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SASE, What is it?

Updated: Jan 2

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a network architecture that combines wide-area networking (WAN) capabilities with security functions to support the dynamic, secure access needs of organizations. SASE is a cloud-native approach that integrates network security functions with WAN capabilities to support the dynamic, secure access needs of organizations.

Key features and components of the SASE model include:

1. Cloud-Native Architecture:

  • SASE is built on cloud-native principles, leveraging the scalability, agility, and elasticity of cloud services. This allows organizations to scale their network and security capabilities based on demand.

2. Integration of Security and Networking:

  • SASE integrates traditionally disparate networking and security functions into a unified, cloud-delivered service. This includes combining functions such as SD-WAN, secure web gateways (SWGs), firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS), and zero-trust network access (ZTNA).

3. Zero Trust Security Model:

  • SASE adopts a zero-trust security model, assuming that no user or device should be trusted by default, even if they are inside the corporate network. Access is granted based on identity verification and the principle of least privilege.

4. Identity-Centric Security:

  • SASE emphasizes identity-centric security, where user identities and device information play a crucial role in determining access permissions. This approach aligns with the principles of zero trust.

5. Edge Computing Capabilities:

  • SASE extends security and networking capabilities to the edge of the network, providing security services closer to the users and devices. This is particularly important as organizations increasingly adopt edge computing for improved performance and efficiency.

6. Dynamic Access Policies:

  • SASE allows organizations to define dynamic access policies based on various factors, including user identity, device posture, location, and the sensitivity of the application or data being accessed.

7. Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN):

  • SD-WAN is a core component of SASE, providing the network agility and optimization necessary for dynamic and secure access. SD-WAN allows organizations to intelligently route traffic over the most efficient paths, improving performance and reducing latency.

8. Security Services on Demand:

  • SASE enables organizations to consume security services as a service, delivered from the cloud. This includes services such as firewalling, secure web gateways, intrusion prevention, and other security functions.

9. Global Points of Presence (PoPs):

  • SASE leverages a global network of PoPs to deliver services closer to end-users. This helps in reducing latency and improving the overall user experience.

10. Managed Services Model:

  • SASE often involves a managed services model where organizations rely on cloud service providers or vendors to deliver and manage the integrated networking and security services.

SASE is considered a modern and flexible approach to network security, particularly suited for organizations with distributed and mobile workforces. It aligns well with the evolving nature of enterprise networks, where traditional perimeters are becoming less relevant, and the focus is on securing users and devices regardless of their location or network access method.

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