Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a combinational network architecture of SD–WAN and Remote Access VPN that combines the capabilities of both and delivers them as a service. It combines functionalities and capabilities of SD–WAN and VPN with cloud native security functions, for example, firewalls, secure web gateways, zero trust network access and cloud access security brokers. SASE vendors offer these cloud-delivered functions as a service.
Without any iota of doubt, the digital transformation of businesses has moved security to the cloud. This is the main motive and driving force for converged services to improve their speed, enable multi-cloud services and networking, reduce complexity, improve agility and ultimately secure the software defined WAN architecture. Secure access service edge (SASE) combines its model number of security and networking functions in an integrated and highly confined single cloud service.
Key benefits of a SASE model
By consolidating the existing WAN architecture with SASE, organisations and enterprises can extract benefits in many ways, for example:
- Enterprises can reduce their architectural complexity and the costs associated with it.
- Real-time application optimisation is possible with SASE.
- SASE also provides centralised orchestration.
- Businesses across the world can easily secure seamless user access with SASE.
- SASE also enables you to restrict any access based on device, user or application identity.
- By applying a consistent policy, SASE improves the overall security of the network.
- By providing centralised management, SASE increases the effectiveness of the network and its security.
Components of the SASE model
These following components are key constituents of the SASE model:
Software Defined – Wide Area Networking (SD–WAN):
Software defined WAN is an overlay architecture providing constituent blocks to enterprises willing to undergo cloud transformation. It is a cloud delivered solution that assists in the monitoring of a highly scalable user experience for cloud applications. It also offers enhanced security for multi-cloud architecture and a highly seamless experience with multi-cloud applications.
Cloud security is a term used for a combination of applications and technologies that are offered by the cloud for the protection of application policies and users’ data against any possible threats and cyberattacks. Cloud security is an efficient solution providing an extended approach to manage security controls to remote users, devices and remote locations distributed anywhere.
Zero trust network access
Zero trust network access is an approach for setting up policy principles for the verification of a user’s identity. Before giving access to highly authorised applications, zero trust network access establishes device trust. It blocks the way for lateral movements of any attacker in the network along with helping organisations to avert unauthorised access to the network.
Although SASE is still not a reality offered by any one of its vendors, Gartner considers it as a vision for a secure networking model of the future. But the convergence of cloud delivered security and cloud managed SD–WAN is still considered the best representation of SASE, which makes it a highly visionary model of the future, which a flock of organiasations will be shifting towards.
Going ahead, SD–WAN is being turned into SASE due to its security compilation with wide area networking. In big networking chains with data centres being at the centre point, data security becomes crucial to protect because of traffic coming from multiple nodes. Secure access service edge (SASE) provides a simplified WAN solution integrated with a security solution for data, cloud applications and mobiles. All the traffic from different sources over long distances is sent to one data centre to access the centralised data. Over time, there arise problems of latency and backhauling in the system when users are globally dispersed and are using cloud applications. SASE provides a solution for this latency problem caused by backhauling through the integration of SD-WAN with different security platforms like secure web gateways, cloud access security brokers, virtual private networking, antivirus/malware inspection, firewalls and data loss prevention. It is done at the network edge through a single cloud service.
A latency issue caused by backhauling has been sorted out by secure access service edge (SASE), and the performance of service applications has been enhanced. This is beneficial for collaborative applications that are sensitive to latency, and for latency-sensitive videos as well. In this way, SASE has enhanced the overall systematic performance of the network. Secure access service edge (SASE) also has centralised data centres for both private and public sources in a generalised cloud that can be accessed from any resource, at any location, by any entity. Previously, that was based on the corporate data centre being accessed with latency caused by backhauling.
For mobile and cloud enabled enterprises, SASE architecture has numerous benefits with key features. As SASE has reduced the cloud model to a single vendor when compared to the previous design of multiple appliances at multiple locations, we can say that SASE has reduced complexity, both in architectural design and security perspectives, by centralising data centres for both private and public user nodes. As we have observed, minimalistic design and a simplistic approach in secure access service edge (SASE) solutions have made its implementation easy and reduced the number of software agents and apps that are required to provide a user with a consistent experience.
Secure access service edge (SASE) is also cost efficient in many ways. Due to a reduction of appliances in both physical and virtual branches, it has become an economical solution for small and medium sized enterprises. Cost reductions are also carried out by maintenance and the minimalistic hardware through software defined-wide area networking (SD-WAN).
Secure access service edge (SASE) provides security to all the wide area network connections and WAN security functions through a single cloud service. When SASE adapts to any security threat, it adapts to all the public and private edges, making connections secure. That is why SASE is considered to provide consistent security for data protection through a single cloud service.
Gartner has labelled SASE as ‘The future of Network Security in the Cloud’ in one of its reports in August 2019. Due to its high security compilations with SD–WAN, its outcomes being delivered as a service are highly recognised in networking technologies. It is an emerging concept of cybersecurity that is laying the foundations for the security of the network in the cloud. Without any doubt, SASE is capable enough to provide enhanced security solutions to both network and the cloud.
If you would like more information on how to implement SASE or take it for a test drive have a look at our Managed SASE solution.