Introduction to SASE

Since the beginning of the pandemic, cyber crimes have been skyrocketing. In our modern century, companies can’t afford to be caught off-guard by data breaches and cyber attacks as these kinds of incidencents can harm an organization’s reputation from top to bottom. Additionally, falling victim to data breaches have monetary costs as well. 

According to the severity of incidents and stolen confidential data type, compliance regulators can apply fines that cost millions of dollars. For instance, if a company violates General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules or cyber criminals steal confidential data of European Union-based individuals, then regulators can apply fines amounting between 10-20 million euros, or demand 2- 4% of the company’s global yearly revenue from the preceding financial year.  

In an era where cyber risks are really high, companies should implement modern security approaches to secure all corporate assets across the edge and end points in their networks. Because the rising of remote work has made corporate networks more complex and compelling to protect. Modern security solutions like Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) are now needed components for the cyber security postures of companies. This framework is the best security solution to combat cyber criminals, and mitigate the security risks internally and externally. 

SASE framework is one of the most advanced security approaches that the cloud-computing market can offer. By all means, SASE provides many security benefits to companies. This architecture is scalable, cost-efficient, and easy to use. Let’s see in detail what is Secure Access Service Edge, and how it works.  

What Is Secure Access Service Edge? How does SASE Work? 

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is an architecture that was introduced in 2019 by Gartner. SASE isn’t a single solution or product that companies can purchase from a single provider, or it can’t be integrated into existing systems rapidly. SASE implementation takes time, and resources to reach its maximum functionality. This architecture is a cloud-native service that operates in the cloud. 

SASE unifies networking and security features under the framework and it enables integrated cloud-based service that improves the security through unified policies and reduces the complexity of corporate networks that are created by remote users, and branch offices. Its multi-layer security framework enables enhanced security across networks, edges, and endpoints, keeping applications, data storage, devices, and users safe against cyber attacks. 

SASE architecture consists of five core components, and these are SD-WAN as service, Secure Web Gateway (SGW), Firewall as Service (FWaaS), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). Although these components have been around for at least a decade, unifying these as an integrated service is revolutionary for the cloud-computing market. Shortly, SASE architecture makes enhanced security easily accessible for all sizes of companies. Let’s look at core components further. 

Main Components Of SASE

1- SD-WAN As A Service

SASE uses SD-WAN technology to enable secure remote access regardless of users’ locations. This technology directly connects users or branch offices to cloud-based resources, applications, and corporate networks. When a user requests access, SD-WAN chooses the best routes and paths for improved network performance. Additionally, it distributes traffic across cloud-compatible Wide Area Network (WAN) and provides the best network speed to users. Lighter network traffic prevents network latency and congestion problems. 

2- Secure Web Gateway (SGW)

Secure Web Gateway is a security component that is responsible for distributing network traffic within the cloud perimeter. Additionally, SGW can be used to enforce security policies that are aligned with compliance requirements, and it has data loss prevention, URL filtering, and application control capabilities. But, mainly SGW aims to establish free-flow traffic in the cloud at all times because lighter traffic makes it easier to detect malware or undesired software that might slip through defenses. 

3- Firewall as Service (FWaaS)

Firewall as Service (FWaaS) is a layer of security that protects all edge points inside the cloud perimeter. Its main responsibility is to detect unauthorized access attempts and prevent these users from gaining access. Additionally, it monitors the cloud perimeter all the time, and filters user-generated traffic to improve network security. 

4- Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)

Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is another security component that functions as a middle man between applications and users. It monitors all data transfers that go back and forward between them. Additionally, it can limit applications or users’ access whenever needed and it can enforce all necessary security policies, and measures to maintain healthy security functions. 

5- Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)

Zero Trust is based on the principle “trust none, verify all”, and this approach to network access requires users, devices, or applications to verify their identities prior to access being granted. Zero Trust uses multi-factor authentication, biometrics, or single sign-on tools to authenticate users’ identities. Simply put, users are required to enter more additional credentials to gain access to networks or resources.

Additionally, Zero Trust limits users, applications, and devices’ access privileges and it doesn’t allow lateral movement of users. This way, it reduces the surface areas of potential cyber-attacks and minimizes the security risks associated with an organization’s staff. Lastly, Zero Trust ensures that only authorized users can reach corporate resources, and networks.

Last Remarks  

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) centralizes security to the cloud and offers easy-to-use, scalable, and cost-efficient services. In an era where cyber crimes are skyrocketing, companies need to implement modern security solutions like SASE to combat cyber criminals and secure all corporate assets. 

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