What Is SASE and How Does it Connect to Zero Trust?

As many workplaces stay in a remote or a hybrid operating model due to COVID-19, businesses and agencies of all sizes and industries face the long-term challenges of keeping data and infrastructure secure. With remote workers, security teams have to secure many more endpoints and a much wider area each day. In response, many groups are changing their processes and tech to adopt a zero trust approach. To keep their work even more flexible and secure, businesses are also adding in Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).

A recent study commissioned by IBM and conducted by Forrester Consulting found that 78% of respondents are either interested in or planning to implement SASE in the next 12 months. So what is it, and how does it and zero trust fit together? 

What Is SASE?

SASE refers to a principle that puts the protection closer to the actual users and devices. Doing so helps solve some of the issues brought about by the increase in remote work. SASE suites manage the required infrastructure and tech using a cloud-based management system. (The points it manages can include those such as secure web gateways, SD-WAN solutions, firewalls and cloud-access security brokers.)

Gartner designed the approach to address the deficits in the existing cybersecurity method, especially with dynamic services, software as a service (SaaS) and distributed data. Gartner says SASE has four main traits: it’s identity-driven, has cloud-native architecture, supports all edges and is globally distributed.

How Is SASE Different From Zero Trust?

The two are similar in many ways. The biggest difference is that the cloud-based architecture defined in SASE is a core component of designing a zero trust approach. Zero trust refers to the approach for controlling access to the network, apps and data. Instead of focusing on protection, zero trust assumes that any device or user is not authorized. 

SASE focuses on managing all aspects of the technology. In addition, zero trust is an approach for vendors. Meanwhile, SASE refers to specific guidance for tech vendors to use in their products. Enterprises wanting to implement the principles should use a SASE suite to ensure that their tech secures the way people work today, such as working from anywhere and using SaaS.

Learn more about SASE

Working Together

SASE helps businesses and agencies manage their tech and infrastructure approaches from one location. By having a management platform, they can streamline the admin work, share data and use analytics for an overall picture. SASE creates the structure that makes zero trust flexible and easy to manage. Organizations can best secure their data and apps by combining both principles.

Many groups also turn to zero trust because it provides greater insight. It helps show which users and devices are accessing the infrastructure and data at any time. In addition, it shows all attempts to access the network. Because of this visibility and greater access protection, zero trust reduces vulnerabilities. In addition, the approach reduces the manual work required by IT personnel through automation and artificial intelligence.

Greater Protection for Your Business

Because a SASE suite manages the security infrastructure and technology, IT workers spend less time on administration, which allows them to focus on areas needing the human touch. The integrated data approach gets rid of data silos. This, in turn, provides a higher level of data analytics and allows organizations to spot at-risk areas and prevent attacks before they happen. In addition to providing a higher level of protection than a classic security approach, many groups save good amounts of money using a SASE suite.

 How Do I Get Started With SASE?

The first step is to look for a SASE suite that integrates with your current tools and tech. By working with your vendor, you can then work to design an approach that combines both zero trust and SASE to keep your data as safe as it can be, regardless of where your employees work.

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Author: Jennifer Gregory