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What is Secure Access Service Edge in Cybersecurity?

These days when technology has advanced rapidly, it is the cloud on which the ‘new normal’ business environment is heavily focused. With each day, new trends are emerging- workloads are driving towards the cloud, a wide range of devices are accessing applications and data, and also the more distributed nature of the workforce is being adopted by the organizations. 

While cyber security centered on data centers has made it easy to deploy and manage operations easily, such hub and spoke models are not considered as effective in today’s advanced environment. It is because of increased traffic over the network lines before heading out to the internet along with an escalating number of employees working from remote locations or offices that the latency is overwhelming. 

Security is not just required for data centers but also everywhere. This is when SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) comes into the picture. This article is an ultimate guide to the Secure Access Service Edge.

What is SASE (Secure Access Service Edge)?

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), also pronounced as “sassy”, is an emerging cyber security concept. It is a framework for a network architecture that addresses the limitations of the traditional ‘hub-and-spoke’ network infrastructure through which multiple users from multiple locations (spokes) are connected to resources hosted in centralized data centers (hubs) that host applications and data. Security Access Service Edge (SASE) is a cloud-based model that brings cloud-native security technologies, including ZTNA, SWG, FWaas, and CASB, together with WAN (Wide Area Network) capabilities so that users can be connected securely with systems and endpoints to applications and services anywhere. 

How does SASE work?

SASE architecture is a managed IT solution that combines a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) or other WAN with multiple security capabilities so that the network traffic of an organization can be secured. 

As per IT consulting, implementing legacy approaches to inspection and verification, including forwarding traffic via MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) service to firewalls in the data centers, is considered effective if that’s where the users of an enterprise are. Nowadays, with several users in home offices or remote locations, forwarding remote user traffic to the data center, inspecting it, and then sending it back can negatively impact productivity and user experience. 

What makes SASE much more effective than other security solutions and secure networking strategies is that it is secure and direct. Instead of depending on organizations’ data security, traffic from the devices of its users is inspected at a nearby point of presence and then it is sent back to the destination from there only. This provides more efficient access to applications and data which makes it a much better option when it comes to protecting distributed workforces and data in the cloud.

What are the components of a SASE model?

In terms of SASE’s capabilities and technologies, it can be broken down into the following mentioned six components:

#1. Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN):

SD-WAN is the managed IT architecture that minimizes complexity and boosts the user experience by choosing the ideal route for traffic to the internet, cloud apps, and data center.

#2. Secure web gateway (SWG):

The main function of SWG is to prevent the entry of unsecured internet traffic into an organization’s internal network. Now your users and employees can be protected from malicious web traffic, internet-borne viruses, and other cyber security threats. 

#3. Cloud access security broker (CASB):

CASBs ensure the safe use of cloud apps and services by preventing data leaks, regulatory non-compliance, malware infection, and also lack of visibility. 

#4. Firewall as a service (FWaaS):

Professional IT consulting agency advises enterprises to install FWaaS as it helps in replacing physical firewall appliances with cloud firewalls. The cloud firewalls are efficient in delivering advanced Layer 7/next-generation firewall capabilities in addition to advanced controls. 

#5. Zero trust network access (ZTNA):

It is through ZTNA products and services that users can securely access the internal apps. Now remote users can securely connect without being placed on the network or apps being exposed to the internet.

#6. Centralized management:

Managing all the above-listed components using a single console lets an organization eliminate several challenges of patch management, change control, policy management, and coordinating outage windows when delivering consistent policies, no matter wherever users connect from. 

What are the benefits of the SASE model?

The below-mentioned are some benefits of the SASE model as discussed by professional IT consulting services:

#1. Minimized IT cost and complexity:

SASE, a managed IT security solution focuses on users instead of secure perimeters. It depends on the concept of edge computing- processing of information close to the systems and people requiring it- while pushing security and access close to the users. With SASE, an organization need not incur significant costs and management overhead.

#2. Reduced risk:

SASE, a cloud-native cyber security solution is designed in such a way that it can easily address the unique challenges of risk in the new reality of distributed users and also applications. By defining security, SASE makes sure that all connections are inspected and secured, regardless of app, location, or encryption. 

#3. Fast, seamless user experience:

With more advanced complications related to connections and security, SASE has come forward as an optimized security solution. It sends security to the users and intelligently manages connections at internet exchanges in real-time and also optimizes connection to cloud applications and services to ensure low latency.

Wrapping up it all!

Now that all businesses are transforming digitally, it requires greater agility and scalability along with reduced complexity and improved security to establish an efficient digitized enterprise. In addition to this, modern organizations need to make sure that their users are equipped with optimized experiences from everywhere. According to experienced IT consulting services, this is the reason that SASE has moved forward from the ‘nice to have’ category to the ‘necessity’. By installing SASE solutions, your business can access several advantages, like it scales with your organization, makes it possible to work from any location, protects the business from cybersecurity threats, and also gives your organization a base for IoT adoption. 

For more information, contact Citrus Consulting at (+971) 04 516 1500 or email at info@citrusconsulting.com.

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