What is SASE
and what are
its benefits?

Author: Adam Kimmel

For many businesses, a growing number of dynamic and cloud-based applications are creating a distributed network alongside a need for low latency and high throughput. To deliver the dynamic performance these cutting-edge applications call for secure access service edge, or SASE. But what is SASE and what are its benefits?

What is SASE?

Historically, companies stored data on centralized internal servers, creating a distinct perimeter to secure. SASE integrates wide-area networking (WAN) with cloud-based security to help provide more efficient and better performing secure network services to distributed WANs. The SASE security model flexes as your data transmission needs change, helping to improve the system's speed and latency performance.

What are the components needed for SASE?

SASE includes several key components. They include:

  • Next generation firewalls (NGFWs) are the third generation of firewall technology capable of detecting and blocking more sophisticated attacks.
  • Secure web gateways (SWGs) is an extensive, powerful defense system that protects your networks, branch offices and remote users.
  • Cloud access security brokers (CASBs) serve as the gatekeeper between your on premise and public cloud infrastructure, helping your business address cloud service risks, enforce security policies, and comply with regulations.
  • Zero trust network access (ZTNA) operates on the premise that security teams should strictly limit access to the network—anyone or anything that can't be trusted shouldn't get in.

What are the benefits of SASE?

Now that you have an understanding of what is SASE, let’s now look at what its advantages are and what’s driving its adoption?

SASE provides three primary benefits for businesses:

  • Helps reduce IT complexity and cost
  • Helps improve application performance and user experience
  • Helps reduce risk

Rather than patch added capacity together as a method to scale, the SASE security model is similar to edge computing. However, the SASE model expands the security boundary as close to the users as possible. In doing so, you can leverage the full computing power of the cloud to reduce latency and optimize bandwidth availability for speed, helping to improve user experiences. And because SASE is cloud-based, it also enables you to use the latest security measures and features as soon as they're available.

A SASE security model provides the extendable security scale that modern applications require. It enables optimized infrastructure costs by leveraging on-demand cloud space and gives the user the freedom to operate in an expandable security environment.

SASE is also a natural fit with Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) offerings that many businesses choose. NaaS provides a closer integration between network offerings and network security. To meet the needs of modern businesses, NaaS has to provide both cloud-based and on-premise security. This dynamic helps pave the way for the deployment of SASE.

What are the challenges in implementing SASE?

But with any technology comes challenges. With SASE, one of the main challenges is that the technology is still emerging, so there will be a learning curve for the IT team.

MEF, a nonprofit industry forum of network, cloud and technology providers, conducted a survey that revealed the top SASE challenges include lack of industry standards, customer education and migration, vendors not offering a complete solution and operating in a multi-vendor environment.

Yet, despite these challenges, that same survey also found that the SASE market is expected to grow.

What role can a managed network service provider play?

Managed service providers already offer the latest cloud technology, and they bring years of industry expertise to the partnership. In addition, they operate like a consultant with a view into other companies' successes and opportunities in using a SASE security model, providing state-of-the-art guidance into areas with which you may be less familiar.

The right partner can also provide insight and guidance around using a SASE security model alongside other tools in a digital environment—tools like managed software-defined wide-area network (SD WAN), internet threat prevention and zero trust network access.

SASE is unfolding as the future of cloud-based security. By leveraging an expert market leader to manage your network, the future can arrive early.

Now that you have an answer to the question, “what is SASE” and how it can benefit your business, learn more about how Verizon's managed network service solutions can help to add value to your business operations.

The author of this content is a paid contributor for Verizon.