What is SASE? And why it’s the next big thing

Posted on December 3, 2019

Traditional network architectures and the strategies of yesterday are being fiercely challenged: 

All of this is giving rise to a new unified approach to IT services called SASE (pronounced “sassy”). Here’s why every IT leader should grasp this new acronym.

What is SASE? 

Gartner coined the acronym, defining secure access service edge (SASE) as “converged offerings combining WAN capabilities with network security functions.” For instance, a SASE solution consolidates SD-WAN with firewall as a service, secure edge gateway, cloud access security broker (CASB) and Zero Trust network access–all into a single unified approach. While Gartner reports SASE solutions are still emerging, many are already defining solution characteristics as:

What are the benefits of SASE?

Network and security staff supporting the infrastructure will experience:

SD-WAN vs. SASE: What’s the difference?

SD-WAN is network-as-a-service, and SASE takes that one step further by adding security to the mix. SASE is considered network-security-as-a-service. 

They are complementary, not competitors. By bringing SD-WAN and SASE together under one provider and a single solution, enterprise clients can leverage SD-WAN services with a fully embedded security capability. Beyond simply addressing the basic security concerns of SD-WAN’s public internet connectivity option, here are some examples of why this pairing is particularly advantageous: 

Why is SASE the next big thing?

SASE is popping up everywhere because it solves significant IT challenges. Existing network security architectures were designed for the centralized data center and fail to serve the needs of digital transformation, SaaS, real-time applications, edge computing, IoT, and other cloud-based services. 

Historic network security architectures made the data center the epicenter of connectivity and security strategies. But this design can constrain the dynamic nature of IT and the agility required in the age of digital business. A security strategy focused on the data center is insufficient when it comes to: 

These challenges actively drive the adoption of security-as-a-service capabilities and have triggered enterprises to shift toward a cloud-delivered secure access service edge.

Additionally, SASE needs to be on the radar of every IT leader because change on the inside calls for change on the outside. Executives who grew up with a data-center focus are realizing that IT environments are looking quite different now, and providers and services need to meet the needs of the modern network:

Isn’t it time for network and security convergence? Are your network services keeping up with your security, multi-cloud, edge-focused strategies? 

Read more articles in the SASE Straight Talk series:

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Gary Audin

With more than 40+ years of computer, communications, and security consulting and implementation experience, Gary Audin is a celebrated author and IT thought leader with regular articles published by Telecom Reseller, No Jitter, TechTarget, and Webtorials. Gary has operated and managed data, LAN, and telephone networks including local area, national and international networks as well as VoIP and IP convergent networks both in the U.S. and across the globe. As a trusted consultant, he has advised domestic and international venture capital and investment bankers in communications, VoIP, and microprocessor technologies.

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