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What is SASE (Secure Access Service Edge)?

What Is SASE (Secure Access Service Edge)?

As a business operator, what is your greatest fear? For some, it might be losing clients or failing. For others, specific things come to mind. New regulatory oversight that makes your business model impossible, natural disasters, and even digital attacks all come to mind.

In most cases, losing the capacity to operate as a business is often on the list, and unfortunately, as your business grows, so does risk.

Fortunately, there are modern technologies that can help you manage risk and grow your business safely.

One area where this is all critical is in access control. If the wrong people can access your sensitive information, it’s catastrophic. Today, you can learn about SASE as a solution to this problem and a way to protect your business while improving operational elements within your IT infrastructure.

What Is SASE?

For starters, it stands for Secure Access Service Edge. That’s a fun, trendy phrase in the IT world, but what does it really mean?

SASE is a combination of things that work together. These things involve VPN, SD-WAN, cloud-native security, and other digital tools that can function as secure web gateways, cloud access security brokers, firewalls, zero trust network access, and other advanced resources.

To skip the technical jargon for a minute, SASE is a security management system. It’s responsible for keeping users where they belong within a system. Only approved users can get into the system, and even once inside, users can only go where they are specifically allowed. And, it does all of this through the cloud.

In practice, SASE personalizes secure access protocols for each user that is acknowledged by the system. In case it isn’t obvious, that’s powerful.

Imagine an enterprise network. There are tons of different offices and divisions within everything. You have IT staff, accountants, sales representatives, and more. While the accountants and sales representatives certainly both need to be able to access the company systems in general, they probably don’t need identical access across all systems. Accountants might need financial records, but they might not also need to access directories with personal client information. On the other hand, sales reps might need that contact information. SASE can manage access for every user in this enterprise, and every individual has their access managed according to their needs.

Why Is SASE a Big Deal?

Personalized access is cool, but security protocols have been around for a long time. Why is SASE special?

From a structural standpoint, there are two key components.

First, SASE is run as a cloud service. Because of that, it can easily control access to any software or resource that is connected via your cloud infrastructure. If you use accounting software, a single SASE system can control that. And your word process. And your email. And your meeting rooms. And so on.

Cloud centralization makes it much easier to adapt SASE into every digital tool that you use (and need to manage access for). SASE can even work with things you don’t use yet. That’s the real strength and adaptability of cloud services.

The second important part of SASE is that it is built on cutting edge cybersecurity. At the beginning, you saw that SASE can use VPN, SD-WAN, cloud-native security and more. These are powerful security resources and techniques that can protect data and assets. SASE is structured so that it is a single system applying all of these resources through one, unified platform. This simplifies the command and control for your cybersecurity without sacrificing any of the efficacy. Basically, your IT team can do less while your SASE platform does more.

SASE in Practice

Considering how advanced SASE is, it won’t surprise you to see its growing popularity. According to Gartner, less than 1 percent of enterprise networks used SASE in 2018. By 2024, that number is expected to hit 40 percent. That is incredible growth over a short number of years, and there are clear reasons why. SASE has obvious benefits to offer.

The first is flexibility. SASE is designed specifically to be flexible with access management. It isn’t flexible in who is allowed access, but it does make it easy for you to prescribe custom access controls for large numbers of users with very little effort or time put in from an IT personnel perspective.

That flexibility helps with cost savings. With SASE, you can lower IT resources that are poured into access controls. You can also simplify your IT infrastructure so that you don’t need as many devices and programs running aspects of SASE. You can centralize it all on the one platform and run it through the cloud. It’s just easier.

These benefits can lead to increased performance in many areas. At the same time, SASE is improving data protection with better access controls, preventing threats, and implementing zero trust policies. It removes vulnerabilities and mistakes. Everything is safe, easier, more affordable, and better in general.

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