What is SASE I hear you ask?
SASE or Secure Access Service Edge as the acronym stands for is a combination of many existing technologies such as SD-WAN, Zero Trust Network Access, Cloud App Security Broker, Web Application Firewall, Anti Malware prevention and the list goes on and on.
It is an interesting idea, an all-encompassing, single pane of glass to rule most of your security requirements. Protecting both the edge devices and the core network. Check out this blog post from Gartner back in late 2019, about the time frame that SASE came to fruition.
So what’s the deal?
Search the web for SASE and see what info comes back. I guarantee you will find links from either traditional web security vendors OR traditional network security vendors, making an attempt to come together and offer an all in one product. You know everyone wants to end up in the top right-hand corner of the Gartner magic quadrant with the ability to execute and the completeness of vision.
Who drives this industry trend? I honestly don’t know, but you see companies like VMware or others combing products they already have such as VeloCloud and Carbon Black to make a new SASE offering. I mean come on, they are all great products in their own right, do they really need to try and shoehorn them all into a single umbrella called SASE? For me, that depends on what the starting point was. I think any player that has started with a SaaS approach for security for things such as CASB, or SD-WAN is in a very strong position to deliver the additional functionality and call it SASE. SaaS control plane with agents on endpoints? Easy add on for additional functionality.
Do I need it?
Typical IT answer, it depends. There is a lot of overlap with products you are likely already using. Right now you have the freedom of choice to pick the best of breed products from each vendor to satisfy the CASB, the SD-WAN, the WAF the whatever the requirement is you have now.
That being said, that is potentially additional management overhead and cost for using multiple products. Bringing all of those together in one place could reduce the IT spend and management pain allowing IT to focus its attention elsewhere and add further value to the business.
In what seems likely in a post COVID world, hybrid working patterns will be here to stay. The distributed workforce needs to be protected and secured whilst being able to maintain access to the resources they need, be that SaaS or on-premises. SASE can certainly step up to the plate to help address those challenges.