SASE: the Next Generation Cloud-Security solution for digital transformation 
November 9, 2021

SASE: the Next Generation Cloud-Security solution for digital transformation 

With an increasing number of people working from home and the wide adoption of the cloud, enterprises are facing several challenges when shifting to the cloud. One of the toughest hurdles enterprises will see is to facilitate direct, secure, and controlled internet access on any device, on any network, from any location, and on any cloud. In this context, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) - a term originally coined by Gartner in a 2019 report - has become a buzzword among vendors, enterprises, and consultants alike as it enables a secure and fast cloud transformation.

What is SASE?

SASE, simply speaking, combines network and security technologies into a single global cloud-based service that supports all network edges.

Traditionally, enterprises set up a VPN connection for remote communication. With a VPN solution, everything converges to a central data center where policy and inspection can be applied. This requires multiple vendors and appliances - and they may lack integration - to function for network access control. Consequently, this legacy VPN solution creates higher latency for the user and more expensive and complex circuits for enterprises. 

Considering the trend that enterprises are migrating to the cloud and people are working from home more and more often, the traditional VPN solution and security framework became obsolete, as it fails to fit complex network environment given its complexity and delay. SASE is therefore brought up to address the need for optimized and streamlined network access to cloud applications and services. The solution is to combine both networking and security architecture into a single unified platform where all traffic can be managed by a single policy. 

How Does SASE Work?

SASE is the next-generation security framework in the cloud that is based upon software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) functionality. It combines the SD-WAN capacities with comprehensive cloud security solutions, such as secure web gateway (SWG), cloud access security broker (CASB), firewall as a service (FWaaS), and zero-trust network access (ZTNA) to facilitate secure internet connectivity from all edges.

To implement the SASE solution, the first step is to provide SD-WAN connectivity because the first thing users want is to access the cloud services through an optimized path. That is where SD-WAN plays a big role. With legacy infrastructure, enterprises use their Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network to provide controlled access to the Internet. Security and compliance are usually delivered with specific hardware located in the data center(s). While hardware-based MPLS results in high complexity and cost, slow deployment, and long delay, SD-WAN has a virtualized infrastructure that can route traffic over different network paths. SASE leverages this capacity of SD-WAN to provide optimized network routing between SASE points of presence (PoPs). 

After the traffic goes out, a set of cloud security applications enforce user, data, and application policies inspection to identify malicious traffic and DDoS attacks, and block them before they access the SaaS applications or data centers. 

What are the Benefits of SASE?

SASE is in place to empower the digital transformation of today’s businesses by providing direct and secure internet connectivity for anyone and via any device on a global scale. You can leverage the following benefits of SASE to effectively support your remote workforce and secure Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in a more cost-efficient way. 

Reduced complexity

SASE simplify your architecture by integrating a number of networking and security functions into single cloud solutions. Instead of dealing with multiple point products, IT teams can therefore manage the internet connectivity across multiple locations and hybrid environments via a single cloud-based management platform.

Low Latency

SASE leverage the capabilities of SD-WAN to streamline the network across different PoPs, providing optimal bandwidth and low latency.

Enhanced Security 

SASE benefits enterprises with more security and visibility into your network, with full content inspection integrated into a SASE solution. 

Reduced Cost 

SASE utilizes a single cloud-based platform and enables enterprises to purchase fewer vendor solutions and hardware, which reduce costs and IT resources dramatically.