The critical components of SASE are software-defined WAN, cloud access security broker, NGFW and firewall as a service, and zero trust network access (ZTNA). These technologies put security in the fabric of the global edge so you can securely connect remote users and devices without using VPNs.
A SASE design can streamline operations and improve effectiveness for network and security teams. Choose a vendor that can reduce management time and latency for latency-sensitive applications.
Table of Contents
One of the SASE components, SD-WAN, also referred to as WAN optimization, offers a more flexible and economical WAN. The Secure Access Service Edge, often known as SASE (pronounced “SAY”), integrates networking and security operations into a single platform that securely links and adequately protects all organizational resources, from physical locations to cloud data centers to remote workforces. It improves application performance and eliminates WAN complexity, enabling greater agility and flexibility.
A centralized management platform can monitor and deploy policies prioritizing applications by business value, quality of experience, or cybersecurity. Depending on conditions or application needs, it can also reroute traffic to different connections. For example, it may reroute Internet connections to more reliable private or MPLS links for better performance and reduced latency.
It can also leverage cheaper Internet access by aggregating multiple direct-to-internet (DIA) lines for WAN connectivity, reducing bandwidth costs and enabling more efficient use of network resources. It can also add 3G/4G LTE networks for connectivity to remote sites or host security functions on the customer premises equipment (CPE) – all at a fraction of the price of dedicated hardware or software appliances.
Finally, a centralized dashboard can deliver consistent visibility and control of the network infrastructure, including firewalls, routers, VPNs, and NGFWs. It reduces manual workloads and allows IT to respond faster to changes in the network.
A CASB is an application security service that helps enterprises control access to SaaS apps and cloud environments. The best CASBs deliver granular visibility and protection based on identity rather than device, network, or location. This approach is more adaptable for a mobile workforce and reduces the risk of security gaps.
CASBs can also be integrated with SD-WAN to improve the overall network security of an enterprise. For example, a CASB can prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, spoofing, and other common threats that could lead to data leakage or other vulnerabilities. A leading SASE service can also offer improved security for edge devices like automobiles, refrigerators, web cameras, IoT sensors on industrial product lines, or intelligent health monitoring gadgets connecting to corporate networks to exchange data.
An integrated SASE solution combines networking and security functions to support the secure access needs of digital enterprises. By consolidating these services into a single solution, SASE simplifies deployment and management and reduces cost by eliminating the need for multiple-point solutions. However, the most critical limitation of SASE is that it introduces a single point of failure for both networking and security functions, so technical issues on the provider side can shut down networks or cloud applications.
Regarding SASE, the best approach combines networking and security capabilities into a single unified service that can be managed from a centralized portal. Enterprises can streamline infrastructure configuration at branch offices, remote locations, and end-user devices by reducing the number of vendors they interact with. This model also eliminates the need for complex agent software on end-user devices and helps reduce the risk of security breaches.
Cloud-delivered SASE services are based on the concept of edge computing, pushing security and access closer to users. It allows enterprises to avoid security degradation from VPN connections and secure public internet connections and SaaS applications without compromising user experience.
The SASE security framework also leverages a global network backbone to provide performance and low latency for business applications hosted on-premises or in the cloud. SASE protects against DDoS attacks and vulnerability exploits that could compromise sensitive data by providing an encrypted link between a business’s network and its applications.
A key component of SASE is zero trust network access (ZTNA), which replaces traditional VPNs and grants access to enterprise applications and data based on identity rather than location or device. When establishing access policies, SASE considers the identity of the device, IoT device, or remote employee, contextual factors such as time of day, network and application sensitivity, and an ongoing evaluation of the threat/trust posture.
ZTNA combines a set of technologies into a single network security solution to protect enterprise branch locations and remote users. Its unified approach to networking and security eliminates the need for multiple-point solutions, cutting hardware, software, and management costs. It also ensures consistent policy enforcement across the entire enterprise network by combining networking and security into one service.
ZTNA features a global edge network that routes traffic close to the user, providing low latency and improved performance. It shifts network security from a device-centric model to a least-privileged approach that trusts no one and grants access on a case-by-case basis. It reduces the attack surface, improving overall security visibility.
In addition to reducing the number of point products and simplifying management, SASE reduces costs by eliminating the need for costly Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) lines and enabling enterprises to scale their infrastructure as needed. It also improves performance by ensuring that data and applications are delivered to end users with the highest possible quality.
SASE is a crucial part of an overall network architecture strategy that aims to break down technology siloes and automate routine networking and security tasks. However, implementing SASE requires collaboration between network and security teams to ensure that each component is configured correctly. If this is not done, security issues may impact the performance and availability of critical functions that are not fully protected.