Network SASE technologies and methods these days are lacking in terms of security and access to digital control, which is the most important and absolutely needed by any organization that relies on the network. The increasing number of users, the moving of data from the data center to cloud services, and more software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications being used cause more traffic to the public cloud services. 

For these reasons, a modernized security technology for network security has risen and continuously emerging, such as Secure access service edge or SASE (pronounced as “sassy”), which Gartner defined in its 2019 report with the headline “The Future of Network Security is in the Cloud.” Gartner defined the SASE structure as a cloud-based network security solution that guaranteed comprehensive WAN capabilities and functions with comprehensive network security such as CASB, SWG, ATNA , and FWaaS to support the dynamic, secure access needs of digital enterprises.”

What does SASE mean?

Secure access service edge (SASE) is a structure for a cloud network architecture that bundles the network and security control functions to deliver directly to the source, such as users, devices, etc., rather than to a data center. Its security is based on digital identity, real-time setting, and regulatory standards and policies rather than a security device such as a firewall.

SASE has six essential elements in terms of its capabilities and technologies. Together with Wide Area Network (WAN) capabilities, SASE is able to ensure the security of users, systems, and endpoints to applications, networks and services anywhere. These are software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), Secure web gateway (SWG), Cloud access security broker (CASB), firewall as a service (FWaaS), Zero trust network access (ZTNA), and Centralized management.

1.Software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) – edge architecture that lessens the complexity and optimizes the user experience by choosing the best route and link to the internet, cloud apps, and the data center dynamically for optimum performance. It also helps to manage policies through various locations and enables rapid placement of new apps and devices. Moreover, it allows enterprises to combine or replace WAN connections with other connections such as Internet broadband, 5g, or LTE connections.

2. Secure web gateway (SWG) – prevents unsecured internet traffic from passing through your internal network. It protects and shields your users from accessing vulnerable websites and being infected with viruses, malware, and other threats.

3. Cloud access security broker (CASB) – prevents data leaks, regulatory noncompliance, malware, and lack of conspicuousness by ensuring the safe use of cloud services and apps.

4. Firewall as a service (FWaaS) – helps to replace physical firewalls with cloud firewalls that deliver advanced Layer 7 or next-generation firewalls, also known as NGFW capabilities, including access controls. NGFW fuses a traditional firewall with other security and network shield. This other security includes application control, intrusion prevention, filtering of websites, threat intelligence, deep and encrypted packet inspection, identity management, and a lot more. A single FWaaS cloud can connect an entire organization without the requirements of maintaining its own firewall infrastructure.

5. Zero trust network access (ZTNA) – provides remote users access to internal apps with a zero trust model, which means it is never assumed. It provides secure access to remote users without putting them into your own network.

6. Centralized management – managing all of the above to a single console to let you eliminate various challenges such as change control, coordinating outage windows, patch management, and policy management while delivering consistent policies across your organization regardless of the user’s location.

What is the SASE model?

SASE model combines a variety of networking and security functions into a single integrated cloud service. Through combining with SASE, the results are as follows:

  • Lesser cost and complexity
  • Strengthen security by applying strict policy
  • Deliver centralized planning and real-time application optimization
  • Restrict access based on the user level, device, and application identity
  • Help secure unified access for users
  • Increase network and security staff effectiveness
  • Empower more secure remote and mobile access

How does a SASE work?

SASE architecture is associated with a software-defined wide area network or SD-WAN or others that possess multiple security capabilities like cloud access security broker or anti-malware. In general, SASE ensures the security of your network traffic.

SASE does stand out from other network security because it interacts directly with the end user, which is more secure than relying on data center security. The traffic from users’ devices is checked at the enforcement point and then sent to its endpoint. This process is more efficient in terms of users’ access to applications and data. It is also a superior option in terms of protecting distributed resources and data in the cloud.

What are two benefits of SASE?

SASE offers significant benefits to any organization that chooses cloud services. Here are the two benefits of SASE:

1. Lesser IT costs and complexity – SASE focuses on the entities like users. The information that is being processed close to the end user and its devices is secured as SASE services push security and access directly. There’s no need to assign specific IT for maintenance and other related work to function properly, like the data center. SASE dynamically denies or allows access to applications, data, and services when using the organization’s security policies.

2. Lesser risk – SASE is designed to take over and address challenges and ensures security over the new risk in today’s restructured threat. The security, together with the threat protection and data loss prevention (DLP), SASE ensures all connections are checked and secured regardless of location, application and etc.

Also, there are other benefits that SASE architecture gives to mobile and cloud-enabled enterprises. These benefits are:

  • Universal access – SASE is designed to provide consistent and fast services and secure access from any entity and any location.
  • Performance – SASE providers can optimize and can choose route traffic through its high-performance backbones contracted with peering partners and transporter.

In choosing a SASE provider, you have to check the important factors: balances with your business, you can work wherever you are located, dynamic and always stand up against network threats, and provides a base for Internet of things (IoT) implementation.

There are security providers that claim to contrive a cloud-delivered product, but many are just a platform in the cloud that is only built on legacy hardware.

Below are the lists of companies that offer SASE products and services as of today:

  • Akamai
  • Aryaka Networks
  • Barracuda Networks
  • Cato Networks
  • Check Point Software
  • Cisco Systems
  • Citrix
  • Cloudflare
  • Elisity
  • Enea (Qosmos) 
  • Extreme Networks
  • Forcepoint
  • Fortinet
  • Juniper Networks
  • Infoblox
  • Lumen Technologies
  • NetFoundry
  • McAfee
  • Netskope
  • Nokia (Nuage Networks) 
  • Palo Alto Networks
  • Perimeter 81
  • Versa Networks
  • VMware
  • Zscaler

How is SASE implemented?

In implementing SASE, first, you must check and search for a SASE provider that is suited to your existing tools and technology. When you find it, you can now start working with your provider to discuss and plan for an approach that combines both zero trust and SASE. If implemented successfully, regardless of the location of your work, your data is always safe.

What is the difference between SASE and zero-trust?

The difference between SASE and Zero-trust is that SASE provides guidance for providers to design security solutions effectively, whereas Zero-trust is a strategy to disregard risk to any organization. SASE also summarizes solutions to provide secure access, and Zero-trust also has a requirement for effective monitoring of cyber threats, aligning solutions, maintenance of the environment, and compliance with the requirements that go beyond any single technical solution.

Many organizations continuously pursue implementing both SASE and Zero-trust, but they must understand well about their similarities and how they help each other for successful implementation.

How secure is SASE?

SASE’s core components consist of SD-WAN, secure web gateway (SWG), ZTNA, firewall-as-a-service, and cloud application security broker (CASB). With the existence of the core components, SASE is able to support the implementation of a trust or risk engine that incorporates contextual scoring capabilities through Zero Trust Authorization Core. Zero trust removes trust from all network communications and searches to gather assurance that the communication is authentic.

There are also technologies that are somewhat similar to what SASE can do. Below are the names and details:

  • Network as a Service (NaaS) – by using a cloud subscription business model, Naas can transport virtualized network infrastructure and services. Same with SASE, it also offers reduced complexity and lessens expenditure. Naas providers offer different service packages like a package of WAN and a secure VPN as a service, bandwidth, or accommodated networks as a service, whereas SASE is meant only to be a single comprehensive, secure SD-WAN resolution for offices, users, and another secure enterprise.
  • Zero Trust Edge – a SASE-like type of converged network and security solution with additional emphasis on integrating zero trust principles to ensure and check authenticity and authorize access.

Generality

SASE manages the security structure and technology, which gives IT workers to spend less time on management access which means they can focus on areas where human is needed.

The integrated data approach of SASE provides a higher level of data analytics which means there will be a thorough checking so attacks can be prevented.

SASE architecture structure provides a higher level of protection compared to the classic security method that makes you spend less.

For more details about security and solutions, you may visit https://www.thepractical.co.th/ and speak to specialists.

Review How to Choose a SASE Provider: Important Factors.

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