Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), pronounced “sassy”, is a revolutionary networking model initially outlined by Gartner in 2019. This model represents a significant shift from traditional Wide Area Network (WAN) management and security approaches, moving towards a more unified and cloud-native architecture.
Definition of SASE
In a nutshell, SASE or Secure Access Service Edge combines network security functions with wide area networking (WAN) capabilities. The goal? To support the dynamic secure access needs of organizations. Think about it like creating a safe and versatile pathway for all your data travels and communications.
So why do we need SASE? Well, consider how we’re working today. Initially, services focused on data centers, but cloud services have changed this landscape entirely. A solution was needed to navigate these complex networks while ensuring top-notch security – and thus, SASE was born!
SASE Structure and Framework
SASE’s core strength lies in its ability to merge traditional network architecture with modern security protocols. This fusion creates a unified, cloud-native platform that simplifies management and improves security posture.
By converging services, SASE offers a comprehensive solution that caters to the increasingly distributed nature of enterprise networks. The flexibility of this model allows for quick adaptation to changing business needs and threat landscapes, making it an ideal choice for organizations looking to future-proof their network infrastructure.
Envision a global IT assembly line. Data flows from one network node to another, all facilitated by the cloud. As this happens, SASE makes sure every bit of data is protected through comprehensive security features – like a virtual bodyguard overseeing valuable information transfers!
In practice, SASE’s framework significantly enhances user experience and security. It allows for secure, fast access to resources regardless of the user’s location, which is crucial for supporting remote and mobile workforces. The model also scales effortlessly, accommodating new users, devices, and applications without compromising performance or security. This scalability is particularly beneficial for businesses experiencing rapid growth or undergoing digital transformation.
Transitioning to a SASE architecture requires a strategic approach. Organizations should assess their current infrastructure, identify specific needs, and gradually integrate SASE components. This phased implementation ensures minimal disruption to existing operations while steadily moving towards a more secure, agile network environment. Collaboration with experienced SASE providers can also offer valuable insights and support during this transition.
Components of SASE
At its core, according to Gartner, SASE is about blending network security functions, such as Secure Web Gateways (SWG), Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB), Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), with the capabilities of Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN). This integration enables the delivery of both network and security as a service directly from the cloud.
As organizations become more geographically dispersed with extensive remote work policies in place, SD-WAN connects far-flung branches and remote workforce via virtual architecture. It provides flexibility and streamlines connectivity between both ends whilst saving costs.
SWGs serve as your first line of defense against web-borne threats. They inspect your internet traffic, filtering out malicious content even before it hits your network. Don’t be mistaken; they’re not mere protective barriers – they offer control over what content enters or leaves your system.
These elements secure all cloud-hosted data. Like protective guardians for clouds everywhere, CASBs help keep sensitive information away from prying eyes. Making use of different techniques such as encryption and tokenization, CASB saliently reinforces cloud-based data security.
This technology takes firewall functionality to the next level by integrating deep packet inspections and intrusion prevention systems while maintaining crucial VPN support capabilities.
ZTNA offers granular access controls based on user identification rather than geographical location or network-bound access methods – hence the term ‘Zero Trust.’ It makes sure every user and device is authenticated, regardless of whether they are inside or outside an organization’s traditional perimeter.
SASE vs SD-WAN
SD-WAN is an approach to managing and optimizing connections across wide area networks (WANs). It helps businesses streamline their network operations, providing greater agility and cost savings. Contrarily, SASE combines networking and security functions, offering a more integrated solution. It’s like having the best of both worlds – robust security and efficient network management.
One may wonder – why choose one over the other? Let’s simplify this.
When it comes to security, SASE outperforms. SASE’s cloud-based nature enables it to provide integrated threat prevention. The connectivity and security are intertwined, hence stronger protection. That doesn’t mean SD-WAN lacks in defense; it simply means you might need additional solutions alongside it.
Both technologies offer some financial benefits. SD-WAN can reduce costs linked to traditional WANs by utilizing broadband internet connections. On the other hand, SASE includes built-in security features which could save you from investing in separate systems.
Ease of management is another consideration. With its cloud-native architecture, SASE aids centralized control of network services on a global scale. Meanwhile, SD-WAN offers easier deployment than classic WAN setups but can complicate matters when handling vast networks due its decentralized nature.
While SD-WAN and SASE serve similar purposes, they cater to different needs depending on your organization’s priorities. Do you value tight integration between networking and security above all else? If so, opt for SASE. But if cost reduction or streamlined connectivity take precedence, consider adopting SD-WAN instead.
Let’s not overlook future-readiness as well! Thanks to its inherent scalability and adaptability aspects, SASE holds potential for businesses that plan on expanding their digital footprint.
Integrating network and security services
Optimizing network connectivity
Ideal Use Case
High; integrated with various security services
Moderate; can include security features but not as comprehensive
Simplified through cloud-based service
Simplified through software-controlled traffic routing
Highly scalable due to cloud-native design
Scalable, but depends on the underlying network infrastructure
Potentially higher due to integrated security services
Often lower, focusing mainly on network management
Can be cloud-based or on-premises, depending on the architecture
Read more: SDWAN vs MPLS.
SASE for Businesses in Malaysia
For businesses in Malaysia looking to adopt SASE, Spectrum Edge, a leading Fortinet distributor in Malaysia, offers an unbeatable combination of expertise and technology. By partnering with us, you’ll gain access to a suite of advanced security solutions designed to protect your network and data in an increasingly digital world.
Read more: Cyber Security for Business.
Whether you’re a small startup or a large enterprise, our tailored solutions ensure your business stays agile, secure, and ahead of the curve in today’s fast-paced market. With Spectrum Edge, you’re not just adopting a technology; you’re investing in a secure, scalable future. Contact us today!