Exploring the Core Principles of SASE Security

SASE integrates networking and security capabilities into a single, cloud-delivered service model. This reduces the number of solutions needed to secure applications and users, lowering costs and simplifying network management. It enables granular access policies based on identity, not IP address or location, for seamless protection across all environments. It also allows a zero-trust network architecture to provide a consistent user experience while protecting data and applications.

Zero Trust

Zero trust is an approach to network security that rejects the notion of a secure perimeter. Instead, all connections are considered potential threats until proven safe, when access is granted based on pre-defined policies that consider factors such as identity, device/app/user context, and sensitivity of the resource accessed.

SASE uses the concept of Zero Trust to provide a new networking experience for organizations that deliver on their network connectivity and security needs. The solution combines network and security functions traditionally delivered as point products into a single service, providing cost savings, integration benefits, and simplicity of management.

In addition to leveraging Zero Trust, SASE also delivers other networking and security benefits, such as backbone and edge unification, providing performance improvements. The solution delivers all-in-one security and network services through a single service rather than multiple appliances, reducing hardware, software, and maintenance costs.

In short, SASE meaning is the solution for delivering security and network connectivity to digital enterprises that demand immediate resource access. Existing networking approaches and technologies no longer meet these demands, leaving networks vulnerable to disruptions and attacks.

Context-Aware Access

Determining the context of a user, device, or network connection is crucial to the Zero Trust security model. It prevents unauthorized end users or insecure devices from accessing company information and applications by requiring device and user authentication, policy compliance, location verification, and continuous risk assessment before a session occurs.

Context-aware security is made possible by SASE integrating networking and security capabilities into an innovative framework delivered as a cloud service. It combines SD-WAN, Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), and Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) with a centralized management console and the Zero Trust authorization core to deliver a single framework that provides numerous benefits.

By reducing the number of solutions required and using route optimization to reduce latency, SASE significantly improves the experience for remote users, especially in branch offices or mobile workers. It is also highly adaptable to changing business needs.

When selecting a SASE solution, choosing an implementation partner prioritizes a results-oriented approach is important. Many vendors rely on a component-based checklist to describe their SASE offerings, which may cause practitioners to lose sight of the value and benefits that come with the platform. Instead of listing out individual components, partners should focus on demonstrating how their implemented SASE infrastructure aligns with the three pillars of the platform.

Context-Based Authentication

When a company uses SASE, it gets a single platform that integrates security services like firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS), secure web gateway (SWG), and zero trust network access (ZTNA). A good provider will also offer integrated cloud email security, threat protection, and data loss prevention.

SASE uses the Zero Trust model to control access to apps and data based on identity, context, and device/user posture. This approach prevents lateral movement by hackers and the dangers of unmanaged IoT devices and public cloud applications. IT executives set policies centrally via a single management platform, and the rules are enforced at distributed points of presence (PoPs) close to end users. This gives employees a consistent access experience and removes management burdens from IT teams.

The SASE framework also supports scalability. As the business grows, it may need additional branches, remote workers, and software-as-a-service applications. The platform must scale to support these changes. It must be able to perform security and networking functions at the edge, where most of the traffic originates, without relying on centralized infrastructure or point solutions that are difficult to manage.

The most important feature of SASE is its ability to protect the enterprise from attacks that traditional security models, such as a VPN, cannot handle. By intercepting malicious traffic within its networks, SASE mitigates the risks of DDoS attacks and other threats before they reach the enterprise.

Context-Based Threat Detection

When a cyber threat strikes, context matters. Understanding the user, device, or application in question helps security teams spot anomalies and stop them from becoming a breach. Context also informs the priority of vulnerabilities that need to be remediated first. Having a clear picture of the context of network attacks makes it easier to ensure that all potentially risky connections are scanned and blocked to keep attackers from accessing sensitive information.

SASE delivers context-based threat detection by combining security capabilities into a single platform rather than deploying a different point solution at each connection point. The top SASE providers offer a combination of DNS, secure web gateway, firewall as a service, and cloud access security brokers (CASB) as a single platform that can be configured and managed through a single interface. This streamlines operational efficiency and effectiveness for IT teams and reduces costs through platform consolidation.

A centralized platform allows organizations to run holistic behavior analytics across the entire network to identify and respond quickly to threats that might otherwise go unnoticed in siloed systems. In addition, the ability to deploy SASE as a cloud-based service eliminates the need for costly physical hardware and data center resources. This flexibility also allows enterprises to scale security services up or down to meet changing network and business needs.

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