SASE combines best-of-breed security and SD-WAN capabilities into a fully integrated cloud model. This convergence provides a framework for networking and security teams to work together. SASE’s architecture enables security services to be identity-driven rather than based on network access points, devices, or data context. This helps ensure that business applications and user access is fast and secure.
A digital transformation can create process efficiencies and save money. However, it requires a comprehensive technology backbone to support it. This is where the role of SASE comes into play. A SASE platform like the one from Versa Networks can facilitate the convergence of IT and OT, allowing you to improve your operational efficiency by reducing communication time and IT costs. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted business and pushed organizations to adapt their strategies for the foreseeable future. As a result, many companies are adopting new technologies like the smart home, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence (AI). These changes require a change in organizational structure and goals. For example, a digital platform will increase the agility of a business by facilitating collaboration with multiple stakeholders and providing better scalability. Another critical component of digital transformation is technology convergence, which refers to integrating different technologies into one device. For example, a smartphone features communication and imaging technology to improve usability. This allows users to perform more tasks on a single device and conserves space. A digital platform can also increase productivity by bringing together teams from various departments. This will allow you to make real-time decisions and communicate with the team members across your organization. It can also reduce the time spent communicating with different departments and the time employees spend working remotely.
A unified SASE service delivers a least-privileged model, consistent policy enforcement, reduced attack surface, and a seamless user experience. The framework also reduces costs by consolidating networking and security functions that were previously delivered as point products. Enterprises work with fewer vendors, have a smaller hardware footprint, and minimize the number of agents on end-user devices. SASE combines SD-WAN and network security capabilities, including CASB, ZTNA, VPN replacement, SWG, and FWaaS, into a single service that is deployed at the edge of the organization’s network. This converged approach removes management burdens from IT teams while delivering the typical cloud enhancements of elasticity, agility, global reach, and delegated management. As networks become more distributed and the number of IoT devices connecting to them increases, SASE becomes even more critical. It protects remote and mobile workers, IoT devices on industrial product lines, and intelligent health monitoring sensors and provides security for cloud-based applications accessed from anywhere in the world. It allows the enterprise to avoid costly, performance-degrading encryption that may require the device to travel back to its data center to be encrypted and back out to its user to access a website or an application. SASE instead encrypts traffic at a PoP closest to the users and processes it from there, providing low latency.
Simplicity is a fundamental design principle that should be applied to digital transformation. Businesses that create solutions that simplify the user journey, reduce protocol overhead and remove friction from workflows will have a competitive advantage. This means designing for streamlined change processes that require less upfront investment to get to work. Similarly, complexity must be avoided at all costs regarding security. Complexity inevitably slows down deployment speed and introduces operational risk to systems. This must be addressed by building security into the architecture, a process known as “integration by design.” Security needs to be designed and built with the environment. This enables customers to continuously validate configuration and ensure that updates are deployed quickly with minimal impact on operations while permitting fast rollback. A significant challenge with cloud adoption is managing spiraling cloud costs driven by limited visibility and resource waste. The solution is simple: enable cost optimization by ensuring all workloads are assigned to the most appropriate service. To do so, software sovereignty is required. This enables customers to deploy their applications where they want without being locked in or dependent on a single cloud provider. It also allows them to survive events that would otherwise force them to shift workloads rapidly. This requires a platform that embraces open services, provides the flexibility to run in a multi-cloud environment, and ensures identity is not compromised.
With work-from-anywhere practices and a shift to cloud services, IT teams must break down technology siloes and converge networking and security functionality. A SASE model does just that, allowing enterprises to deploy new technologies faster and with fewer headaches. SASE enables businesses to implement a single-stack architecture that delivers remote users and branch offices quickly autonomous access to the internet and cloud apps they need. It also allows IT departments to maintain centralized control over policies while providing remote users with direct, encrypted connections that do not require data to be channeled back to the enterprise hub office. In addition to reducing complexity and cost, SASE offers advanced security capabilities that reduce the risk of cyber threats. It supports a Zero Trust approach that validates users and devices before they are given access to applications, regardless of their location. This reduces the attack surface and makes securing mobile users, IoT devices, cloud service providers (CSP), and remote workers easier. SASE is a critical component of any digital transformation strategy. However, selecting a solution based on SD-WAN with the right combination of security tools for your organization’s needs is essential.