What is SASE?
Since the last decade, networks have been instrumental in connecting users to applications via data centers. These data centers are protected by a security layer to safeguard apps and data from the outside world. But now things are different.
With all the enterprise data being pushed to the cloud, the conventional security standards are getting outdated. With users connecting from literally anywhere, conventional network security practices are no longer able to solve the fundamental security problems and are only adding to the increased complexity.
At the same time, businesses have to constantly collect sensitive information of their customers, and deploy it to the cloud. The safety of this data in the cloud totally depends upon the data security approach you take and the tech architecture of your business.
One such fantastic approach that protects your data at all endpoints is Secure Access Service Edge or simply SASE.
In this post, we will understand everything about SASE including how it mitigates breaches, misconfigurations, and internal errors.
Table of Contents
- What is SASE?
- Components of SASE
- Benefits of SASE
- Is SASE necessary for your business?
What is SASE?
SASE which is an acronym for Secure Access Service Edge is a cloud-based approach for securing WAN networks. It is a robust network architecture that works by combining the Wide Area Network capabilities with cloud security functions such as web gateways, cloud access security brokers, and zero-trust network access.
The SASE network architecture provides better visibility of the users, traffic, and data of entities accessing a corporate network from any location or any device. In this way, SASE helps your company cut down deployment and networking costs and also improve external security, at the same time. SASE typically works with SD-WAN; this provides enterprises a WAN networking functionality by passing information securely across the network.
Traditional WAN networks allowed users in a branch or campus to connect to data and applications via data centers using MPLS hardware. This provided reliable connectivity and security. But remember that MPLS is nothing but a data forwarding technology that controls the flow of traffic in a network. More importantly, installing MPLS hardware can be quite expensive and it does not work in a cloud-centric environment.
Components of SASE
SASE is not made of a single component. It is an entire toolbox of the following components providing security within a global network -
- SD-WAN - As mentioned earlier, SD-WAN is an important component that provides optimal routing in a client to cloud platform.
- Cloud Access Security Broker - A CASB is a tool that sits between your company’s on-premises network and your cloud provider’s infrastructure. It acts as a gatekeeper, identifying security gaps within the network. Using the CASB tool, you can enable the security policies used within your corporate network beyond and into the cloud network. This ensures that security is prioritized not only in your corporate network but also beyond it.
- Firewalling: NGFW and Firewall As A Service(FAAS) - Unlike the traditional firewall that inspects the incoming and outgoing data traffic, this next-generation firewall service provides advanced features like integrated intrusion prevention, cloud-delivered threat detection, access control, and malware detection and prevention
- Zero Trust Network Access - This is a remarkable feature in SASE which is based on the idea that nothing in the network should be trusted - not users, devices, locations, or networks. The job of ZTNA is authenticating user access through multifactor authentication methods and role-based identity with the help of advanced on-network and off-network-based authentication.
- Secure Web Gateway(SWG) - Applications within your organization are accessed using a remote access VPN. But when it comes to cloud applications, users get disconnected from VPN services and are exposed to security risks. This is where SWG helps. It assists by filtering malicious content and inappropriate websites.
Benefits of SASE
- It provides a holistic view of your entire business network so that you can identify your users and data resources effortlessly, that too at a large scale.
- It has made network management way simpler as it has considerably reduced network complexity by integrating network architecture such as SD-WAN to a single cloud platform.
- SASE provides edge-to-edge security as part of its network security architecture, including SWG, NGFW, and IPS. It secures all endpoints and provides transparency across the organization’s architecture.
- Seamless user experience is assured by SASE. Unlike traditional networking apps, where users far from the data centers experience downtime while fetching data, with SASE the norm is optimal bandwidth and low latency.
- With SASE you can enable a full-fledged security stack anywhere in the network. SASE can detect malicious movement across your network and stop DDoS attacks in advance.
- The most remarkable advantage of SASE is that it enforces ZTNA (Zero-Trust Network Access). This grants a session for a user only if he/she bypasses authentication for all devices, users, check location, and policy compliance.
Is SASE necessary for your business now?
With businesses rapidly shifting their data assets to the cloud and WFA being the new norm, there is a rapid increase in unmanaged devices within the corporate network. These unmanaged devices are hard to track within the corporate network. With SASE, your business can track the devices present in your corporate network and set security policies to surf within your network. Also thanks to the least privilege access provided by SASE, the possibility of an attack is minimized to a great extent.
With everything becoming a part of the cloud in today’s world, providing security and seamless user experience is the main requirement for all enterprises. And offering security can be taken care of by SASE. Although there are some shortcomings, SASE can do more good to your enterprise than harm as it comes in as a bundled technology, offering various security features to cloud-based platform access.