We’re in the middle of a technological revolution, with more powerful computers processing data faster and better than ever, and machine learning and artificial intelligence making it easier to automate processes and streamline workloads. Cloud computing technologies have made it possible for people to access files both when working from the office and from home. As workforces have shifted to hybrid working, networks have become more complex, and businesses now need to worry about keeping their whole cloud network secure - and SASE is the answer.
What is it?
If you haven’t heard of it before, SASE (pronounced ‘sassy’) stands for Secure Access Service Edge. It combines wide area networking, like SD-WAN, with network security functions like firewall as a service in a single cloud-delivered service. A network like this is more important now than ever before as today’s working landscape has left gaps in many organisations’ cyber defences. With people working remotely, every mobile device offers another way in for would-be hackers or malicious actors, meaning that the traditional IT security solutions many of us still use have had to evolve. SASE, though, is a cyber security solution designed to solve this problem.
What are the benefits?
The biggest advantage to using SASE is that it reduces the costs and complexity of your network. As everything is joined together in one framework, with SASE you can bring together critical networking and security solutions, and manage them all in one place. You also won’t have to deal with as many vendors, since you won’t have as many tools and services to rely on. SASE is also more secure - we can offer our FluidOne customers edge to edge security, extending as far as every device that’s used to connect to their network. Plus, it supports zero-trust networking. No one is trusted by default, and access to the network is only granted based on criteria such as the user’s identity or the device they’re using, instead of location or IP address.
SASE is just one of the cloud-based services FluidOne’s renowned for offering, and as such it’s designed to be futureproof. It’s easily scalable, and can be changed to support secure connections to any new offices or remote locations that you might need to work from (check out our Flexible Space Solutions for more on office working). It’s also more flexible, since you can add more services if and when the need arises. The cloud-based architecture can also help to boost your network’s performance - with SASE’s constant network monitoring, you can get real-time information on how data flows through your network, and make any changes to give users a stable and fast connection.
What are some of the services?
There are several key components to SASE architecture, all designed to boost its security capabilities. At FluidOne, we’ve partnered with the cloud security company Zscaler, which provides a SASE model that’s been built from the ground up, with a host of reliable features. One, mentioned above, is firewall as a service, or FWaaS. This replaces physical firewalls, and instead integrates next-generation cloud-based firewalls directly into SASE, with features like URL filtering and intrusion prevention systems.
The package of services we offer to our customers in our Connected Cloud Solutions toolkit also includes a CASB, or a cloud access security broker. This is a piece of software or hardware that acts as an intermediary between cloud service providers and the users of the services. It’s used to authenticate users and give them access to services, even if the services are out of an organisation’s sphere of control, making these services safer and more secure. Ordinarily, integrating a CASB with all of your systems and other cyber security solutions would be complex, and cost you both time and money, but if it’s included as part of your SASE service, that problem disappears.
Should you use SASE?
SASE is being adopted by more businesses than ever as they move towards the cloud - as company networks become more complex and spread out, SASE makes it easier to manage problems like connectivity when businesses grow. It also addresses all the challenges of cloud networks, particularly cyber security concerns. However, as there are so many components and solutions included in SASE, it’s worth remembering that there’s not just one specific SASE product - you’ll need to take the time to find the right SASE architecture to suit your organisation’s needs.
With users accessing servers all over the place, now more than ever, businesses must secure their data in multiple locations. SASE offers a powerful solution, with increased security throughout your network. As a market-leading Connected Cloud Solutions provider, we at FluidOne understand what tools businesses will need in order to navigate the ever-changing technological landscape.
If you want to find out how we can help bring SASE to your organisation, or if you just want to find out more about what it can do for you, get in touch with us today.