Over the past two years, we had to embrace some drastic changes in our daily and professional lives. Since the pandemic began, the vast majority of employees have been working remotely and making corporate networks more complex and more difficult to safeguard against malicious intrusions.
While remote work was becoming a new norm, legacy technologies weren’t effective in providing secure remote access to remotely working employees. Additionally, these technologies weren’t compatible with modern-day challenges and threats as they couldn’t protect cloud-based resources and data that was stored in the cloud. As of 2022, over 60% of corporate data is stored in the cloud, and every day more businesses use the cloud to host applications. For these reasons, cloud security is now more important than ever.
Additionally, remote work models increase the security risks as cybercriminals take advantage of weak end-points to gain access to corporate resources and reach sensitive data that they generally after. When all of these complexities are taken into account, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is the perfect solution to cope with modern-day challenges and threats while enabling overall security all across the enterprise.
What Is Secure Access Service Edge?
Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a cloud-native architecture that interconnects networking and security features together and operates as a service. SASE has been a trending topic in the cloud-computing market since it was first introduced in 2019. That’s mainly because SASE centralizes security measures to the cloud and enables robust protection for both on-premise devices and cloud resources while making every corporate resource accessible from any location.
Many businesses are mistaken by thinking that SASE is a single product that they can purchase from any vendor. But, SASE isn’t a single product. It is an architecture that requires expertise and time for complete integration into existing systems. Under the SASE framework, there are five core components; SD-WAN as service, Secure Web Gateway (SGW), Firewall as Service (FWaaS), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA).
But, SASE isn’t limited to these components. Businesses can implement any necessary security tools and software into this framework. By implementing SASE solutions, businesses can enable secure remote access to their employees and have a better network and application performance. Additionally, SASE’s multi-layer security components help businesses maintain overall security all across edge and end-points in their corporate networks. Let’s briefly explain SASE’s main components and its core capabilities.
1. SD-WAN As Service
Software-Defined Wide Area Network technology allows employees to access corporate networks and resources directly regardless of their locations. Additionally, when a user wants to connect to resources, it chooses the best routes and paths for maintaining the best network and application performance.
SD-WAN technology distributes and channels all network traffic across the cloud-compatible wide area network. In this regard, it prevents latency and network congestion problems and reduces the complexity of networks.
2. Secure Web Gateway (SGW)
Secure Web Gateway is a security component in the cloud. SGW distributes user-generated traffic in the cloud perimeter to maintain free-flow traffic. In other words, enabling lighter traffic in the cloud perimeter allows SGW to detect undesired malware more easily. Additionally, SGW includes URL filtering, malware detection, data loss prevention, and application control capabilities.
3. Firewall as Service (FWaaS)
Firewall as Service (FWaaS) is another layer of security in the cloud perimeter. It detects all attempts of unauthorized access and safeguards all the edge points inside the cloud perimeter. Additionally, it monitors and filters all user-generated traffic and enhances network security.
4. Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)
Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is responsible for controlling users’ access and monitoring traffic and data transfers between users and applications. In this regard, it functions as a bridge between them, monitoring their transactions. Additionally, it can take all necessary actions and measures to sustain robust security functions.
5. Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)
Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is the most important component of the SASE framework. Zero Trust is grounded on the idea “trust none, verify all,” and it is based on the principle of least privilege. Zero Trust assumes that every user, device, and application is dangerous and always demands the verification of identities before granting access to corporate resources and networks. Additionally, Zero Trust employs biometrics, multi-factor authentication, and single sign-on (SSO) tools to verify users’ identities. So, Zero Trust ensures that only authorized users can gain access to the networks and resources.
In the Zero Trust work environment, nobody has unlimited access to the corporate networks. Even managers and senior executives have limited access. All employees can only access the necessary resources and data to do their jobs effectively. In this regard, Zero Trust enables one of the best identity & access management capabilities. Lastly, Zero Trust employs network segmentation and minimizes cyber attacks’ surfaces.
In today’s world, businesses are more dependent on cloud services and remote work models. When it comes to securing the remote workforce and safeguarding cloud resources, legacy technologies can’t provide overall security. SASE architecture is the best solution to secure all corporate assets, cloud-based resources, networks, and end-point users.