Data leaks have become common as the world takes the fast track towards remote working. Traditional IT infrastructure and security policies are insufficient to keep organizations and employees safe from cyber threats. IT teams worldwide have consistently put in the effort to provide adequate security and continuity to their organizations, but only some of these efforts have borne fruit.
Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a cloud-based IT model that combines network traffic and security priorities to provide dynamic and secure access to hybrid organizations. In August 2019, Gartner introduced SASE as the future of network security for clouds. You must implement SASE to secure your network perimeter if you want simplicity, scalability, and flexibility for your remote workforce.
How SASE Operates
The SASE architecture combines a Software-Defined Wide Area Network with numerous security capabilities like anti-malware or cloud access security brokers that secure your network traffic.
Traditional inspection and verification approaches are effective for in-house employees only. Therefore, forwarding remote user traffic to the data center for inspection reduces workforce productivity.
Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a cloud-based IT model that combines network traffic and security priorities to provide dynamic and secure access to hybrid organizations.
SASE offers a secure and direct approach; instead of relying on the security of your data center, the traffic originating from the devices undergoes inspection at a nearby enforcement point before transmission.
Therefore, remote users get uninterrupted access to applications and data, which makes it a far better option to protect an organization’s distributed workforce and the cloud.
Is SASE More Than a Buzzword?
Since Gartner dubbed it the future of cloud security, SASE has gained attention from leading service providers. Its ability to turn data center-focused security and network infrastructure obsolete has forced organizations worldwide to rethink cybersecurity.
Components of SASE
SASE contains the following five essential elements, which are a combination of capabilities and technologies dedicated to organizational security.
Software-Defined Wide Area Networking acts as an automated programmable approach that manages the network connectivity of an organization. IT teams can use it to create an application that allows organizations to build a smart hybrid cloud. SD-WAN lets you stay cost-effective as you manage your business applications and cloud because it consists of a business-grade IP VPN, internet, and wireless services. You can also configure SD-WAN to forward traffic automatically and dynamically through the most appropriate and efficient WAN path according to your network conditions or Quality of Service requirements.
A Secure Web Gateway protects the users from all web-based threats as it applies and enforces user policies that the organization defines. Users connect to the internet through the SWG, which connects the users to the website they want to access. The SWG also performs URL filtering, web visibility, and malicious content inspection.
With an SWG, organizations can:
- Block direct access to websites
- Filter content based on predefined use policies
- Enforce security policies
- Protect data from unauthorized transfer
A Cloud Access Security Broker acts as a cloud security policy enforcement point that is strategically placed between the consumers and providers. With a CASB, you secure your cloud applications that are on public or private clouds. Moreover, CASB operates with four key pillars:
Organizations require visibility to control both managed and unmanaged cloud services. Instead of allowing or blocking services on the cloud, CASB can enable the IT team to add useful services to their cloud while retaining the governing access.
When moving data to the cloud, organizations worry about compliance. These standards ensure the safety of personal and corporate data. If you ignore these concerns, you can become a victim of data breaches. A CASB can assist you in becoming fully compliant with regulatory requirements and safeguarding your organization.
- Data security
Organizations must use a sophisticated cloud DLP mechanism such as document fingerprinting to achieve accuracy to reduce the detection surface area. Whenever the CASB discovers sensitive information, the IT team can shuttle suspected violations to their on-premises systems for investigation.
- Threat protection
Employees often introduce and propagate cloud malware and threats from using an unprotected internet connection to access organizational resources. Therefore, the IT team needs to scan these threats in real-time and address them across their internal and external network. Therefore, they need CASB to detect and prevent unauthorized user access to their cloud and user data.
Firewall as a Service is a security solution equipped with a cloud firewall that delivers advanced layer seven capabilities like intrusion prevention systems and DNS security. The FWaaS concept is not just about virtualizing a network firewall; it allows organizations to simplify their IT infrastructure and improve their overall cybersecurity.
With FWaaS in place, you can manage your security from a centralized console that helps overcome challenges like patch management or policy management.
Organizations use Zero Trust Network Access to provide their remote users with secure access to their resources. ZTNA never assumes trust and allows the least privileges to the users according to the organization’s granular policies.
SD-WAN lets you stay cost-effective as you manage your business applications and cloud because it consists of a business-grade IP VPN, internet, and wireless services.
Therefore, ZTNA ensures that your remote users connect to your resources without compromising your network or exposing your cloud applications to the internet.
Reasons Why You Must Have SASE in Your Organization
Here are four reasons your organization needs SASE to protect itself from internal and external threats.
Addresses the Needs of a Distributed Workforce
Edge computing, cloud, and COVID-19 made the modern workforce distributed as more organizations decided to go towards remote workplaces. Therefore, a cloud-native approach that doesn’t redirect traffic through on-premises data centers over a VPN is a natural solution for a perimeter-less world.
Converges Security and Networking Functions
Organizations need a combination of solutions like firewalls, VPNs, SD-WAN, or CASB to keep their distributed workforce secure. To maintain the integrity of the network, you need to adopt a simple approach that offers better performance and security.
Focuses on Identity
A SASE approach uses identity as a descriptor for securing internal and external communications instead of an IP address.
In distributed workforces, identities are a part of the cloud that play an important part in authenticating and authorizing users before granting access to cloud resources.
Offers Elasticity and Scalability
After shifting from a private data center, you need to implement SASE to be completely independent of physical hardware that requires manual scaling. Moving to the cloud allows you to scale and expand to meet your business needs. You can also descale when you don’t need extra resources.
Protecting your cloud resources should be your top priority. Therefore, you should implement SASE in your organization to meet the demands of your distributed workforce and keep your cloud secure from internal and external threats. Cloud-based organizations are highly productive as they are accessible from anywhere due to their efficient, secure, and holistic cloud networking.