Organisations are still adapting to significant changes in digital behaviours – including an increase in remote users and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. The flexibility of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) frameworks is enabling people to do this. Not only can people meet these challenges head-on, but SASE also allows them to improve their network and security capabilities at the same time.
SASE frameworks combine network and security functionalities into a unified cloud-based platform. They incorporate Software-Defined Networking (SDN) principles to make network resources more dynamic than ever.
With more users connecting to, storing sensitive data in, and running applications in cloud services instead of data centres, company networks must evolve beyond traditional network structures like hub-and-spoke models.
By enabling centralised network control and management, organisations can reliably respond to and accommodate these new factors. SASE frameworks can help. They apply policies consistently across an entire network while introducing greater security processes. The result: secure access to applications and data, regardless of the user’s location or device.
What are the main components of SASE frameworks?
SASE frameworks aren’t standalone tools. Instead, think of them as packages of pieces that work together to embed security throughout a network. These components include:
A Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN): acting as the foundation of SASE frameworks, SD-WAN enables optimal performance and intelligent routing within your architecture.
Advanced firewalling systems: these provide greater security tools such as advanced threat protection, web and network visibility, threat intelligence, and access control.
Secure web gateways: gateways safeguard users and devices against online threats by applying corporate and regulatory compliance processes.
Zero-trust network access: this authenticates user access while operating under the premise that nothing can be trusted.
Cloud-access security brokers (CASBs): CASBs are commonly deployed to enable centralised governance and security across multiple cloud services.
Why choose SASE? Exploring the benefits
Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) frameworks offer a wide range of advantages for enterprises, including smooth user experiences, better security, and performance free from disruption.
A future-proofed outlook
SASE combines the security of VPNs with the functionality of direct network connections.
SASE improves performance by ensuring that network applications run seamlessly while integrating security measures throughout. It gives businesses a robust solution they can rely on for network protection.
Deployed through the cloud, SASE approaches can freely scale with networks. As more systems and users are added to a network, SASE frameworks can accommodate them. This is a much more future-proofed approach.
Excellent user experience
Taking advantage of the cloud-native architecture, SASE combines network and security services in a central cloud-based platform. This is essential if organisations want to adapt to new ways of working.
Working in the cloud liberates users from traditional on-premises infrastructures. Whether your employees are working from home, the office or a beach in Barbados, SASE has the flexibility to accommodate different behaviours. All with the same experience and security you would expect from your physical set-up.
Reliable network security and access
One of the main ways SASE improves access provision is through a global private network. This functions similarly to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), but on a global scale and is more capable of handling the demand of multiple users simultaneously.
In contrast to simply connecting to a Wi-Fi network, any traffic transmitted between users and applications is completely encrypted, private and confidential. Essentially, the global private network acts as a secure funnel between users and a network from anywhere in the world. It connects you to the resources you need while protecting your sensitive data from unauthorised access.
Once again, this means users can trust their network is reliably secure, no matter where they are logging in from.
Support for your applications
SASE not only focuses on securing network connections but also on improving application performance. Integrating network and security services means you will experience fewer delays and faster access.
So, if you’re looking at digital transformation, looking at your network is the best place to start. Network solutions like SASE will ensure those innovative new cloud apps still perform at their best.
A security-by-design approach
Another significant advantage of SASE is its security-by-design approach.
SASE caters to a wide range of use cases – especially those that rely on remote working. By extending security and networking capabilities to the edge of the network (closer to users and devices) SASE can draw on edge computing. This brings traffic analysis closer to the source, meaning any threats can be spotted and responded to more quickly.
In short, it guarantees a greater degree of network protection for your business and your users. This proactive approach is baked into the core of a SASE framework.
What should you consider when deploying SASE frameworks?
Overlap with existing security tools
When you take on SASE, you’re likely going to find yourself with an overlap in security tools.
SASE includes security functions that you likely already have, such as antivirus software and firewalls. This is an unfortunate redundancy which needs to be managed to ensure your network (and budget) remains efficient.
This is something we would support with as a managed service partner. We help you to choose the right solutions for your needs and manage your resource accordingly.
The need for an architectural approach
SASE requires a more architectural approach to network and security management compared to traditional legacy means.
If you’re moving from an on-prem solution or a largely in-office culture, SASE will require a big shift in thinking.
It involves redesigning network architectures, which requires time, resources, and expertise to ensure a smooth and successful transition.
The initial cost of integration
Another consideration when adopting SASE is the cost of change.
Hardware, software and training. These are just a few of the costs associated with migrating into a cloud-native architecture.
Ultimately the long-term benefits will outweigh these expenses, but your initial budget is still an important factor. It’s worth noting that implementing SASE means you can remove your other security tools (and their expense) over time. It also simplifies your infrastructure, helps you save resource on operations, and can potentially reduce the cost of maintaining separate systems.
Discover how SASE frameworks can benefit your enterprise
We aren’t a standard solutions partner, so we won’t provide you with standard solutions. Our team work hard to build relationships – with you and our vendors – so we can provide valuable perspective and fit-for-purpose solutions that get results.
If you’re thinking about a SASE solution, we can talk you through the pros and cons. Contact us today to discuss your goals for your network and what we can do to achieve them.