With cyber attacks, ransomware gangs, and phishing scams on the rise all over the world, and more people working remotely, cyber security has become more necessary than ever, and at FluidOne, we’re ready to help, and we’ve partnered with the global SASE leader, Zscaler, to offer its services to its users. Many businesses and organisations are turning to SASE to protect their data, which is one of the many services we provide to our clients. If you’re unfamiliar with it, though, or just wondering if it’s right for you, keep reading as we take a closer look at the pros and cons of the emerging technology.
What is SASE?
Pronounced ‘sassy,’ SASE stands for ‘Secure Access Service Edge.’ An evolution of network security and network service providers, combining software-defined wide area network (or SD-WAN) capabilities with cloud features and applications. SASE provides users with a cloud-based architecture - instead of your organisation’s cyber security perimeter being based around hardware in your office, SASE allows you to make your network accessible to all users all the time. The edge in ‘Secure Access Service Edge’ refers to the cloud provider’s systems - users log on by verifying their identities, and from there, they pass through this ‘edge’ into your organisation’s network.
What are the benefits?
One of the main benefits of SASE is that by using it, your employees can connect to the network securely and remotely, wherever they are. The rise in remote working in recent years has introduced a new problem for workplaces. In the past, firewalls and other cyber security defences could be installed at the office to protect sensitive data. Now, though, these defences have to stretch to people’s homes, and employees’ laptops, mobile phones and routers are all potential entry points for hackers to find a way into your network. With SASE, there are a range of security features waiting to be used, from secure web gateways to cloud-delivered firewalls. You can implement a zero-trust network to ensure that no one is trusted by default, and everyone trying to access the network must verify themselves before entry.
With SASE, you can also combine all of your security and network functions into one platform, reducing costs while reducing the complexity of your cyber security services at the same time. It’s scalable, meaning even if the company grows and the network grows with it, it won’t become more complex and unwieldy. As the SASE architecture is controlled using one centralised management platform, it’s easy to use - and it can give you more visibility into, and control over, everything from your organisation’s network traffic to the number of new connections.
Are there any downsides?
There are downsides to SASE, of course, which should be considered if you’re weighing up whether to invest in the service. For a start, it’s still a fairly new technology, and as such, it’s still in the early stages of development. Unlike legacy technologies, which have been around for years, there may be bugs in SASE that you won’t discover until you’ve already got your new network up and running.
Another drawback is less to do with the technology and more to do with how it might affect your staff. Since it’s new, introducing SASE to your business would require updating your security protocols and communicating the changes to your staff, as well as taking the time to train them all on how to use the new system. It could also mean you’d need to change up some teams in your company. In many businesses, network and security personnel work independently of each other, but as SASE combines these two features into one, changes might need to be made to your company structure to ensure they work closely together.
SASE is potentially the way forward for many companies, giving them the chance to improve their security and their overall usability at the same time. The traditional IT security systems need to adapt to the changing needs of workers, to ensure that businesses can keep operating securely and safely.
One other thing for organisations to consider is that SASE isn’t one single product. It’s more of a framework, and all SASE providers out there will be offering something slightly different. Just as with any other product, you should do your diligence to make sure the provider is offering a service that’s best suited to your organisation. At FluidOne, we understand the tools businesses need in today’s changing landscape, and we offer SASE as part of our Connected Cloud Solutions.
Get in touch with us to learn more about what it can do for you, and how we can find the right solution to fit your unique needs.