SASE for WAN Performance, Security and More!
Numerous businesses demand enhanced visibility and control over their WAN network connections, which involve remote offices and workers. However, accomplishing this without compromising security or creating an overly complicated network requires a team of specialised network experts.
To connect their sites, many businesses utilise point-to-point, MPLS, or a hybrid configuration. Typically, they use a hub-and-spoke setup that relays requests to central data centres for accessing applications and data, and then through secure Internet breakout. This intricate arrangement is typical in legacy enterprise networks. While experienced network administrators may not have difficulty managing and supporting such networks, it’s not an optimal way to utilise resources.
Handling a complex network demands significant knowledge and expertise, which cannot be acquired by taking a few courses on how networks function in complex environments. Consequently, transitioning to SD-WAN isn’t solely about boosting WAN performance and lowering expenses – although these outcomes can be achieved if the solution is planned carefully. It’s also about improving network visibility, reducing complexity, and ensuring protection and resilience.
Visibility is particularly important with business-critical and latency-sensitive applications such as voice, video and other cloud applications, where providing quality of service (QoS) at the edge is vital.
Why not SD-WAN?
Implementing SD-WAN can simplify the network but requires utilising Internet connectivity everywhere. Certain risks must be considered when adopting this approach – for example, by moving away from private connections, companies could potentially expose their networks. Therefore, it is important to carefully evaluate this aspect before adopting SD-WAN.
Security is a crucial factor when assessing SD-WAN implementation. The conventional belief in legacy network design that the traffic flowing through the WAN can be trusted is no longer valid. Blindly trusting the traffic between a branch and a data centre can increase your security risk. A threat such as malware infection can spread throughout the network impacting multiple sites. To mitigate this risk, it is essential to inspect and control the traffic within the network. While endpoint control on computers is useful, it is not sufficient to manage security for IoT devices or devices with different operating systems. Therefore, traffic inspection and control on the network itself are necessary components of a secure IT infrastructure.
Security is not given priority in conventional SD-WAN solutions. Typically, security is offered as an optional feature or requires a separate security solution.
What is SASE?
Secure access service edge (SASE – pronounced “sassy”) is a cloud-based IT model that combines networking and security services – such as secure web gateways, cloud access security brokers, firewalls, and zero-trust network access – to support the dynamic secure access needs of digital organisations.
This model offers improved control and visibility of users, traffic, and data accessing a corporate network. SASE-powered networks are flexible and scalable, allowing them to connect globally distributed employees and offices.
SASE as SD-WAN and More
SASE delivers the essential security, application control, and operational simplicity that companies need. This is achieved through next-generation firewall, secure web gateway, anti-malware service, and intrusion prevention. With SASE, the necessary security is integrated from the beginning, without the need for layering on firewalls and other security services that would make the network more complicated. Security is not an add-on in a SASE solution; it is built into the foundation.
With the right platform, SASE can enhance the productivity of IT teams, enabling them to troubleshoot issues efficiently without requiring extensive networking knowledge. They should be able to analyse the flow of traffic and its operations.
By managing network security centrally in the cloud, companies can enforce a unified policy for all users, locations, and applications. By adopting SASE, they can avoid the considerable costs and IT resources required to manage additional security systems and appliances.
SASE adoption is crucial for enabling flexibility and agility in supporting remote work – shifting as needed. In addition to facilitating remote work, SASE eliminates the need to bring cloud and Internet traffic back to the data centre, which can be resource intensive. Instead, this traffic can be kept in the cloud, where it belongs.
According to research by Gartner, by 2025 50% of SD-WAN purchases will be part of a single vendor SASE offering, up from less than 10% in 2021.
The modern enterprise has multiple perimeters, each presenting a new line of sight between users and applications. Enterprises often address these perimeters separately, deploying different network and security solutions for branches, users, and clouds. This fragmented approach leads to complexity, poor service, and inadequate security.
With a true SASE platform, built on a cloud-first architecture, enterprises can achieve complete visibility and control over all traffic. SASE eliminates blind spots, making it the ideal platform to connect the modern enterprise securely and efficiently.
In summary, SASE combines SD-WAN and network security into a unified global cloud-based service. By transitioning from MPLS to SD-WAN, businesses can improve their global connectivity by using SD-WAN and WAN-Optimisation techniques. This enables secure Internet access for branches and seamlessly integrates cloud data centres and mobile users into the network with a zero-trust architecture – all braced by simplified management and improved visibility.