Secure access service edge (SASE) is a cloud-delivered solution that combines networking capabilities with cloud security functions. It securely links people, systems, and endpoints to applications and services anywhere in the world. These are offered as a cloud service and may be controlled centrally to accommodate today’s agile operations.

But why do organizations need it?

Traditional networks are designed based on location and perimeter. Firewalls and other security applications are often installed on the network perimeter between the organization’s network and the untrusted Internet. The dynamic nature of cloud-based services like Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and the rise of globally distributed customers and workforce make these location and perimeter-based architectures difficult to adapt. Multiple network and security point solutions, such as secure web gateways and firewalls become more complex resulting in a lack of interoperability.

Traditional Networks – Traditionally, networks are designed based on location and perimeter. Firewalls and similar security applications are installed between the organization’s network and the untrusted internet to secure these. However, the addition of dynamic cloud-based services like SaaS, and the widespread global distribution of customers and workforces pose a slight hurdle for perimeter-based architectures. The volume of network and end-point security solutions, such as web gateways and firewalls, accumulated to ensure complete safety often results in unnecessary complexities and a serious lack of interoperability. To serve the digital business today and in the future, large groups of remote IT architecture had to grow beyond traditional solutions, the way organizations inspected traffic and enforce policies had to improve, and business firms had to rethink how they would network and protect their offices, customers, and services against the changes that cloud and mobility brought about.

SASE is a new System – SASE puts network controls on the cloud edge (SASE Edge). Rather than configuring processes from networking hardware or layering cloud services that require separate setup and management, SASE facilitates network and security services to create a secure and transparent network edge enabling them to be configured across an entire network. Organizations can expand their network perimeter globally to any client or office by employing zero trust access policies on the edge of the cloud network (SASE Edge). SASE architecture is constructed on top of a worldwide network to make customers’ experiences seamless.

Some of the noteworthy features of SASE are:

Identity-Based and Zero-trust Network Security – SASE relies heavily on “zero-trust”, which means the elimination of the concept of trust even if they are already within an organization’s network’s perimeter. In this, a user’s identity is checked before they are granted access restricted to only the resources required. Secure access is the main component of SASE architecture, it is based on various parameters like IP address, time of the day, risk assessed, etc.

A Cloud-Based Service Model – Elasticity, adaptability, and maintenance – the advantages of a cloud-native architecture, are also applicable to SASE. By combining multiple point products into a single solution, to simplify network and security applications, organizations can lower the total costs of purchase and maintenance of network and security infrastructure.
Secure web gateways (SWG) filter inappropriate content from internet traffic, block unauthorized users’ activity and enforce security policies to avoid cyber-attacks. Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) refers to firewalls included as a service in the cloud. FWaaS guards against cyber threats on cloud-based platforms is a suite of security features that includes IP address filtering, intrusion detection and prevention, and consistent monitoring of network traffic.

Software-Defined Wide-Area Network (SD-WAN) – SD-WAN can easily handle a variety of connections and route traffic over the most efficient path. It is designed to meet the evolving needs of enterprise networks brought on by the emergence of the cloud and the Internet. SD-WAN is used to connect to the cloud. SD-WAN is being adopted by businesses to link branch offices to their business network and to improve efficiency and user experience.

Comprehensive Cross-Functionality- Organizations can simplify their IT infrastructure by reducing the number of security products their IT team has to maintain. This results in the strengthening of security into a cloud-based security service. IT teams are freed from the tedious tasks of handling on-premises network infrastructure, which helps them devote expertise to business-specific issues. IT teams can use network and security integration simultaneously on a single platform to handle all functionality and policies. Cross-team coordination enhances overall service quality for an enterprise. SASE helps organizations to set, track, modify, and execute access policies in all locations, rather than managing different policies for separate locations.

One needs a network that just works constantly delivering smooth and reliable access to keep them safe. They are hence expected to be productive without compromising their experience. Users expect constant access to the resources since working from anywhere has become the norm. This is what a SASE structure promises, and is unquestionably a bright point for the future of security.