The components required for SASE are diverse. Too often, vendors claim to be SASE solutions simply because they fit one or more of the component pieces.

Look for providers that offer backbone, edge unification, and unified security. It will reduce the number of solutions needed and enable you to simplify policies.

Network Segmentation

One of the keys to successful SASE implementation is ensuring that network segments remain in place to protect against security threats. Network segmentation allows enterprises to quarantine an infected system without allowing malware or ransomware to spread across the organization’s infrastructure and cause significant damage.

To achieve this, organizations should start by assessing their existing infrastructure and how it aligns with SASE principles. It will help them devise a roadmap to transition their edge networks to SASE solutions gradually. This approach ensures gaps are bridged and avoids a sudden handover from legacy comprehensive area network models to SD-WAN and cloud access security.

Ideally, organizations should seek a solution that merges the five key SASE capabilities into one clean tech stack with a single dashboard to simplify deployment and management. Ultimately, this will reduce the number of vendors an enterprise must interact with and free up internal resources to focus on other initiatives.

The best way to achieve this goal is to choose a SASE provider that delivers SD-WAN networking with integrated security services in a global deployment of points of presence (POPs). It provides the flexibility to secure edge networks, remote users, and edge computing locations from one platform. In addition, it eliminates the need to backhaul internet-bound traffic from branch offices or remote workers to a data center firewall. It performs advanced security inspection at the edge for reduced latency and improved application performance.

Identity-Driven Authentication

The implementation of SASE requires a core identity provider that authenticates users. This component ensures the system delivers what it promises and eliminates false positives by performing checks to confirm the user’s identity against your current identity infrastructure. Some SASE solutions have built-in IDP; others support external IDs.

SASE solutions also enable identity-driven access policies, allowing security services to be applied based on the communication session, entity identity, and data context rather than IT-controlled devices, network access points, or location. It simplifies the creation and management of access policies.

Adding an identity broker to your SASE solution can further reduce complexity and improve operational efficiency by reducing the number of components that need to be managed and monitored. It provides a single point of contact to authenticate users with multiple IdPs and proxy authentication sessions to the SASE server using different protocols.

Because SASE bundles Zero Trust Network Access and NGFW into a single service, it can eliminate appliance sprawl within your IT environment and improve scalability and agility. A cloud-native SASE architecture offers a more seamless, integrated networking and security service that can scale rapidly and respond to the demands of your hybrid business model, supporting a new way of working where employees need access to applications from anywhere, on any device, at any time.

Deep Packet Inspection

Unlike traditional networks, where security and network controls are separate, SASE solutions marry networking and security at the edge of the architecture. It reduces costs and enables fast, optimized performance for business applications. The architecture also allows for unified policy management and better remote working experiences.

In addition to analyzing user identity, SASE uses context to determine whether the request is legitimate. It includes factors like what device the request is being made from, how critical it is to a business function, and whether the connection is on a public WiFi hotspot.

Previous forms of packet filtering based on connection information would ignore data that isn’t in the header. Still, SASE analyzes headers and content to detect protocol anomalies and prevent unauthorized access. For example, it can stop users from copying files from a corporate network to a USB stick or an email attachment. It can also detect and block attempts to reroute traffic to malicious sites by using the DNS lookup service of a browser or application.

For this reason, SASE solutions need a solid infrastructure that can acquire and analyze data quickly. It typically requires a network tap or span port that duplicates and sends the original data stream to a tool for inspection. The tool then displays field names and interprets their contents to generate actionable intelligence for the firewall.

Network Visibility

As with any security initiative, IT teams must understand their capabilities and gaps before implementing SASE. It will help them look for solutions that can do the most good and address the most pressing security issues.

The best SASE solutions provide a visibility engine, which helps IT teams analyze traffic and identify vulnerabilities. It can prevent cyber attacks and improve network performance by preventing data loss.

Organizations must work with a partner offering a unified security and connectivity approach to get the most value from SASE. Instead of buying point products from multiple vendors, a holistic SASE solution can save time, reduce complexity, and deliver a revolutionary security architecture.

An essential benefit of SASE is its ability to eliminate latency by using a global SD-WAN service with a private backbone. Enables organizations to connect directly to the cloud, endpoints, edge computing locations, and SaaS applications hosted in on-premises data centers without backhauling all internet-bound traffic to the data center firewall. It provides a better user experience for employees in branch offices and remote locations while protecting sensitive business information from outside attackers.

In addition, SASE provides a better way to control access to internal services, such as email and voice/video/collaboration platforms. It avoids wasting valuable network resources on unnecessary network protocols and ensures that only valid context is allowed. It is significant for businesses to grow their distributed workforce or expand into new regions.

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