In response to the surge in remote work and the growing dependence on cloud applications, organizations are embracing multi-edge networking strategies to accommodate these changes. Yet, this expansion has brought about fresh security hurdles, leading to a disconnect between network functionality and holistic protection. Conventional VPN-only (Virtual Private Network) solutions often fall short of delivering sufficient security and a smooth user experience since all application traffic necessitates backhauling through the network for access control and protection.
To bridge this gap and meet the demands of a hybrid workforce, secure access service edge (SASE) solutions have emerged. These solutions enable organizations to rapidly converge and scale their security and networking strategies, securely delivering a dynamic range of network edges for on- and off-network users. Embracing this distributed and performance-centric approach is crucial for success in today's digital marketplace.
Selecting the right SASE vendor is paramount to ensure operational success and seamless integration of essential elements. Not all SASE solutions are created equal in terms of scalability, security, and orchestration. The ideal SASE solution should minimize overhead, both in terms of implementing new technologies and managing the integrated system with existing IT staff.
Here are the top four requirements organizations should prioritize when considering the adoption of any SASE solution:
#1. Seek single-vendor SASE solutions for flexible deployments:
Most enterprise networks are not solely cloud-based, and physical networks still play a significant role. Therefore, relying solely on cloud-only security is insufficient. Organizations should prioritize SASE services that seamlessly integrate with their extended network, including SD-WAN security and on-premises resources. This single-vendor SASE approach ensures a unified security framework, reduces total cost of ownership (TCO), and enhances the overall utility of SASE.
#2. Ensure enterprise-grade security across all fronts:
When considering a SASE solution, it is crucial to appraise the efficacy and efficiency of its security components. Be sure to assess whether the Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) supports both stateful and proxy protocols. Can it conduct SSL inspection at application speeds? Moreover, does it offer a robust suite of proven and validated solutions instead of relying on off-brand technologies? By thoroughly addressing these inquiries, one can ascertain whether the chosen SASE solution offers scalable security capabilities that align with the enterprise's requirements.
A robust SASE solution should include the following stack of security capabilities and tools:
- Next-generation firewall (NGFW) with high-performance SSL inspection and advanced threat detection techniques.
- Domain Name System (DNS) protection to identify and isolate malicious domains.
- Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) for actively monitoring the network and detecting attempts to exploit vulnerabilities.
- Data Loss Prevention (DLP) to prevent unauthorized movement of sensitive information.
- Secure Web Gateway (SWG) that safeguards web access against internal and external risks, including threats embedded in encrypted traffic.
- Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA) that extends VPN capabilities and enables secure access for remote users.
- Sandboxing for protection against unknown threats.
- Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) to provide visibility, compliance, data security, and threat protection for cloud-based services.
#3. Opt for a unified architecture with a unified agent:
Simplifying the user experience is paramount in any security or networking solution. Look for a SASE solution that utilizes a unified agent for all endpoint security features and secure connections to the cloud and applications. This unified approach streamlines operations and enhances the overall user experience.
#4. Strive for full convergence between networking and security:
Security should be an intrinsic aspect of any SASE solution. The different SASE elements must seamlessly integrate within a unified security strategy, forming a holistic security fabric that spans the entire distributed network. Integration between on-premises security solutions (such as SD-WAN and NGFW) and cloud security is crucial for operational simplicity, compliance requirements, and consistent security posture for all users.
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By prioritizing these must-haves and selecting a SASE solution that meets these criteria, organizations can ensure a robust, scalable, and seamlessly integrated security and networking infrastructure.
BBH Solutions will guide you through the Implementation of the best SASE solution for your organization. We have been helping companies with their IT solutions since 1989. We are a leading cloud computing and Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) in the New York City region. Let our expert engineers help you resolve your complex IT challenges.