A Comprehensive Guide examines the key steps in implementing this innovative network security solution. It starts with identifying why the business wants to implement SASE and what benefits they hope to gain. SASE combines SD-WAN and zero-trust network security in a cloud-native architecture. This provides centralized security control for a roving workforce and eliminates hardware devices susceptible to cyberattacks.
Authentication and Access Control
As enterprises move from centralized on-premises data centers to more distributed cloud-based solutions like IaaS providers, SaaS applications and cloud storage, the security architecture must also shift. Traditional WAN security models were designed to protect corporate systems, and they can leave security gaps when employees connect remotely from home offices, hotels or airports. To meet these challenges, SASE solutions converge network connectivity and security features into one service that delivers consistent, high-performance protection. But what are SASE solutions, and how do they play an important role in your network? Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solutions represent a transformative network security and access approach. SASE combines network and security operations into a unified cloud-based platform, allowing enterprises to securely connect their users and devices to applications and data regardless of location. This means that instead of relying on traditional perimeter-based security models, SASE leverages the cloud to deliver security services wherever needed. By doing so, SASE enhances the flexibility and security of an organization’s network infrastructure, making it well-suited for the modern era of remote work, cloud adoption, and the increasing need for robust cybersecurity measures. SASE solutions have quickly gained popularity due to their ability to simplify network architecture, reduce latency, and provide more agile and scalable comprehensive security. SASE solutions deliver unified policy management, allowing IT teams to manage their networks and remote users from a single portal. This includes granular authentication, access control policies, and Zero Trust network access (ZTNA). ZTNA replaces trust assumptions with a security model based on identity rather than IP address or device.
In addition, SASE solutions combine firewall as a service (FWaaS), cloud security as a service (CASB), and threat detection with role-based access control into one solution. This converged architecture streamlines implementation and management. The solution eliminates the need to purchase and deploy point products that need to be integrated, lowering total costs. When choosing a SASE solution, evaluate the provider’s security capabilities, performance, scalability and support, and compliance with industry regulations. Look for a reputable, reliable provider with a track record of success and an ability to deliver consistently secure network connections as close to the endpoint as possible.
Threat Detection and Response
The traditional network security model requires organizations to tunnel Internet and SaaS app traffic into centralized data centers for processing. This approach carries a significant operational burden and increases security vulnerability due to increased dependencies on external networks and vendors that enterprises don’t control or know well. SASE architecture turns this on its head, enforcing security where the traffic is—at the user and application endpoints. By integrating advanced SD-WAN and security capabilities, the SASE architecture reduces operational complexity and delivers consistent policy enforcement across users, locations and devices.
A CASB must be integrated to identify users, devices and applications to support security in the SASE model. The solution should also monitor and continuously assess threat levels to prevent security breaches. The CASB must also provide threat response planning to quickly and effectively mitigate any attacks detected. As with cloud-native networking and software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), SASE uses a virtualized services model to integrate networking and security functions into one platform so your teams can focus on business operations. This unified platform reduces the number of devices, contracts and analytics tools your teams must manage, increasing agility and performance.
With SASE, you can connect remote workers to enterprise resources and applications using a secure automated WAN, improving latency-sensitive apps’ performance. It also enables you to leverage direct Internet access (DIA) to avoid expensive and unreliable MPLS links and promote a more flexible connectivity strategy. This allows your employees to securely connect via the Internet in most locations worldwide while ensuring that corporate information stays secure and private.
Analytics and Reporting
As a result of digitalization and a hybrid workforce, many organizations are moving to a SASE security model. This convergence of SD-WAN and cloud security provides a unique architecture that reduces complexity, offers inline visibility and control of data, and creates preventative measures through advanced analytics capabilities. Unlike traditional VPN solutions that connect users to their network, a SASE architecture delivers security services directly to the devices and applications that need them. This approach optimizes performance by avoiding the high latency of tunneling Internet-bound traffic to central sites and also reduces the risk of sensitive data leaving the network.
When evaluating SASE solutions, look for ones that include full content inspection and zero trust policy enforcement. These features ensure that only the right users and systems can connect while continuously monitoring risk in real-time. They also help to ensure that only the right cloud apps, databases and other resources are accessed. While SASE can offer several benefits to IT teams, it’s important to remember that this is a significant change in how networks and security are managed. It’s vital to choose a vendor to support the transition to this new framework and provide expert integration services. This will help avoid issues such as a single point of failure and increased integration complexity that may require additional staff to manage.
Control and Automation
Integrating various security services into SASE offers an array of benefits to organizations, including threat protection, performance optimization, and data loss prevention. Using an open cybersecurity service delivery approach with SASE helps reduce the risk of a single point of failure or exposure while also providing flexibility to personalize security for each remote user and device. SASE combines networking and security functions into a single cloud-based service. This model allows IT teams to eliminate networking siloes, remove VPNs from the network, and automate the most mundane networking and security tasks. This simplifies the network, reduces operational costs, and improves end-user experience.
When choosing a SASE solution, IT managers must consider several factors to determine the right fit for their organization. They should first evaluate their current infrastructure and security setup to identify any gaps or weaknesses that SASE can address. They should then outline the objectives they want to achieve through SASE adoption, such as improved security, enhanced end-user experience, and simplified network management.
In addition, they should engage their stakeholders in the decision-making process to understand what needs to be done to ensure full buy-in for the transition to SASE. Once the team understands what needs to be accomplished, they can research SASE technology vendors to find solutions that match their goals and technological requirements. It’s also important to consider a gradual rollout of SASE to help ensure a successful implementation.