Is 2022 the year of the secure access service edge?

Is 2022 the year of the secure access service edge?

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

SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) is a compelling response to the new world without a perimeter. At its core, SASE is a cloud-native security solution that provides secure and seamless access to any application from any location or device. SASE converges security with the wide area network (WAN) infrastructure.

In recent years, SASE has gained a lot of traction in the industry. It is now considered a vital approach to secure access to applications from anywhere. This is highly relevant to today’s hybrid world of work. So what is happening with SASE in 2022?

What is SASE?

SASE is a framework that converges network services to accelerate digital business, serves as the foundation for zero-trust security, and protects users and devices as they access resources anytime, anywhere.

With SASE, software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) converge with cloud-delivered network security technologies such as cloud access security agent, firewall-as-a-service, and network access zero trust. And it’s all included in a single service model delivered in the cloud.

Why choose SASE now?

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

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

Hybrid workforce support

The move to the hybrid work model began before 2020 as 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 application access management. This means that instead of 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 smoother user experiences. The result is a flexible and scalable cloud access solution that can be tailored for employees working in and out of the office.

Third party access and mergers and acquisitions

To move forward, organizations can no longer work in a connectivity bubble. SASE enables organizations to define and extend internal workforce policies to contractors and external 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 configure specific policies by user type, group, and application.

Threat actors leverage stolen credentials and weaponized APIs to infiltrate networks, with machines requesting access faster and in higher volumes than humans. The great expansion of automated applications and APIs also requires authentication. Through zero trust measures, SASE enables more secure access, for humans and machines, without sacrificing performance.

Similarly, SASE can help implement integrated access management using existing identity provider solutions. This may also extend 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 deployment strategy. It is also essential for digital transformation. The goal is to provide lower latency, cost savings, and cloud-delivered network security fabric.

In essence, SASE improves consistency within operations through convergence. Simplifies centralized network policy control with a zero-trust approach. This gives context to all users, devices, locations, and networks. This approach is essential not only to navigate the new perimeterless reality, but also to accept it. SASE scales remote access infrastructure capacity, reduces latency that comes from a growing hybrid workforce, and consolidates and retires legacy technologies.

Even 5G and IoT support and protection efforts benefit from SASE. It can help enable edge computing to receive protection from the branch to the cloud, and can be used to integrate edge computing security. This, in turn, further enables other business drivers like 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 along with new services.

Security Talent Shortage

Qualified security professionals have never worked harder. With SASE, a reduced number of tools not integrated into the IT and security stack offset limited technical resources on site. This helps support and protect critical business applications. With fewer tooling requirements, companies reduce the cost of hiring experts. It also takes the load off of overworked IT teams.

The demand for new security talent remains high, but the job market is tighter than ever. Selecting a Managed Security Provider for manage a SASE solution can further alleviate the skills gap. By expanding your security team with a strategic cybersecurity vendor, you also save time, as quality vendors have resources ready to deploy. While the transition to a full SASE architecture takes time, an experienced vendor can ease the transition.

Prepare for future threats and opportunities

Today’s risk landscape presents new challenges for organizations around the world. In every crisis, leaders emerge who adopt new solutions to deal with threats. Leaders also leverage solutions to gain new advantages. SASE is one such offering that promises to transform the modern digital enterprise. For that, 2022 is just the beginning.

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