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Detailed Guide on SASE Security Framework & Network Architecture for Business

SASE is all the buzz in cybersecurity right now in 2022. What is it? And why should you care? Let’s find out...

Written by Niel Patel · 6 min read >
sase security framework & network architecture

SASE is all the buzz in cybersecurity right now in 2022. What is it? And why should you care? Let’s find out how to select a SASE solution for enterprise or business?

  • First thing we’re going to do is to find SASE.
  • How SASE evolving in the marketplace today?
  • And what do people consider a SASE framework?
  • Why you need sassy?
  • What problems does SASE solve?
  • Why SASE is going to be the future framework for IT security?
  • And then lastly, how to select a SASE solution for enterprise or business?

SASE Explained (Secure Access Service Edge) – What’s the Meaning of SASE and Why You Will Use SASE

Did they know that six months later, most of corporate America would send their employees home due to the COVID 19 pandemic? But SASE was positioned to really enable organizations to take advantage of that, and will be a driving force and how they consider security moving forward. Sase is a direct challenge to how we’re doing security today. And it’s important as we continue to evolve in the utilization of cloud services and work from anywhere type of mentality. Now SASE advocates that we deliver security and other important access services to end users where they live, rather than bringing them back to a security stack in a corporate data centre. This is essentially a meet user where they are mentality and promises a lot of benefits along the way.

So SASE has many benefits in its initial concept stage.

There are many SASE benefits in its initial concept stage. But they have to be pretty strong in order to convince us to change what we’re doing today. So what are those key benefits,

  • SASE to improve the end-user experience
  • SASE to get greater security by following a SASE framework.
  • And that security is going to be increased partially because we’re going to have better compliance.

And users won’t work around security infrastructure that’s put in place because security infrastructure will no longer impede their ability to work efficiently, we’re going to get a simplification of security tools. And they’re going to be more integrated with the other tools, the service chaining will be more seamless and eliminate gaps that do occur as we stack individual point solutions from individual vendors.

sase security framework
SASE security framework & network architecture

And we’re going to get an improved orchestration plane orchestration tool, single visibility through a portal of all the services that are included in the SASE model. And ultimately we’re going to lower costs. So we’re going to get a lot of benefits and a lower cost structure. And I think we can all agree that if SASE can deliver, it will make a lot of sense with these key benefits.

let’s take a look at what SASE does with businesses & Enterprises.

So at a very high level 40,000 feet. SASE combines Network Access Services with security services and creates a unified plan to allow end-users to work from any location on any device with the same security posture as they would have if they were working in a corporate office. So the combination of these elements is what drives this secure access service edge or sassy.

How do these two elements come together?

Well, sassy has a couple of different components in each of the categories that will ultimately be unified. Under the network as a service category. It includes carrier services Software-Defined wide area networking or SD Wan, content distribution networks, bandwidth, aggregation providers, and edge equipment. On the security side, there are a lot more components such as firewalls a service, secure web gateways, Caz B or cloud access security brokers, zero-trust networking or secure remote access or VPNs, web application protection, DNS services, remote browser isolation, and even sandboxing. So we have a lot more security components than we do on the network side. So that’s why I think sase is really more of a security conversation than a networking conversation.

Why do Businesses Need SASE Solution?

SASE is a big thing now, at least it is starting to be, as companies begin to understand the need for an overall, comprehensive approach to cyber security. The number of SASE providers on the market also saw an increase. 

Now, companies want to adopt SASE to have maximum protection against cybercriminals, but they are unsure about the vendor criteria. Let’s see what things to consider when selecting a SASE solution. 

Make sure your SASE provider enables Zero Trust

Zero Trust Network Access is crucial for a successful SASE solution. They go hand in hand as Zero Trust is an integral part of the SASE architecture. Zero Trust is a must if you want to implement SASE as a measure for the hybrid work model or increasing numbers of remote users. 

Zero Trust allows you to restrict and layer access for every user. Even if you have many remote users, you can set up application-specific access restrictions on every part of your corporate network. Enabling Zero Trust will make it much easier to have a complete SASE solution, so be sure that your provider can enable the Zero Trust model. 

Choose a cloud-native provider 

A SASE architecture aims to transfer identification from local servers or networks to the end-users. One of the primary purposes of this approach is to enable security for corporate data accessed by both remote and in-office users. 

In order to get the full SASE benefits, you’ll need to choose one that can extend its service to every edge of your structure, including mobile endpoints. If you opt for a cloud-native SASE provider, this will be easier and foolproof. They will ensure that any application or network on cloud or on-premise is secured and appropriately protected against all potential risks. 

Look for minimized network complexity 

A SASE solution should be an overall structure that takes care of all of your cybersecurity processes. Besides the security concerns, one of the reasons for the increasing popularity of SASE is the straightforward, easy to apply and maintain nature of the model. 

If you want to get the best SASE experience, you should also look for a provider that dramatically decreases the network complexity of your data security structure. In general, cloud-native vendors with multiple security services, threat detection and prevention systems, and ZTNA will help you reduce the complexity. 

If your provider includes all the features mentioned above, you’ll also spend less on your cyber security operations. You’ll have a single provider with several security services that can apply across your entire company structure. 

Integrated security and network services

SASE is not a tool by itself; it’s a structure that defines every part of a company’s cyber security operations. It includes (at least should) several tools collectively considered a SASE architecture. 

So, the vendor you choose should have integrated security and network services to run all of your operations on a single platform. For a complete and bulletproof SASE solution, look for the integration of the services below;

  • Zero Trust security
  • Firewall as a Service (FWaaS)
  • Cloud Access Service Broker (CASB)
  • Secure Web Gateway
  • Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN)

Keep in mind that if your vendor cannot provide these core elements, they are not offering you a proper SASE solution. The term SASE is used very vaguely today, so you should know how to separate a genuine one from a lacking one. 

Consider scalability, ease of use & UX

User experience, scalability, and ease of use are as necessary as security for any cyber security approach. You need to make sure that the SASE vendor you choose creates a structure that doesn’t hinder any of your business operations and delivers a great user experience. After all, this system will be used by your employees, and if it’s not practical, it will do more harm than good. 

Additionally, choosing a scalable and flexible SASE architecture might be a good idea. Look for the number of peering with SaaS platforms and the number of PoPs. These will ensure a fast route from SaaS applications and minimize latency. The more, the better. 

Seamless remote & mobile access

If you have a hybrid work model, be sure that your SASE provider guarantees seamless remote and mobile access for your employees. Some SASE vendors may ignore the importance of remote access, and they may be starting to upgrade their products now with the emergence of the pandemic. 

Make sure your provider is up and running in terms of seamless remote and mobile access and don’t require any additional/separate services for remote employees. It is crucial having the same security practices for in-office and remote employees to ensure maximum security and productivity. 

In essence: Choose a capable & reliable SASE solution

When looking for a SASE solution, you should consider practicality, reliability, scalability, and of course, user-friendliness. Evaluating the vendors based on security and user experience is crucial for a better work environment. 

Additionally, do some research on SASE to understand its core elements and choose a solution that integrates services such as Zero Trust or FWaaS. Using several security services is critical for a complete SASE architecture.

Make the right choice by considering your employees’ needs, company requirements, and the vendor’s capability. Remember that a proper SASE solution can make your cyber security operations straightforward and affordable. 

Not only do we have network benefits, but we also have management benefits. Now today, most organizations have multiple security solutions are layered one on top of another, they’re individually managed. And they lack integration unless you have something like a sim, which is bringing all the information together artificially providing some level of integration at least correlation of services.

SASE promises the ability to have a single posture with a single governance platform management through a single pane of glass and orchestration across multiple point solutions that allow not only for uniformity but also integration, eliminating a lot of those gaps that can be created by individual point solutions. And then lastly, we’re again we’re promising a lower cost profile. If you can buy all of these things integrated. They’re less costly to manage and as a subscription cost. We can get some cross-product discounting that’s typically available. SASE sounds great, but it is very early and it is very immature.

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