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SASE Part 4: Security and Connectivity Converge for a Digital Transformation


In our first insight post 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 Part 3, we explored the role of SASE and SD-WAN in facilitating the type of secure and ubiquitous connectivity we’ve all grown to expect. In our fourth and final insight post of the series, we look at the two key elements of SASE’s offerings—security and connectivity—and what it means to network architecture when they converge.

Today, security and connectivity operate largely independent of one another. In most cases, they are premises-based. Even with an SD-WAN solution, the buying decisions still happen separately from each other. Yet as we’ve noted in previous posts, secure access and stable connectivity are essential for every enterprise. For true digital transformation to occur—where users and endpoints alike are able to connect to networked resources, no matter where and when they need it—both must be addressed in tandem.

SASE essentially opens the door to this type of “digital enterprise.” Because SASE is a cloud-based approach, the security fabric can be scaled up or down based on need; enhanced or upgraded with additional feature-rich functionality; and expanded to accommodate an ever-growing network perimeter.

So, what does this mean for an enterprise?

Because SD-WAN is “the foundation that SASE is built upon,” according to SDX Central, integrating the two and making holistic buying decisions better ensures an end-to-end approach to optimized security and connectivity.

Here are some examples, taken from use cases, to illustrate what it looks like for the enterprise and its users:

  • A large enterprise has thousands of employees working from home, connecting with colleagues and customers via video conference calls to do their jobs.
  • Users at a mid-sized healthcare organization access MS Office365 and the company’s medical records system and experience consistent application performance regardless of whether they are working at corporate headquarters or the branch office.
  • An oil and gas company monitors a network of remote device sensors collecting and reporting data in a cost-efficient and secure manner, so they can guard against outages and protect public safety.
  • A retailer establishes pop-up locations quickly and easily to mirror seasonal customer demand, all the while having secure access to its back-office and point-of-sale applications.

These are just a few examples of how enterprises can be digitally transformed when security and connectivity converge, as they do when SASE and SD-WAN are integrated.

To learn more about SASE and SD-WAN, check out our earlier insights.