SASE has been termed as the ultimate solution to the cyber security challenges facing modern digital-based businesses. The main reason why SASE alternatives weren’t efficient is that they had no reliable mechanism for dealing with the malware that attacks internal network systems.
But with the new solution, the enterprise security perimeter that often provided the leeway for spear phishing attacks no longer exists. The network edge infrastructure locates users and devices connecting to an organization’s enterprise network from different parts of the world.
The infrastructure eliminates the need for a corporate data center by introducing SaaS and cloud providers. For instance, you can have one application in a corporate data center, with another being provided by a SaaS supplier while having another at the public cloud. Furthermore, other apps rely on the data collected by IoT devices. The devices don’t require any human authentication and authorization, meaning that they can’t be manipulated from an external point.
Secure access service edge is the most viable solution to cyber security threats given its identity-centric and is thus able to discriminate against both users and individuals. The infrastructure seeks to provide optimal network performance for apps while at the same time integrating robust security protocols and controls to all the users and devices.
Through cloud-based rendering, the endpoints connect, analyze and forward the permitted traffic to the appropriate destinations, including SaaS apps and cloud-based applications.
Let’s now delve into the top 5 benefits that a secure access service edge brings to the table.
- No need to about the location of applications
As earlier hinted, there are no specific localization demands for applications in the SASE’s distribution architecture. Therefore, you can have one app in a public cloud, another in your corporate data center, and another that’s provided by a SaaS provider. But at the end of the day, the seamless integration and functionality of the applications will be such that there are no performance issues or security threats.
- Streamlined operations
Remote working cannot be safeguarded against phishing, hacking, or other malicious activities if there’s centralized management of security policies. That’s the problem many corporations faced as they tried to migrate their operations online frantically. By then, the organizations were depending on the network perimeter, which was where the endpoints existed.
In retrospect, network security is dynamic and requires applying policies and authentications depending on the connecting entity’s specific roles. For instance, remote access authentication needed for an IoT device shouldn’t be the same as that of a salesperson. The unmanaged devices shouldn’t also be allocated the same level as managed devices like phones and tablets.
Another factor that helps streamline operations is remote browser isolation (RBI), which provides a web connection without exposing the originating device to malware. In the same manner, IoT hardware devices are protected against any form of hijacking.
SASE capitalizes on its identity management capabilities in recognizing and discriminating endpoints, the users, and security/connectivity policies to thwart hacking attempts. The infrastructure deploys network parameters on a pre-endpoint basis to enhance apps’ performance while providing the specific security policies required executing the endpoints’ roles.
- Integrated security and routing
The infrastructure integrates numerous security functions into a single system that includes the following:
- secure web gateway
- intrusion detection
- data loss prevention
- malware protection
- cloud access security broker
- firewall as a service
- zero-trust network access
- DNS reputation
- intrusion prevention
The security mechanism is such that it can initiate and perform an analysis of the entire system to detect malware before they even launch any internal attacks. Combining all of the above functions into one comprehensive security functionality makes it easier to monitor and maintain optimal network security levels.
- Minimizes the need for extra WAN costs
The security infrastructure eliminates the need for leasing circuits and buying expensive MPLS. Instead, it uses VPN connectivity to run its functionalities, while the WAN optimizations techniques help enhance efficiency levels.
In addition, the cloud connectivity to SaaS major vendors avails an opportunity to optimize the traffic flows, leading to higher efficiency and better usage of apps.
In light of those many benefits, one wonders whether there are any downsides to this security enterprise. The only challenge that seems imminent here is going to due to the tight integration of security and networking. For one, there’s an urgent need for a significant shift in the culture by organizations so that the solution doesn’t become a distractor at the end of the day.
For starters, it’s recommended that CIO-level executives be mandated with the running of SASE until it’s become an integral part of the organizations. Organizations and stakeholders must understand that SASE is not a compliance directive or particular product but a framework or guiding principle. Therefore, there’s a need to understand its basics, including capabilities, requirements, and vendors.