06.06.2024

Four steps to SASE success

Four steps to SASE success

Over a third of organisations either have deployed or plan to deploy Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) within the next two years.

Given the benefits, this is no surprise. SASE enhances security, improves network performance and enables greater flexibility and scalability across the IT infrastructure, making it more resilient and adaptable.

As adoption rates soar, how can businesses maximise their SASE investment?

Step 1: Conduct a network security audit

Defining a roadmap for SASE success begins with an evaluation of the current state of play.

 

Identify vulnerabilities and potential risks: This involves assessing your existing network architecture, software applications and user access points to pinpoint hackable gaps and possible performance issues.

From outdated software to poorly configured security settings, the potential risks are wide ranging, so it’s vital to understand where your infrastructure falls down. And, with so many interconnections in a typical business environment, an initial assessment provides the perfect opportunity to consider the risks related to remote access, third-party integrations and cloud services.

This offers valuable insights into the areas that require immediate attention, helping prioritise next steps and resource allocation.

Assess current security policies and controls: It’s important to review current policies for clarity, relevance and compliance with industry standards and regulations. By evaluating the effectiveness of current security controls, such as firewalls and antivirus solutions, you can ensure that your SASE deployment is targeted at detecting and preventing threats.

Once you’ve assessed the effectiveness of these policies across the organisation, including employee training and awareness, it’ll be easy to identify areas that require improvement to strengthen your security posture ahead of SASE implementation.

Step 2: Identify areas to optimise

Once you’ve established what’s working well – and what’s not – you can pinpoint areas for improvement.

 

Evaluate performance and reliability: Metrics such as bandwidth use, latency and uptime are vital when it comes to identifying performance issues. By analysing patterns and trends in historical uptime and downtime statistics, you can uncover persistent areas of weakness or instability. And, by considering factors such as peak usage times, user distribution and the types of applications being used, you can ease bottlenecks and prioritise business demands.

A thorough evaluation of your network infrastructure also lays the groundwork for future growth and expansion; whether you want to add new locations, onboard additional users or make use of emerging technologies such as IoT and cloud services. Ultimately, this provides valuable insights to help optimise your network for SASE adoption and ensure a reliable, responsive user experience.

Consolidate and integrate: Where possible, consolidate. Pinpointing overlaps or redundancies in your networking and security solutions helps streamline operations and reduce complexity. What’s more, assessing your current setup often identifies opportunities to integrate different components of your infrastructure to create a more cohesive and efficient environment.

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A Guide to Implementing SASE

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Step 3: Set clear objectives

Having a clearly defined end goal will help keep your project on track.

 

Define measurable goals and KPIs: Clear, measurable goals are an absolute must – and don’t forget the KPIs. Companies that leverage performance metrics can realise a 10% increase in the time-to-decision making, as well as a 9% increase in profitability, so it’s worth taking the time to put these in place.

Start by mapping project objectives to broader business goals, whether that’s to enhance security or optimise network performance. Then, identify quantifiable metrics that track progress to keep the process clear and focused.

Establish a timeline for implementation:  A well-defined timeline provides structure, accountability and visibility, helping to keep things on track.

Break things down into bite-sized phases with clear objectives and deliverables for each stage. This makes it easier to assess resource availability and dependencies, which, in turn, enables you to clearly communicate the timeline and priorities to stakeholders. Of course, flexibility is key – timelines may need to be reviewed and updated, but establishing an open dialogue with everyone involved keeps lines of communication open and facilitates collaborative decision-making. By taking a proactive approach, you can improve accountability, minimise disruptions and keep the implementation aligned with business goals.

Step 4: Develop a roadmap

You’ve set the stage – now put the plan into action.

 

Establish key initiatives and milestones: This keeps the project focused and aligned with organisational objectives, helping you track progress and maintain momentum. By evaluating tasks based on their operational impact and complexity, you can prioritise effectively, assess regulatory requirements and mitigate against risks. And, by clearly communicating priorities and milestones, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page – boosting collaboration, improving efficiency and maximising the chances of a successful outcome.

Allocate resources and budget: Finally, by identifying the most critical elements of the implementation process, you can allocate resources effectively and ensure that efforts are directed towards areas that will deliver the greatest impact.

However, many companies still struggle with visibility into available resources. Whether you already have the necessary assets in place or need external support, it’s vital to identify what you need before you get started. A comprehensive budget will also be important in helping identify and prioritise key areas – ensuring you have the support and funding you need to drive successful SASE adoption.

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Ampito

Written by Ampito

We create IT and digital workspace solutions that drive transformation for public and private sector organisations.

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