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Stack 'Em Up: Building a SASE Framework for Your Business

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a network architecture that brings together the core components of networking and security into a unified, cloud-based solution. According to Gartner, SASE "represents a significant transformation in the way that enterprises deliver network and network security services to their workforce, partners, and customers."

With the rise of cloud computing, remote work, and mobile devices, traditional perimeter-based network security models are no longer sufficient. SASE offers a new approach to securing network access that is more agile, scalable, and cloud-centric. In this blog, we'll break down the components of SASE and explain how they stack together to create a unified solution that can help organisations deliver secure access to cloud-based resources.

What is SASE?

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a cloud-based security architecture that converges networking and security services in a single cloud-based platform. SASE is designed to provide a holistic and flexible security approach that extends to all edges of the network, including remote workers, branch offices, and cloud-based applications.

Components of SASE:

  1. Software-defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) SD-WAN is a technology that uses software to manage the wide area network (WAN) and improve network performance. By using a combination of different transport services like MPLS, broadband, and cellular, SD-WAN can intelligently route traffic based on application, user, or device. SD-WAN reduces the need for dedicated hardware at each branch location, making it more cost-effective and easier to manage.

  2. Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) CASB is a tool that provides visibility and control over cloud applications, including those outside the corporate network. CASB can help identify shadow IT and ensure compliance with regulations by enforcing policies around data access, sharing, and protection.

  3. Secure Web Gateway (SWG) Secure Web Gateway (SWG) is a security solution that protects against web-based attacks, malware, and data loss. SWG provides a secure gateway to the internet and can be used to enforce security policies around web content, including filtering and blocking access to specific sites.

  4. Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) is a cloud-based firewall that can provide network security functions. FWaaS is flexible and scalable, making it easy to add or remove services as needed. It can also provide centralised management, making it easier to manage firewall policies across multiple locations.

  5. Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is a security framework that verifies the identity of users and devices before granting access to resources. ZTNA is designed to protect against unauthorized access, making it an important component of SASE. ZTNA can be used to secure remote workers, third-party contractors, and other users outside the corporate network.

How the components stack together:

The SASE architecture is based on a cloud-native approach to security, where services are delivered from the cloud and consumed on-demand. The SASE components work together to provide a holistic and flexible approach to security that extends to all edges of the network.

By using SD-WAN, organisations can route traffic to the nearest point of presence (POP), reducing latency and improving performance. CASB can be used to provide visibility and control over cloud applications, while SWG can provide protection against web-based attacks. FWaaS can provide centralised management and control over firewall policies, and ZTNA can be used to secure access for remote workers and third-party contractors.

SASE provides a flexible and scalable security approach that can adapt to changing business needs. With SASE, organisations can secure their networks, applications, and data without the need for complex and costly hardware. SASE is becoming increasingly popular as more organisations move to cloud-based applications and services, and it is expected to continue to grow in popularity in the coming years.

While some organisations may believe that a SASE stack should be obtained from a single vendor to ensure seamless integration and compatibility, it's not always feasible or practical. In many cases, an IT service provider, like Edge7 Networks, can serve as a single point of sale, providing a unified solution from multiple vendors. This approach allows organisations to build a customised SASE solution that meets their specific needs, rather than being limited by a single vendor's offerings.

Edge7 Networks can help assess the various components of a SASE solution, identify the best-of-breed products for each component, and then ensure seamless integration between them. This approach can provide organizations with the flexibility and customization they need while still maintaining the simplicity of a single point of contact for procurement and support. Ultimately, the decision of whether to obtain a SASE stack from a single vendor or work with an IT service provider will depend on the specific needs and priorities of each organisation.

One way that organisations can simplify the deployment and management of a SASE solution is by leveraging a Managed SASE service. This type of service can help organisations offload the responsibility of managing and securing their network to a third-party provider. A Managed SASE service typically includes the deployment and management of all SASE components, such as secure web gateways, cloud access security brokers, and zero-trust network access solutions, along with ongoing maintenance and support. By outsourcing SASE management to a specialised service provider, organisations can free up internal IT resources to focus on other mission-critical tasks.

Additionally, a Managed SASE service can help ensure that an organization's security posture is always up-to-date and aligned with the latest industry best practices. This can be especially valuable for smaller organisations or those with limited IT resources, as it allows them to benefit from enterprise-class security without the overhead of building and maintaining a SASE solution in-house.

In conclusion, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a powerful framework for delivering secure network access to the cloud-based resources that modern organizations rely on. By combining the core components of networking and security, SASE solutions can provide seamless, secure access to resources from anywhere, on any device. While building a SASE solution from the ground up can be a complex and daunting task, working with an IT service provider like Edge7 Networks can simplify the process and provide organizations with a unified solution that meets their specific needs.

So if you're ready to "stack 'em" and build a powerful SASE framework for your organisation, get in touch with Edge7 Networks today to learn more about our comprehensive SASE solutions.


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