Those who can recall the very earliest days of streaming in the mid-1990s might remember anxiously tapping a finger on their mouse while content buffered. Many with slower internet connections would spend more time watching the content download than actually watching the content.

Technology innovations, though, quickly led to increased commercialization investment in the internet, ushering in a new era of available bandwidth that infinitely improved access to audio and video by the early days of the 21st century.

Streaming - and really all content creators and consumers - would not have accelerated as it did without that much-needed bandwidth. In much the same way, we see the idea of Zero Trust Network Security, introduced more than a decade ago, needing its own boost for more widespread adoption. That help has arrived in the form of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), the ideal framework for Zero Trust.


Why Zero Trust Matters

Since Zero Trust was coined in 2010, it has been proclaimed by the network security community as the ideal access model to adopt. Still, it’s only recently that businesses have started to implement Zero Trust for their network security frameworks. This advancement is largely due to the current rise of remote work, digital transformation, and cloud adoption.

Zero trust starts with the enforcement of device, system, and identity verification before granting access to the network -- preferably using an Identity Provider. This allows businesses to provide access to users based on their roles and the security status of their devices. It doesn’t give them wholesale access, but rather only to specified parts of the network such as relevant applications that they have been authorized to use for their daily tasks.

Alongside this “least privilege” principle, security teams must leverage micro-segmentation of network resources to defend their critical corporate resources in the case an unauthorized user exploits and infiltrates their network. Implementing Zero Trust can help businesses decrease the risks of multi-vector attacks while also reducing the ability of an attacker to move laterally once inside the network.

Despite Zero Trust’s advancement over the years, there have been challenges in presenting a larger framework in which to implement it. Companies can’t truly realize the benefits that Zero Trust has to offer if other parts of their network and security aren’t standardized. But now, there is a solution that is making this possible: Secure Access Service Edge.

With remote access and digitalization the issues of the day as our business environment continues to reset from the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, SASE couldn’t have arrived at a better time for companies to benefit from its cloud-based network security model and Zero Trust’s user-centric approach.


Perfect Timing for SASE

When it comes to applying security controls across a corporate environment and implementing flexible policy features, the security space has always looked at integrations and partnering solutions as the quickest and most successful model. This is where SASE shows its value as the ideal framework for Zero Trust

SASE was coined by Gartner as a cloud-based network security model that combines multiple network technologies delivered as a service to support dynamic secure access to organizational assets. Companies value SASE for its inclusion of Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), which enables users to access internal resources while working away from the corporate office. Zero Trust within SASE’s framework can be a suitable fit for every business's network security no matter its industry, size, or specialty.


Zero Trust is the Mindset, SASE is the Backbone

Because Zero Trust is designed around data access controls and network visibility, it's easy to say that SASE is its perfect match. With every SASE platform, the major use case bound to emerge is multilayer encrypted network access from TCP/IP to HTTP, layer three to layer seven. SASE empowers IT and security teams to easily manage and maintain network visibility of user activity and access based on preset rules.

Remote work has driven more businesses to shift away from the site-centric model and toward a more user-centric model, where resources and applications are cloud-based and the location of the user cannot be assumed. This is why a new network security approach is needed. SASE is the approach that the entire security space has been waiting for, largely because it drives adoption of its most undersold bonus: Zero Trust access.

SASE gives businesses the power to easily manage and tweak their networking and security from one unified platform in the cloud, much like the rest of the service economy has moved cloudward. As businesses move toward SASE, the security and network space will see the value of this adoption in the reduced number of data breaches, and then finally Zero Trust will have its day.