remote workers and multi-cloud environments as part of an overall security strategy. Its core security capabilities are zero trust network access (ZTNA), Secure Web Gateway (SWG), CASB, and FWaaS, which protect endpoints and users with centralized visibility and policy enforcement.
While traditional security architectures use a centralized firewall to enforce policies, SASE distributes enforcement points and security services close to where users work before data traffic enters the corporate network. This helps IT teams simplify management and security, avoiding the costs and limitations of a central firewall.
The SASE approach also incorporates cloud-native architecture, supporting dynamic services and scale. It enables a single platform to protect all edges, including IoT and edge computing devices. It also provides a secure, flexible, cloud-delivered solution for connecting remote users and branch offices.
A global SD-WAN service ensures low latency at all locations. This helps enterprises avoid performance bottlenecks caused by traditional hub-and-spoke architectures, where internet-destined traffic is first sent to the corporate data center for inspection and then routed to its final destination. With SASE, the data is securely inspected at the PoP nearest to the user, minimizing the bandwidth and delivering a smooth user experience.
SASE Delivers End-to-End Security
As enterprises expand into global operations, SASE delivers security and networking capabilities to users at the network edge. This helps companies connect directly to the cloud, the internet, and corporate systems, avoiding costly Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) lines and providing fast, reliable performance across remote and mobile devices.
The security pillar of SASE comprises a unified firewall as a service that simplifies implementation and management. It supports a zero-trust approach, requiring authentication and authorization of all devices and users, whether inside the corporate perimeter or not. It also enables data protection, blocking malware attacks and securing sensitive information.
Tight integration of networking and security functions reduces complexity and eliminates functional overlap. This translates to less expensive and more effective cybersecurity solutions that are easy to maintain and scale.
For example, SASE offers centralized visibility into all threat behavior data fed by various sources, allowing IT teams to identify anomalies quickly and easily. SASE also enables a streamlined policy management process with access based on identity and not site, eliminating the need to manage multiple policies for various point solutions manually. This allows IT teams to focus on strategic projects. Ultimately, SASE is designed to help organizations improve their threat prevention, improve overall networking and security experience and deliver a higher ROI.
SASE Delivers a Secure Experience
As companies adopt a wide range of new technologies to support mobility, cloud services, and digital transformation, they need a system that can enforce access policies without the complexity and security gaps inherent in implementing multiple-point solutions. SASE delivers on that promise by integrating comprehensive network and security services into a unified framework deployed end-to-end over SD-WAN infrastructure.
The result is a single, integrated solution that decouples networking functions from the underlying networks and routes traffic using a hybrid model that combines MPLS with direct-to-Internet connections for optimal performance, scalability, and cost efficiency. It also supports secure and seamless connectivity for remote users, branch offices, devices, and applications with zero trust and no hardware requirements.
SASE’s approach to security is driven by a user-centric policy that looks at the communication session instead of a device or network access point and enables security to be applied to the full range of applications and data hosted in the cloud, on SaaS apps or within the enterprise firewall. This enables IT to create consistent policies across all platforms and locations for more consistent, agile protection without impacting productivity or the user experience.
Unlike a traditional architecture that backhauls application traffic to the corporate data center for inspection, SASE leverages advanced SD-WAN edge capabilities and a powerful set of security services that are delivered in the cloud. This reduces costs by eliminating the need to deploy and maintain a multi-vendor stack at the edge, eliminating the need for many-point solutions at remote sites, and dramatically lowering operational overhead.