Cloud Computing and the Evolution of SASE Cybersecurity  by@joseph-chukwube

Cloud Computing and the Evolution of SASE Cybersecurity

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Joseph Chukwube

Online Marketing Consultant. Founder and CEO of Digitage.net and StartupGrowthGuide.com

Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash

In the past year, the world has changed, and the way we work has changed, too.

Technology, driven by the cloud and mobile devices, has brought people, processes and apps together like never before. Working from home, from coffee shops and in pop-up coworking spaces are the new normal.

This digital transformation in infrastructure has significant implications for networking, which will have to adapt to new working patterns and be more flexible. 

As businesses become more connected and the traditional ways of working change, networks are being designed to be more agile to suit the needs of the new enterprise.

The Rise of the Cloud 

The rise of the cloud has fundamentally changed the ways people and organizations work. But more importantly, the very nature of the cloud must change how organizations think about security.

Many organizations underestimate the complexity of managing cloud applications.

Often, cloud applications are deployed “as is,” without the proper security controls needed to prevent data leakage, data exfiltration or malware infection.

This lack of security oversight exposes organizations to entirely new vulnerabilities.

Therefore, the most significant security challenge that companies face is their lack of control over the data being accessed in the cloud.

To reduce the risk of cloud app breaches and vulnerabilities, IT administrators need a way to monitor and control these connections.

Edge Computing and the Security Shift

The increasing number of IoT-based devices, many of them without the benefit of advanced security software, as well as the recent increase in computing power at the edge, have given rise to a new security paradigm.

The security risks posed by edge computing are large and complex. As edge computing becomes increasingly prevalent, traditional security mechanisms must be rethought and adapted to this new security environment.

The rising number of connected devices and data being generated at their network’s edge results in a spike in the number of potential entry points for cyberattacks, which can be costly to organizations.

A key element of security is limiting access to network resources.

In traditional data centres, this usually meant setting up firewalls, network segmentation and intrusion detection systems.

In edge computing, however, access to resources is harder to control.

This is because edge computing devices are closer to end-users and are often deployed in environments without the same network security and monitoring levels.

However, the scale at which edge devices operate can also introduce security issues. And that is the problem that most enterprises face today.

Solving the Cloud Edge Security Challenge

The shift from a traditional, centralized approach to cybersecurity to a distributed, cloud-native approach requires a fundamentally different understanding of security monitoring: one in which security is deployed and managed as close as possible to where data flows.

The SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) technology solves this problem by breaking down the communications, networking and security silos that plague enterprises today and replacing them with a hyper-secure, cloud-native architecture.

SASE’s decentralized cloud-delivery model creates a framework that securely connects users to applications and resources, no matter where they are.

How SASE works is that it provides a consistent, scalable, software-defined security architecture that applies security policies to applications regardless of where the application resides.

SASE is also designed to operate in conjunction with existing security solutions, so companies can still leverage their current investments while transitioning to SASE.

What follows is an explanation of various aspects of the development of SASE technology over the years since its introduction.

1. Proactive Security

Traditional security controls, such as firewalls, IPS, IDS and gateways, don’t consider today’s dynamic threat environment. They hinder intelligence gathering, block critical data needed for effective threat hunting, and exacerbate workflow inefficiencies in security operations.

The traditional approach to security is reactionary, designed to respond to known threats after a breach has occurred, while the new model is more proactive, designed to identify, isolate and remediate threats before they occur.

2. Endpoint Visibility

Most enterprises already have security systems in place but lack the real-time visibility and control they need to ensure all business-critical endpoints are secure. SASE platforms bring visibility, control, and automation to security, enabling businesses to manage risk across the organization better.

As business dependency on endpoints, applications and edge locations increases so does the need for a unified but decentralised security platform that integrates across endpoint, application and network layers. Individual approaches are addressing threats from specific entry points, but they're not addressing the underlying problem.

3. Risk-based Security

SASE solves this challenge by tying together identity and access management (IAM), user-based security, endpoint-based security, and user-behaviour analytics to provide a holistic view of risk.

The risk-based approach to security controls is efficient, flexible, and cost-effective, supporting personal and enterprise security policies. SASE provides the ability to define easily, control and audit access to virtually any enterprise resource, maximizing security while simplifying IT operations.

4. User Access

The reality today is that enterprises are increasingly being faced with the challenging task of enabling their users to access enterprise applications securely, no matter where they are or what device they are using.

The security model in SASE is based on the identity-based security approach. It treats users and applications as identities instead of devices. It enforces policies based on user identities, identities of applications, and identities of data actors so that only authorized users and applications can access the contents.

Conclusion

Essentially, the pandemic has forced businesses to reimagine how they operate, and the workforce is no exception. The nature of work has changed, and this shift is likely to have long-term effects.

The transition to cloud data storage and edge computing might have made business processes more efficient. Still, it also introduced new challenges that made businesses weaker and more vulnerable to security risks.

The idea is that if how we work has changed, then how we secure our data must change too. However, what obtains in many organisations is the transformation of their work processes while sticking with traditional security tools and approaches.

The SASE is an innovative technology that closes the gaps and ties the loose ends going forward with business operations and networking trends.

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