This article was contributed by Ibrahim Akturk who works as a content editor at Nord Layer.

SASE is becoming synonymous with cybersecurity right now. And there is a reason for that.

SASE was created and designed to enable organizations to take advantage of a much-guaranteed protection program to secure sensitive information about their company and that of their customers.

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SASE is imbued with lots of security benefits to companies of various sizes. It helps to improve end-user experience, reduce costs, bolster employee efficiency, and much more.

What Does SASE Mean to an Enterprise?

SASE was first heard of in 2019 when Gartner researchers Neil MacDonald and Joe Skorupa led the team to uncover a security architecture that incorporates multiple security frameworks in a single cloud-based solution to propel fast, efficient, efficient, and reliable network security.

Gartner defined SASE as a security model that prescribes the convergence of network connectivity and security technologies in a more significant, more substantial architecture to create a more secure and fast cloud transformation. SASE also helps organizations address edge computing and the challenge of workforce mobility.

One of the critical problems this architecture helps business owners to solve is handling the security and network demands of external traffic without routing it through the data center. In addition, traffic in recent years shifted to the cloud, leading to latency and congestion in the data center.

The SASE Architecture

The SASE security architecture is made up of network security solutions such as Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Secure Web Gateways (SWG), Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS), and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). These capabilities are delivered based on real-time identity and compliance with network security policies.

SASE is more trusted for companies with a remote workforce, distributed across different locations around the globe. By making critical network and security functions available from the cloud, SASE delivers increased safety and efficiency to data and company assets, bringing it close to prospective users and applications. This eases the pressure on network response and data centers.

SASE-built networks are flexible, scalable, and have robust connectivity to offices and workers from any device and in any global location. In addition, its unified and consolidated policy management helps organizations secure their data regardless of corporate resource location or origins.

How Do Businesses Incorporate The SASE Solution?

As more companies embrace the SASE architecture as a preferred cloud solution, SASE providers on the market also witnessed a massive spike.

Now, this network security solution has proven to be a viable option for many companies around the globe to distance assets, resources, and network data from hackers and inappropriate use. However, many companies are unsure about the vendor criteria or what to consider when implementing the SASE solution in 2022.

1. Ensure that You Have the Option of Enabling the Zero Trust Model With Your Provider 

A vital SASE component is Zero Trust. So, if you have to implement SASE, you’ll need to develop ZTNA to control remote user access, and data use. You’ll be able to restrict and layer user access, leveraging application-specific access restrictions on different parts of your corporate network.

Zero Trust doesn’t offer inherent trust consideration to a user or device. Instead, it ensures that every request to access network resources passes through the authorization and authentication process.

So, remote company employees can connect securely from any location without fear of compromised company assets. Enabling Zero Trust will make achieving a SASE solution easy. So, ensuring that your service provider can offer it is essential.

2. Opt For a Cloud-Native Provider

A SASE model is focused on identity transfer from networks or local servers to the end-users. One of its primary goals is to foster security for corporate data accessed by both on-site and remote users.

To enjoy huge benefits from SASE, it is essential to choose the service option available at every edge of your network — including mobile endpoints. Consider cloud-native SASE providers as a foolproof and more straightforward option. Their job will include securing cloud or on-site applications or networks from all forms of risks.

3. A Service Provider With Minimized Network Complexity Will Serve Better

The best SASE service is easier to maintain than the conventional model, straightforward, and should be an overall structure that addresses comprehensive aspects of your cybersecurity expectations.

More importantly, a SASE experience will be accompanied by a search for a provider that works to dramatically lower the network complexity of an organization’s network structure. In general, look for vendors with threat detection systems, multiple security services, and the Zero Trust model to help reduce network complexity.

Additionally, these highlighted features will help to reduce costs, and you’ll also have a single provider with multiple security services that can be applicable across your company structure.

4. Integrating Security and Networks Services

SASE is a complete structure that concerns how cybersecurity functions in an organization. It incorporates multiple collective security tools which make up the SASE architecture.

Hence, a provider should have incorporated all network and security services to handle all performances on a single platform. A SASE solution should integrate services such as Firewall as a Service, Zero Trust Network, Secure Web Gateway, and Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN).

Note, however, that if your provider will not be offering these significant elements, then it’s very likely that you are about to receive substandard SASE services.

5. Prioritize Ease of Use, User Experience, and Scalability

Every network security strategy should take scalability, user experience, and ease of use very seriously. So, ensure that the SASE service provider you work with must be able to establish an operational structure that promotes smoother business operations and delivers a top-level user experience. Considering that this system is not practical for your employees will create more issues than improve things.

In addition, find out the number of peering with PoPs and SaaS platforms to reduce latency and ensure speed route from SaaS applications.

6. Easy Access for Remote and Mobile Employees Should Be Considered

A company that conducts a hybrid work model must ensure seamless mobile and remote access connections are on the list of the SASE provider services.

Hence, be sure that your provider services incorporate a complete requirement for remote workers without the need to introduce new and separate services.

About the author

Ibrahim Akturk is a content editor at Nord Layer, a translation major, and a huge coffee and baking nerd.

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