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Combat Between Old and New Security: What is SASE?

New Security

The increased preference for remote working has led to a rise in cyberattacks as hackers believe itís easy to inject malware into cloud infrastructures and gain access to sensitive information. Therefore, organizations that migrate to the cloud without proper security policies can fall victim to malware or ransomware attacks.

Therefore, itís essential for them to have a stringent network security framework like SASE solutions to protect their remote workplaces, combat data loss and ensure data integrity. Since endpoints are the weakest point in any network and traditional data security policies like VPNs or physical firewalls are ineffective in securing the cloud, you need to deploy cloud-specific protection policies to secure your remote employees.

Why Is the Old Security Approach Not Enough to Protect an Organization?

Before the pandemic, most organizations relied on in-house infrastructures to protect the network within their office walls. IT teams had to maintain in-house data centers and monitor the network traffic by deploying multiple firewalls and VPN solutions. However, the abrupt shift to remote working turned on-premises infrastructures obsolete.

VPNs proved ineffective for remote working as they granted access to the entire network. One compromised user credential could allow the attacker to steal or destroy sensitive information stored on the server. The cloud applications had to reroute traffic to the data center to monitor it through the firewall. However, this approach led to bottlenecks and unexpected downtimes that were unacceptable for many organizations.

What is SASE?

Secure Access Service Edge is a networking and security solution that converges numerous technologies to provide a unified cloud-native service. SASE eliminates the efforts and costs required to maintain complex cloud infrastructures that require optimal security posture. It reduces the risk of breach and data loss, enables secure remote work, and improves access to cloud applications that contain sensitive data.

How Does a SASE Solution Operate?

The main goal of a SASE is to create a single cloud-based network that connects and secures all physical, cloud, or mobile resources that are a part of an organization. A SASE operates with four main characteristics:

  • Identity-based authentication
    SASE detects user and resource identities to determine the level of secure access, networking experience, and quality of service. Every connection request goes through a unified organizational policy before SASE grants access.
  • Cloud-native network
    A SASE architecture is elastic; its ability to self-heal and self-maintain makes it perfect for a cloud-native service. SASE can rapidly adapt to inert business needs to maintain global network availability.
  • Security of all edges
    Organizations can use SASE to implement equal protection policies for in-house data centers, remote branch offices, cloud resources, and the devices used by remote employees for their daily tasks.
  • Global coverage
    SASE operates globally to deliver high-performance networking and security policies while maintaining low latency at every endpoint. It ensures that the cloud applications are hidden over the Internet and are only available for remote employees.

Components of a SASE Infrastructure

SASE combines six components to build a flexible and secure cloud-native infrastructure.

Software-Defined Wide Area Network

SASE uses SD-WAN to overlay the architecture and reduce complexities while optimizing the user experience of the cloud application by defining the fastest route for the traffic to move towards the Internet, cloud applications, and the in-house data center. SASE also enables developers to rapidly develop new applications and services that assist the organization in managing numerous policies across multiple locations.

Secure Web Gateway

SASE leverages SWGs to prevent unsecured Internet traffic from entering the organizationís internal network. Organizations can use a Secure Web Gateway to shield remote employees from accessing malicious web traffic and vulnerable websites that can infect their mobile devices with malware or ransomware and compromise network security.

Cloud Access Security Broker

A CASB assists SASE infrastructure in preventing data leaks, malware infections and visibility issues. A cloud access security broker ensures the safety of cloud applications and improves the organizationís ability to improve regulatory compliance. SASE uses CASB to secure cloud apps that organizations host on public clouds, private clouds, or software-as-a-service.

Zero Trust Network Access

SASE uses ZTNA to facilitate secure remote access for employees who use internal applications from other locations. A Zero Trust model never assumes trust and grants the least privileged access according to granular policies defined by the organization. Remote users can securely connect to cloud resources without placing them on the organizationís network or exposing the applications to the internet.

Firewall-as-a-Service

Since traditional firewalls fail to protect traffic coming to the cloud, SASE leverages FWaaS to replace them with cloud-based firewalls that provide advanced Layer 7 or next-generation firewall capabilities. FWaaS allows organizations to add URL filtering, advanced threat prevention, intrusion prevention systems, and DNS security to protect their cloud resources.

Centralized User Management

SASE manages every aspect of network security from a single management console while eliminating the need to handle the challenges of change control, patch management, and policy management. SASE enables organizations to deploy consistent security policies across their network for every user and device.

How Can Sase Help Your Organization?

SASE improves network security and enables organizations to:

  1. Improve their flexibility
    A cloud-based infrastructure makes it easy to implement and deliver security services like threat prevention, sandboxing and DNS security to improve the networkís flexibility to mitigate threats.
  2. Improve cost savings
    Organizations can utilize the centralized management console instead of acquiring and managing numerous control baseboards, reducing costs and IT resources. SASE enables organizations to use a small IT team to manage and monitor the network.
  3. Reduce complexity
    SASE simplifies IT infrastructure by reducing the number of security solutions IT teams have to manage, maintain and update. It consolidates your security stack into a cloud-based network security service model through a centralized access dashboard that allows organizations to enforce unified security policies.
  4. Increase network performance
    Cloud infrastructure makes it easier for users to connect to their organization’s resources, access apps, surf the Internet and utilize corporate data globally. Since there is no need to reroute traffic to data centers, IT teams can maintain network speed and ensure data availability with SASE.
  5. Improve threat prevention
    SASE integrates threat detection protocols and enables organizations to improve their visibility into the network and implement robust data protection policies. Organizations can leverage the SASE framework to prevent unauthorized access to their network and ensure the integrity of their sensitive data.

Conclusion

Network security is essential for maintaining data integrity while managing remote workforces. Since traditional network protection systems are obsolete, businesses must deploy robust network security solutions like SASE. It combines various technologies and capabilities to build stringent network security that leverages granular security policies.