SASE Emerges to Address Remote Networking & Security
The way the world works has changed. An entire company no longer sits in a central office with all applications and data handled by on-premises servers. Now more than ever, employees are working remote from a wide variety of locations (sometimes states away). Organizations are taking greater advantage of SaaS applications and using a variety of cloud, colocation and edge data center solutions. The push toward digital transformation has been underway for several years now, and Forrester predicts technology adoption will boom this year:
“2021 will be the year that every company — not just the 15% of firms that were already digitally savvy — doubles down on technology-fueled experiences, operations, products, and ecosystems.”
With this shift comes new Security challenges. As the way we work evolves, the way we keep our data, applications, infrastructure and networks secure naturally needs to co-evolve. In particular, previous ways of practicing network security can’t keep up with this modern way of working. Secure Access Service Edge is a new service emerging to meet updated networking security needs.
What is Secure Access Service Edge?
Secure Access Service Edge (SASE, pronounced sassy) is a new cloud-delivered service that essentially combines several existing solutions including VPN, SD-WAN, zero trust and other security functions. It’s designed specifically to address dispersed network and cloud security, particularly when dealing with remote workforces.
As this new solution takes shape, it will likely be provided mainly in an “as a service” model and will be largely policy and permissions based. It promises to better support the dynamic access needs of a wide-spread workforce and data footprint while maintaining low latency and high security.
Who Is SASE Designed For?
As SASE is designed to help organizations address cloud, edge and remote access security and networking, it’s not specifically geared toward any single industry.
The Novel Coronavirus made remote working a reality for a large portion of American workers in 2020 and working away from the office may remain the new normal for many people. Flexjobs found that 65% of workers would like to remain fully remote while 31% would like to be remote at least part time. Unfortunately for companies, this means less control over end user devices and networks, creating a heightened security risk. It also means organizations need to find ways to ensure high latency regardless of employee location to promote productivity. Organizations that want to accommodate these workers need to ensure their network and security is set up to support remote working and SASE is poised to be that solution.
While it’s still a young service, Gartner predicts that at least 40% of enterprises will have explicit strategies to adopt SASE by 2024. The solutions is currently toward the beginning of the Gartner hype cycle, meaning we have five to ten years before it becomes fully pervasive. Organizations that want to be on the cutting edge of this emerging solution should start paying attention and planning now.
Benefits of SASE
SASE is currently shaping up to offer a host of benefits beyond just creating more secure access for remote workers and edge computing networks. SASE may also:
- Reduce Security Complexity: By essentially combining several existing network security functions into a single suite of services from a centralized provider an organization’s overall security tech stack and complexity will be streamlined.
- Reduce Costs: Reducing the number of security vendors you work with may reduce costs by getting rid of multiple contracts and bills.
- Enable Broader Digital Access: Because it’s permissions and policy based, SASE will allow organizations to extend secure access to third party vendors, contractors and partners with greater confidence.
- Work for Almost Everyone: It’s expected that SASE vendors will create wide, global networks of POPs, meaning the solution should work well just about everywhere. As employees realize that they can work remotely from anywhere, not just home, this will become increasingly beneficial.
SASE is still in the early solution stages, but there are some vendors that are building roadmaps and early additions of the service. As the push toward permanent remote working and the acceleration of edge computing continue their relentless march forward, SASE will quickly become an in-demand solution. Smart companies will put SASE on their roadmaps now and start exploring the solution so they’re ready to implement as soon as possible.