Security Access Service Edge (SASE) is the latest security trend to hit the world of cybersecurity for enterprises. But unlike meaningless buzzwords, SASE looks set to become an essential toolkit for any cybersecurity framework.
SASE moves away from data center-orientated security. Instead, it unifies your network and security tools into a single service delivered via the cloud and provides edge-to-edge protection for remote users and data centers.
Recently, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released chapter 2 of their Cyber Essentials Toolkit. CISA's Cyber Essentials is a guide for businesses and government agencies. It educates them on critical fundamental foundations needed for a robust cybersecurity framework, such as how to implement organizational cybersecurity practices and essential tools required.
They specifically mention that for an organization to reduce its risk from online threats, they need to embrace a holistic approach.
The main drawback of this policy is that it relies on multiple point solutions; typically, point solutions only fix one specific problem. The result is a technology stack that grows and grows as more threats and situations arise, and more point solutions are added.
Merging multiple tools into one
Combining multiple solutions into one tool isn't a new concept. Look no further than Service as a Software (SaaS) apps such as Microsoft office 365, which allows users to access Word, Excel, Outlook with a single login, and seamlessly share information and data between other users and between files.
Google's suite of applications offers similar features, with Gmail, Google Drive, and their host of analytical apps. With one login credential, Google users can access their apps from any remote location and any device.
SASE uses the same model by converging Wide Area Networking (WAN) with essential cloud security tools such as Zero Trust, FWaaS, and CASB. Similar to the examples above, the entire SASE service is delivered via the cloud. This allows an organization's employees to access their cloud's data and applications from any device, no matter where they're located.
The need for consolidation, cloud and convergence
There is a dire need for this solution because administrating and consuming security is more complicated than ever.
The use of cloud within organizations is rapidly increasing. Sometimes, up to 90% of workloads are taking place in the cloud.
Plus, network security is no longer only confined to the organization's data center. Employees are also leaving the traditional physical perimeter network and working from remote locations.
It's estimated that 50% of the workforce will be mobile/remote by 2021 and that more than half of the apps used by an organization will be SaaS. We already see an increase in the usage of cloud-based apps and SaaS, which takes place entirely on the cloud.
One of the effects of all this, is that for many businesses, the edges of their network have expanded further than the confines of their office premises and their data center. Center-orientated security solutions cannot provide adequate protection as they once used to.
Security teams can't keep pace
While security teams and point solutions try their best to keep pace with today's dynamic needs, it creates a fragmented approach, increasing their overall complexity. Security stacks that contain multiple tools are prone to receiving an overload of alerts regarding potential threats and general notifications.
- Nearly 88% of businesses use more than 25 different security tools and point solutions
- Close to 80% admit it's becoming harder and harder to manage the deluge of alerts
- Just under 70% claim that each incident requires 2-3 employees to handle
As you can see, it's challenging for an organization to secure their network. It takes a lot of resources, time, and human resources. If a security team finds themselves over-extended, the peril of a successful attack dramatically increases.
The best solution is one that does more than fills in missing gaps. One that's able to consolidate multiple security components under one umbrella that's delivered from a unified cloud-service.
Converging multiple point solutions together allows an organization much greater flexibility and security. Over 90% of organizations agreed that cloud-security provides greater efficiency and allows IT security to focus on other vital areas.
Cloud-security solutions are easily deployable and allow the organization to extend its network protection to remote workers and their multiple endpoint devices.
The bottom line
SASE is still a fresh term, coined by Gartner in 2019. It's still unknown by many IT security teams, and many of its vital components, such as Zero Trust, are still gaining traction in the cybersecurity industry.
But it's only a matter of time before SASE becomes more than just a buzzword. It stands to become the new industry standard as organizations are looking to merge and converge their security into a single cloud solution.
A handful of companies offer a true SASE solution for businesses, and they are still growing. Both through M&As and tech partnerships. Doing so enables them to add more tools to their overall security stack, which means organizations have even more defenses at their disposal.
As businesses are increasingly switching to the cloud, and the number of remote and mobile workers continues to rise, there's an excellent chance that SASE will become the new status quo.
Its flexibility and agility mean it offers tangible benefits to IT security teams in all industries.