Secure access service edge (SASE) enabled companies across industries to move their computing processes from a centralized approach and closer to the edge, where data is both consumed and generated. Gartner introduced the concept of SASE in 2019, where leaders “networking service brokering, identity service brokering and security as a service” are unified under a single point of control. But, IT infrastructures are becoming even more distributed across the cloud.
Enterprises need bolstered security at the edge. As cloud computing becomes ubiquitous, enterprises will have many users, applications, and workloads residing in the cloud. SASE leaders unable to evolve as security infrastructure changes and organizations’ demands and requirements expand to include apps in the same scope are at significant risk of lagging behind an expanding market.
Cloud Workloads: An Emerging Security Priority for SASE
Among the biggest differentiators of SASE is its approach to networking. This particular model strongly emphasizes brokered connectivity for branch offices and remote locations, which is delivered through a cloud fabric. SASE companies, simply put, offer smooth and strong infrastructure and networking. However, SASE is geared towards users, not apps and workloads. In legacy-speak, think campus or branch/remote, not datacenter.
There is a surging demand to secure workloads in the cloud. SASE providers need to recognize that need and put it high, if not on top, of their priority list.
Because cloud workloads are universally accessible, they have become primary targets for attackers and bad actors. It’s crucial for organizations to have the ability to inspect all transactions and deploy sophisticated threat prevention solutions at all vulnerable points.
Modern organizations demand not just enhanced edge security but also improved visibility into their cloud workloads. They also want total control over policies so that they can address security issues related to their cloud workloads.
In short, customers increasingly expect SASE providers to equip them with a unified security interface where they can consolidate events, manage various security technologies, and integrate readily with third-party solutions – regardless of whether the network traffic is from, to, or between apps.
Zero-Trust: A Crucial Ingredient
A big step toward the right direction entails the adoption of zero-trust (ZT) as a philosophy. The crucial principle of Zero Trust is granting users and devices least-privilege access. If executed well, Zero Trust reduces attack surface and exposure.
With more and more devices connecting to the Internet from various locations (including the “edge” of networks), it’s simply not possible to know where your perimeter is anymore. This makes it much harder for traditional perimeter-based security strategies to be effective.
Zero trust security can help to improve collaboration and communication within organizations. By acknowledging the breakdown of the traditional security perimeter, individuals and teams are able to work more closely together without having to worry about “stepping over the line” into restricted areas. Everything should be treated as untrusted.
Zero Trust for apps is key to further extending SASE’s definition and broadening SASE offerings. For SASE leaders, this is a golden opportunity to expand their scope, widen their consumer base, and remain a leader in the SASE market.
SASE Leadership: Up for Grabs
Leadership in the SASE market is on the brink of shifting significantly.
So how can SASE leaders retain leadership amidst a big change? They need to expand SASE’s current edge security capabilities to bring zero-trust to apps and workloads.
Organizations are looking for network security solutions that can provide comprehensive protection. These solutions must be able to detect and block threats wherever they target the organization. Additionally, they should be able to scale easily to meet the needs of a growing organization.
The right network security solution will help organizations keep their data and resources (apps, workloads, users) safe from new threats. It will also provide flexibility, scalability, and consistency across all types of resources to meet the demands of a growing organization.