Is 2022 the year of Secure Access Service Edge?

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In 2022, nearly 60% of American workers (whose work can be done remotely) work from home all or most of the time. Remote working coupled with the explosion of applications, APIs, devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT) shows us that no organization can afford to think of the perimeter in yesterday’s terms anymore.

SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) is a compelling answer to the new perimeter-less world. Essentially, SASE is a cloud-native security solution that provides seamless and secure access to any application from any location or device. SASE converges security with wide area network (WAN) infrastructure.

In recent years, SASE has gained popularity in the industry. It is now considered an essential approach to securing access to applications from anywhere. This is very relevant in today’s hybrid working world. So what’s happening with SASE in 2022?

What is SASE?

SASE is a framework that converges network services to accelerate digital business, serve as the foundation for zero-trust security, and protect users and devices when accessing resources anytime, anywhere.

With SASE, software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) converges with cloud-delivered network security technologies, such as Cloud Access Security Broker, Firewall-as-a-Service, and Access zero trust network. And it’s all rolled into a single cloud-delivered service model.

Why choose SASE now?

The pandemic has imposed new challenges on businesses and security teams. Returning to the office has been complicated as many opt for hybrid options. Past ideas about perimeter have become obsolete. Meanwhile, the conflict in Ukraine has produced the side effect of an increase in cyberattacks around the world. Then there are new challenges related to social engineering, ransomware, cryptocurrency and NFTs.

Today, we encounter a security landscape that continues to increase in severity and complexity. At the same time, all of this is taking place against the backdrop of a tight labor market. It is clear that we need new offers to fill the void. Let’s break down some key benefits provided by SASE that address the challenges we currently face.

Hybrid Workforce Support

The shift to the hybrid working model began before 2020 because it made sense for business and lifestyle demands. Remote access from any device for employees and third parties makes work more efficient. SASE helps protect and safeguard network access and enables centralized and consistent management of application access. This means that rather than fighting remote work, SASE helps you take advantage of it.

SASE can provide a network access solution based on zero-trust methods that can replace VPN connectivity. This improves protection and supports faster and seamless user experiences. The result is a flexible and scalable cloud access solution that can scale with employees working in and out of the office.

Third Party Access and Mergers & Acquisitions

Moving forward, organizations can no longer work in a connectivity bubble. SASE allows organizations to define and extend internal labor policies to contractors and third-party users. For example, zero trust requires the same level of authentication and provides visibility and control over who can see sensitive data and resources. Organizations can also implement specific policies by type of user, group, and application.

Threat actors take advantage of stolen credentials and weaponized APIs to infiltrate networks, and machines demand access faster and at higher volumes than humans. The vast proliferation of automated applications and APIs also requires authentication. Through zero-trust measures, SASE enables more secure access – for humans and machines – without compromising on performance.

Similarly, SASE can help deploy integrated access management using existing identity provider solutions. This can also be extended to other companies involved in a merger or acquisition. The result is faster access and transition for employees on both sides.

Network Transformation

Moving a network from a traditional model to a cloud-based framework is part of an overall SASE implementation strategy. It is also essential for digital transformation. The goal is to provide lower latency, cost savings, and a cloud-delivered network security framework.

At its core, SASE improves consistency of operations through convergence. It simplifies centralized control of networking policies with a zero-trust approach. This provides context across users, devices, locations, and networks. This approach is essential not only for navigating the new perimeterless reality, but also for embracing it. SASE scales remote access infrastructure capacity, reduces latency due to a growing hybrid workforce, and consolidates and decommissions legacy technologies.

Even 5G, IoT protection and support efforts benefit from SASE. It can help enable edge computing to gain branch-to-cloud protection, and it can be used to integrate edge computing security. This in turn enables other business drivers such as IoT and 5G.

Converting to a secure cloud-based framework opens up a wide range of innovative possibilities. For example, one could imagine financial institutions offering cryptocurrency exchange services in addition to traditional banking services, all from a single portal. With SASE, these types of initiatives can be explored with the peace of mind that security will be extended with new services.

Security talent scarcity

Qualified security professionals have never worked so hard. With SASE, fewer tools not integrated into the IT and security stack compensate for limited onsite technical resources. This helps support and secure critical business applications. With fewer tools required, companies reduce the cost of hiring experts. It also relieves overworked IT teams.

Demand for new security talent remains high, but the labor market is tighter than ever. Selecting a managed security vendor to manage a SASE solution can further reduce the skills gap. By extending your security team with a strategic cybersecurity vendor, you also save time because quality vendors have resources ready to deploy. Although the transition to a full SASE architecture takes time, an experienced vendor can ease the transition.

Prepare for future threats and opportunities

The current risk landscape presents new challenges for organizations around the world. In every crisis, leaders emerge to embrace new solutions to address threats. Leaders are also leveraging solutions to create new benefits. SASE is one such offering that promises to transform the modern digital business. For that, 2022 is just the beginning.

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