What is Secure Access Secure Edge (SASE)?

Author: Chris King, Partner & Vice President of Sales

In the ever-changing cyber security risk landscape, IT leaders are looking for new ways to protect their most valuable assets. The new reality is that corporate data, assets, and people are not always located in a physical location. To compound matters, the security industry is experiencing a staff and skills shortage, making this a major problem for IT and business stakeholders.

How business have traditionally tackled cyber risk

Some of the traditional ways business tackle and mitigate cyber security risks are: 

  • Requiring remote users to use a VPN to access corporate assets and data
  • Implementing network and security segmentation to provide least privileged access and to prevent lateral movement in the event of breach (Zero-Trust)
  • Training existing staff to administer and operationally support security solutions

However, several complexities and security gaps exist with these traditional approaches, including:

  • VPN access can be cumbersome for the end user
  • Once granted, VPN often give the end user the ability to access resources that are not required as part of their job function
  • Implementing a Zero-Trust network/security model requires a large capital and ongoing expenditure to design, procure, implement, and be supported by skilled security professionals
  • Training staff to become security experts can take months or years—with no guarantee of ROI 

At IX Solutions, we observe these challenges with our clients daily. Many of you are trying to solve these problems using these traditional methods, but we’ve seen these methods fail enough times that our technical and account teams began looking for other options. This is where the Secure Access Secure Edge (SASE) conversation begins.

What is Secure Access Secure Edge (SASE)?

SASE combines both networking and security capabilities into a cloud-native, globally distributed exchange. It shifts the focus from traffic-based security to identity-based security, allowing or denying access to resources based on who the user is and what their job function requires them to have. Because it is a cloud service with distributed availability, it is always available while also being scalable depending on your changing needs.

Key benefits include:

  • Reduction of security hardware at business locations, resulting in less capital and ongoing subscription costs
  • Seamless access and improved security since all user traffic is traversing the cloud security service no matter where they are
  • Elimination of back haul traffic flows from remote locations/remote users to a data centre, meaning better performance for your users
  • Application of Zero Trust principles without the requirement to overhaul your on-premises network and security architecture
  • Safe enablement to any asset or resource based on user, device, and application policies, which greatly simplifies administration for your IT department

If you’re reading and have concerning questions about your existing security posture and how to mature it, SASE is an interesting option to explore. It has the potential to greatly reduce your time to value while also simplifying your environment and reducing costs. It also integrates with many of the solutions you already depend on such as Azure Active Directory for Multi-Factor Authentication, and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint as a condition to gain access to resources.

At IX Solutions, we are always on the lookout for solutions that offer these benefits and would love to explore them with you. Please give us a call today to discuss with one of our security experts.

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