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SASE Part 3: Connectivity Everywhere, For Everyone and Everything


In our first insight of this series on Secure Access Service Edge, or SASE (pronounced “sassy”), we looked at the prevailing cloud environment and its impact on network security; and explored the promising marriage between SASE and SD-WAN. In Part 2, we looked at the risk associated with endpoints and SASE’s approach to securing the network. In this installment, we explore the role of SASE and SD-WAN in facilitating the type of secure and ubiquitous connectivity we’ve all grown to expect.

We all know that connectivity is crucial. Gone are the days when we would accept outages in stride or expect to be offline for brief periods of maintenance. We now expect ubiquitous coverage, wherever we are, all hours of the day (and night!)

With the recent health crisis, this need has been magnified. We’ve seen how indispensable the network is for enabling an enterprise to remain operational and connected to employees, customers, constituents, vendors, and partners. Applications and devices that are hosted by the network require a continuous, secure, and stable connection to maintain session integrity and functionality. Network users also expect a certain level of application performance and security so they can complete their tasks safely and efficiently. Failing to meet those expectations creates significant dissatisfaction in the user experience.

Continuous, Robust Connectivity

Within standard network architectures, having control and visibility into the devices and systems on a network are also critical—and equally dependent on robust connectivity. It is not acceptable for issues of reliability and security to hamper monitoring, productivity, or mobility. This holds true when considering SASE; seamless connectivity is simply a must in order to securely envelope all users and devices along the entire network.

Achieving and maintaining such connectivity is one of the benefits of implementing a strong Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solution; one that optimizes application performance and uptime in spite of whether the network has vastly different broadband access types and infrastructures (which is common in the distributed enterprise).

The fact is, despite the continued growth in broadband availability, speed, coverage, and quality, all still vary considerably based on geography and infrastructure capability. This is especially true for branch or office locations in exurban areas. Yet SD-WAN enables continuous and robust connectivity to support a distributed environment.

Why the MSP/MSSP Matters

As we noted in Part 1,  providers like Hughes—that are both a Managed Service Provider (MSPs) and a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP)—have expertise and experience in deploying multi-thousand site SD-WAN implementations and delivering security to the edge in a distributed network. They also understand the challenges and apply best practices when integrating the two.

Additionally, they have established proven service provider relationships which enable them to stitch together a dependable enterprise network from multiple broadband providers and to augment the viability of deploying SD-WAN over distributed branches. This is imperative if they are successfully deploying again and again over broad geographic areas.

For these reasons, MSPs are far likelier to be able to pair SASE with SD-WAN successfully. In doing so, they’ll merge a diverse underlay of broadband connectivity; the SD-WAN, which provides improved app performance and user experience; and the critical and necessary security architecture (including a Zero Touch model) to control who and what can access the network. These three elements ensure the type of secure yet ubiquitous connectivity—anywhere, any time—that both enterprises and users demand.