Are you ready for SASE?
The threat that businesses – both large and small – face from cyberattack has never been more real, or more pressing, than it is today.
The Covid pandemic brought with it a huge uptick in remote working and the movement of apps to the cloud. These trends continued through the worst of the health crisis and into the post-Covid world.
And while the remote working, cloud-dependent model brings enormous benefits with it, it has also made it significantly more difficult to properly protect a network.
The number of companies facing this dilemma, in the presence of increased cyberthreats, will likely begin an economy-wide switch from the ‘castle and moat’-style protection of software-defined WAN capabilities to a new concept known as Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).
This is a network architecture that combines WAN capabilities with comprehensive network security services, including a secure web gateway, a cloud access security broker, zero-trust network access and firewall-as-a-service.
While SASE has been around since 2019, it has risen to prominence as a cloud-native security solution in the last year. The approach offers a simple cloud-based solution to combat the rising security risk, reducing the amount of physical hardware necessary for a robust cybersecurity system.
At its core, SASE allows companies to create a unified, cloud-delivered service model that supports dynamic, secure access. That creates a new pathway for building networks, which makes it easier to connect resources and workers wherever they may be located. Once you can do that, you benefit from more flexible networking and improved application performance.
SASE helps organisations meet their business goals, too. If implemented correctly, it works to reduce risks and may help to reduce costs, while allowing businesses to scale dynamically. Because it simplifies operations and the addition and removal of users, this network architecture approach can also help simplify Merger & Acquisition (M&A) activity.
The approach can also help optimise network resources. Using SD WAN, deployment can be swifter than legacy network technologies and it enables network bandwidth to be shared and utilised across the network more efficiently. It also helps security teams to scale security policy holistically, ensuring a consistent, identity-based approach to application and data access, regardless of where the user is located.
Get the lay of the land
The revolution is only just beginning. According to Gartner®1, by 2025, 80% of enterprises will have adopted a strategy to unify web, cloud services and private application access using a SASE/SSE architecture, up from 20% in 2021.
But is SASE right for your organisation?
There are several critical elements to investigate to determine your answer to this question and discover whether SASE can offer your business the way forward to network security.
Firstly, it’s important to audit your organisation’s current secure network capabilities and WAN and security technology investments. This can help determine whether now is the right time to make the move towards SASE.
Organisations that have recently invested in their existing network and network security solutions may decide that now is not the best time to jump on board the SASE train. However, it could be perfect for those facing the challenges of legacy networks in terms of cost and complexity.
Another important factor to consider is how many employees work from home or in a hybrid capacity. SASE is particularly effective at ensuring secure access for workers wherever they are, making this approach very useful for organisations with large remote workforces.
Plus, if your organisation is large, it can suffer from inconsistent security policies across different departments, leaving holes in the cyber posture. SASE helps to close those holes by providing a unified and comprehensive security framework.
Define the problem
Before beginning the transition to SASE, it’s essential to map out the challenges you hope to solve with this new model.
In most cases, complexity and costly networks that do not provide adequate security are good starting points. Another consideration is whether your organisation has a hybrid or remote workforce, as a SASE approach will make it easier to onboard new home-workers.
Broad support and broad expertise
Taking a new network approach is a significant decision, which may prove challenging initially, so securing buy-in from executive leadership is a critical success factor.
Engaging C-level and board support will provide the necessary momentum to allow a positive “trickle-down” effect throughout the rest of the organisation to assist in the transition.
A final factor in gaining support for this change will include assessing whether your enterprise has the broad range of expertise necessary to make the shift to SASE.
No “one-size-fits-all” approach
A modern SASE solution will involve a combination of technologies and offerings that will need to be integrated to deliver a customised solution to an enterprise’s networking needs.
According to Gartner’s research1, by 2025, one-third of new SASE deployments will be based on a single-vendor SASE offering, up from 10% in 2022. By 2025, 65% of enterprises will have consolidated individual SASE components into one or two explicitly partnered SASE vendors, up from 15% in 2021.
The SASE revolution is coming, and coming fast, so now is the time to determine whether your company is ready to get on board and to understand the advantages it will bring. Find out more about what you can do with Verizon here.
1Gartner, Market Guide for Single-Vendor SASE, Neil Macdonald, John Watts, Jonathan Forest, Andrew Lerner, 28 September 2022.
GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
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