SASE is a term you may have heard a lot about these days. Secure Access Service Edge is the acronym. It’s sometimes called “sassy” by IT professionals. It’s an architecture and not a product. SASE allows you to combine security and networking functions into one seamless cloud-based architecture. This allows you to provide secure access for all your organization’s data from wherever your users are working.
SASE is gaining more attention, and with good reason. This type of architecture can increase connectivity for your workforce, improve the ability of your IT team to manage network operations (NetOps), and raise your overall cybersecurity.
How can your organization reap these benefits? We’ll answer this question by sharing three examples of how SASE is making a difference in the organizations we serve. Let’s first put SASE in perspective.
Gartner’s 2020 Edition Networking Predictions
WHY IS SASE IMPORTANT TODAY?
Why would you want to combine cybersecurity and networking functions into one cloud architecture?
The first reason is that technology today allows people to work anywhere. Yes, it sounds obvious. Recognizing this trend is important, because it has accelerated its upward trajectory. This phenomenon is being fuelled by advances in mobile and cloud technology, as well as loosening corporate policies. It is being called the rise of the hybrid workforce by business pundits because more workers can choose to split their time between work and home.
This brings us to the second reason. Your apps and data can be found anywhere and everywhere today. This is known as the expansion of edge computing by industry experts. This simply means that your workers, their devices, and the information and apps they use, are operating in the field, rather than being restricted to your facilities’ servers and desktops. This situation can be viewed in another way: anyone within your organization can act in certain ways like a branch. You also have the option to extend this access to trusted vendors or other partners.
The third reason is more important than the first two. The proliferation of hybrid workforces and spreading computing edge can cause gaps in IT infrastructure. This can make devices and networks more vulnerable to ransomware attacks and data breaches. It is becoming increasingly difficult to defend against cybersecurity threats with more people working in the field. Cyberattacks are becoming more common. It also makes it more expensive to recover from these incidents.
SASE architecture can enhance your defenses, reduce the risk of cyberattacks and reduce the recovery costs.
Let’s now look at three possible ways this can happen.
HOW CAN SASE HELP YOUR WORKFORCE?
SASE architecture gives your users consistent, persistent network performance. They get reliable internet access, also known as DIA. SASE is a way for workers to connect from their branches and field locations at higher speeds, from any location at any time.
SASE achieves this feat using SD-WAN technology instead of MPLS links. This technique allows network traffic to flow more efficiently and optimally, without the need for technical details. Workers have the computing resources they require when they need them, regardless of whether they are at HQ, remotely, in a branch facility, at home, or anywhere else. SASE provides a better user experience than the networks of the past.
There’s also a downside to the optimal and efficient SASE approach. Help desk staff can help employees with IT issues while they are out in the field.
This leads to our next point.
HOW CAN SASE HELP YOUR TEAM NETOPS?
SASE makes it easier for network operations teams to manage networking technologies and company policies.
For example, SASE makes deploying software-as-a-service (SaaS) and enforcing data governance easier. NetOps staff can monitor and facilitate workers’ use of apps and information in a consistent and comprehensive manner.
MPLS links are more expensive than SD-WAN. Your NetOps team reaps the benefits of SASE reducing complexity and cost while also saving money.
This principle also applies to cybersecurity.
HOW CAN SASE HELP YOUR CYBERSECURITY?
SASE can reduce cost and complexity in your security system by replacing the stuff your IT team had made work together with an integrated system that hums along in concert straight out of the box.
Enterprise security teams used to routinely install “best-of breed” point security solutions from different vendors to address specific needs. These standalone products often had different operating systems and management consoles, and were often limited in their integration with other security products. It was a complex web of technologies that required much time, attention, budget, and money to implement, maintain and update.
Unfortunately, many organizations found themselves in a “defense ad nauseam” situation as multiple siloed security tools increased complexity and often caused performance issues in their network.
SASE is a game changer in the “defense in convergence” category, where network and security functions work in coordination.
HOW CAN INTERNETWORK ENGINEERING (IE), HELP YOU ADOPT ASE?
First, we partner with Cisco as their SASE partner for histo.