Why SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) Matters for Businesses by@NordVPN Teams

Why SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) Matters for Businesses

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Advanced network access security for modern workforces

The way companies protect their networks is undergoing a seismic shift. Accelerated by the pandemic, migration to the cloud left many organizations vulnerable to cyberthreats, and some of the previously effective security measures were rendered futile. 

The perimeter-defense approach to cybersecurity ceased to be effective once the workforce turned hybrid. In turn, cybersecurity companies took notice and started upgrading their offerings to successfully combat the present-day security challenges like ransomware, DDoS attacks, phishing, or password theft, to name a few.

To offer an adaptable service and counter the changing cyberthreat landscape, an increasing number of cybersecurity companies opt for adopting the SASE framework.

What is SASE?

Short for Secure Access Service Edge, SASE is a cybersecurity concept that intersects network and threat management tools to form a consolidated, cloud-based cybersecurity solution. It incorporates, but is not limited to, core components such as SWG (Secure Web Gateways), CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker), ZTNA (Zero Trust Network Access), SD-WAN (Software-defined Wide Area Network), and FWaaS (Firewall-as-a-Service). 

SASE is a rapidly growing market, too. Gartner predicts that “over the next five years, the market for secure access service edge will grow at a CAGR of 36%, reaching almost $15 billion by 2025”. [1] 

Additionally, the consulting and research company sees the shift toward SASE as inevitable: "The legacy perimeter must transform into a set of cloud-based, converged capabilities created when and where an enterprise needs them — that is, a dynamically created, policy-based secure access service edge," says Gartner. [2]

But the transition will take time. There are numerous reasons behind it, some of them being existing investments in hardware and most larger enterprises having separate network security and network adoption teams. Also, not every current SASE vendor can deliver all of the required SASE capabilities.

For the model to be fully functional, its policy needs to be consistently enforced regardless of location and cover all types of access, it has to be administered easier, the end-user experience has to be transparent as well as simplified, and it should deliver a zero-trust networking posture, among other conditions.

The cybersecurity industry is beginning to fully embrace the SASE model, too. Vendors providing solutions for organizations are expanding their offerings to align with the SASE framework.

"The cybersecurity landscape is evolving rapidly - when we first started providing services for businesses, the cloud wasn't as advanced and widely applied as it is now," said Donatas Tamelis, Managing Director at NordLayer, a B2B cybersecurity company. "Many companies still relied upon on-site servers, and the workforce wasn't as remote. The pandemic exposed countless organizations security-wise, and the industry reacted by accelerating the shift towards SASE."

Cloud security vendors see SASE as the go-to approach to protecting the business cloud environment because of its holistic nature and ability to simplify the user experience without compromising the robustness of a company's network. 

Why SASE is important for businesses

"SASE keeps networks protected against ever-evolving cyberthreats without putting additional strains on a company's IT and other departments, and is effortlessly scalable," added NordLayer’s Managing Director. "Using different providers to fill out gaps in an organization's security architecture is not just difficult to do - for companies with small or non-existent IT departments, it's simply impossible. Our company is one of many that endorse the model for the actual value it creates for clients."

Even though SASE is not a fully defined framework yet, and there is hardly a security company now that provides all its capabilities, industry players are endorsing the new trend en masse.

"We see SASE being deployed across the industry, with companies big and small adjusting their offering according to the framework's blueprint," Tamelis continued. "We are a perfect example of the trend - our recent rebrand was in part to move beyond being just a business VPN provider. To stay protected in this cybersecurity climate, companies need to have access to a range of easily manageable, deployable, and interconnected tools."

[1] Gartner, “Forecast Analysis: Secure Access Service Edge, Worldwide”, Joe Skorupa, Nat Smith, 27 July 2021.  

[2] Gartner, “2021 Strategic Roadmap for SASE Convergence”, Neil MacDonald, Nat Smith, Lawrence Orans, Joe Skorupa, 25 March 2021. 

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