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What is SASE?
Secure access service edge (SASE) is a framework architecture that brings security technologies and Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) capabilities together, creating a secure connection between users, systems, and applications everywhere. SASE is not a singular technology or product, but a combined package of SD-WAN, Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), and Firewall as a Service (FWaaS). Due to the cloud-based nature of SASE, is it delivered as a service and can be managed centrally. The benefits of SASE include simplified WAN deployment, increased security, proper bandwidth allocation, and scalability.
How Does SASE Work?
SASE combines SD-WAN capabilities with security features and delivers it as a single service. This allows custom security policies to be created for each user session based on identity and the context of that connection. Context is referring to the behavior of the device being used, and the sensitivity of the data being accessed. After this, it applies the organizations security or compliance policies while continuing to assess risks present during the user session.
The security component of SASE is dependent on CASB, ZTNA, SWG, FWaaS, and remote browser isolation. These components make up the architectural framework of SASE and below we will briefly highlight what they are.
The Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is a trusted security intermediary located in a centralized point between cloud service users and cloud service providers. This is an ideal cybersecurity solution that allows you to add or select security controls protecting data as it travels between users whether they are remote or on-prem.
Zero-trust network access (ZTNA) is a relatively new approach enabling granular visibility and control of user access to applications or services. To put it simply, Zero-trust security is based on user identity, not IP address. It requires multi-factor authentication and behavioral analytics. As the name suggests, no user or devices is trusted and must prove it is not malicious or compromised at the start of each session. This is becoming increasingly popular as remote work models increase globally.
Secure web gateways protect networks from threats like dangerous phishing websites, botnets, and command-and-control servers. Cyberattacks most frequently occur when an employee or user uses a seemingly innocuous website, only for it to maliciously steal sensitive corporate data. SWGs protect networks from these threats by encrypting user web traffic.
Firewall as a Service is a cloud-based firewall that protects your network regardless of where your users are sitting. It doesn’t matter if your employees are working from home, a coffee shop with a public network, or in the office.
Top 5 Benefits of SASE
There are a lot of benefits to employing a SASE network architecture but the top five are cost reduction, WAN scalability, edge to edge security, easy management, and simplified security. SASE allows organizations to part ways with piecemeal physical and virtual appliances because SASE is a single cloud-based solution. It creates a highly elastic and scalable WAN infrastructure that allows IT teams to get a site online within minutes or hours, compared to weeks due to less physical hardware.
By design SASE takes care of securing your enterprise network regardless of where your users are located, and what device they are using. In today’s business world we utilize mobile phones, tablets, and laptops which is much more complex from a security standpoint than one single device per employee. With SASE your network and security merge into one cloud platform.
While this was a very high-level overview of SASE, we would love to hear your thoughts and talk more. If you have any questions about SASE or how it could benefit your organization, reach out to us at ContactUs@Matrix-NDI.com or call 763-475-5500.