One of the most talked-about network security offerings these days is Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), a network architecture that integrates cybersecurity and wide area networking (WAN) capabilities into a unified cloud-based platform.
Traditionally, organizations have relied on a combination of on-premises hardware appliances and multiple security tools, such as Virtual Private Networking (VPN), to provide secure access to network resources and data––an approach that can be complex, expensive and challenging to manage. SASE represents a paradigm shift in how enterprises approach their cybersecurity, including how they mitigate changing cyberthreats and support the normalization of remote and hybrid work arrangements.
Since SASE services are cloud-delivered, they protect access to company resources, like applications and data, from anywhere and at any time. By leveraging cloud-native architecture principles, SASE is scalable, elastic and flexible, capable of delivering services from distributed points worldwide to protect an enterprise’s global network footprint. SASE is ideal for conducting business without boundaries—securely.
So what makes a SASE solution, as opposed to any other type of secure enterprise network? These are the three essentials components that make a comprehensive SASE solution.
- Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN): SD-WAN is the foundation of SASE, enabling an organization to securely connect and manage their WAN using software-based controls and policies, rather than relying on hardware-based networking appliances and manual processes. SD-WAN enhances network connectivity through intelligent traffic routing among locations and cloud resources. It improves application performance and reduces costs associated with traditional WANs. Trusted managed services leaders, like Hughes, can deliver on the promises of SD-WAN for enterprises of all sizes. Not all SD-WAN solutions have security built-in, making SASE an essential network solution for many enterprises.
- Network Security Services: On top of an SD-WAN deployment, a variety of network security services come together in a SASE solution, with a full SASE solution including several specific services such as:
- Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) – which enables centralized management of security policies. It offers consistent security enforcement for applications and users, regardless of their location.
- Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) – that monitor and control data access and usage across multiple cloud platforms, safeguarding the network against cloud-based threats and protecting sensitive data from unauthorized access or leaks.
- Secure Web Gateways (SWGs) – to provide advanced web filtering capabilities and protect users from web-based threats. By inspecting and filtering internet traffic, SWGs prevent access to malicious websites, block malware downloads, and detect and thwart phishing attacks.
- Identity-centric Security: A SASE solution also must include Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) that authenticates and validates every network access request. The ZTNA model is not just a perimeter defense, it assumes that no user or device can be trusted and grants access only after identity verification. ZTNA ensures secure access control, reducing the threat attack surface and mitigating the risk of unauthorized breaches.
As businesses face aggressive and evolving cyber threats and strive to support a remote workforce with boundaryless networks, the adoption of SASE can provide numerous benefits including simplified network management, improved security posture, reduced costs, enhanced user experiences and increased scalability. By converging networking and security capabilities into a single cloud-based service, SASE addresses the needs of modern distributed and cloud-centric environments––no matter where the business goes, or however complex it grows.