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How SASE Will Transform How We Do Secure Security Systems in 2021

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(Source: Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay)

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) has been rapidly gaining recent popularity when it comes to securing computer networks. SASE is a godsend for organizations that are planning to continue having their employees work from home because it ensures secure access to distributed resources for a remotely distributed, highly mobile workforce.

Similar to Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN), SASE makes it much easier to establish a connection and reliable levels of performance across the internet while at the same time maintaining the security of online applications, transactions, data, and workflows.

Despite SASE's high-level view seeming promising, though, there remains an air of confusion surrounding the definition of the "SASE solution" as well as what technologies and implementation cases it uses. SASE can have a positive impact when it is implemented correctly within an enterprise infrastructure, which is why it's important for IT professionals to understand the effects that SASE has on existing network security as well as its flows of user traffic.

Let's take a look at how SASE is accelerating the future of network security and how it addresses many new needs of an increasingly distributed workforce:

Cybersecurity and networking collide

SASE addresses security, speed, and simplicity - all vital aspects of a successful distributed workforce - with an approach to securing a wide area network in a way that's cloud-native and not shackled to a centralized data center. Since the primary goal of the SASE framework is to make access to distributed resources on an enterprise network more secure to a remote workforce, it requires security testing through either dynamic or static evaluation.

Dynamic and static evaluations interact with your running applications to identify potential vulnerabilities and perform automated analysis of written code, respectively. These evaluations are vital to ensuring a more secure user environment.

SAST (Static Application Security Testing) and DAST (Dynamic Application Security Testing) are two specific approaches you can use to analyze every single line of code running with your applications and manually perform security testing to find dangerous vulnerabilities.

As cybersecurity expert Mark Preston of Cloud Defense describes in detail, by using SAST and DAST tools you can obtain complete code coverage to protect your software supply chain and find vulnerabilities in both written and running code. This will help you maintain a complete application security program that will protect your distributed teammates.

This multi-layer approach complements the SASE framework well. The goal is to combine cybersecurity and network computing to move toward creating safer and higher quality security systems while running software applications that are secure enough for distributed teams to use.

Network traffic becomes centralized

Between the rise in popularity of edge computing and the global pandemic, it's now more important than ever for distributed teams to be able to access the network resources they need securely.

And while security frameworks have traditionally required enterprises to use protocols (such as firewalls and enterprise-level VPN services) that secure network traffic through an encrypted tunnel, these measures are rapidly becoming obsolete in a world where data is now increasingly distributed and perimeter-less.

In other words, now that enterprises simply don't use the old "hub-and-spoke" topology that routed remote users' network traffic through a single data center, neither should their modern security frameworks.

In order to put outdated network security models firmly in the past, network administrators need to accelerate their shift toward cloud-centric security strategies that enable people to securely work from anywhere they need. This agility is also absolutely essential to making security solutions like SASE work for organizations that want their traffic to traverse different cloud-native networks.

Organizations operating remotely through multiple, complex networks is the new reality. The SASE approach embraces this perimeter-less environment by ceasing to force traffic through one data center and instead making it easier for remote teams to navigate distributed networks seamlessly. 

Storage becomes exclusively cloud-based

The SASE security framework is intended to create quick, secure cloud adoption for organizations of all sizes. It makes it possible for the distributed workforce to securely access cloud-native applications and data whenever they need, but of course, all this data still needs to be stored somewhere in the first place.

That’s why cloud-delivered SASE approaches need equally secure and reliable cloud-native storage solutions to properly maintain their security frameworks. And since SASE brings together cybersecurity and computer networking under a single cloud (excuse the pun), its storage solutions need to be equally secure and reliable as well.

As SASE becomes part of the new normal for the security frameworks of remote businesses, their storage solutions are inevitably poised to become native to the cloud. It's important, therefore, to look for cloud storage solutions that emphasize file-sharing security as well as speed and plenty of storage space.

At the end of the day, organizations that are interested in adopting the SASE framework need cloud storage as their primary means of storing data for their applications, services, and programs. Thankfully, several cloud hosting companies have made security their utmost priority and offer attractive security features for businesses that also want to place more emphasis on data privacy.

According to Toronto-based software developer and cybersecurity expert Gary Stevens of Hostig Caada, cloud-native storage solutions commonly offer multiple cloud connections secured with SSL and Transport Layer Security Encryption protocols to make remote collaboration and file-sharing reliable, secure, and available at all times.

Stevens argues that these kinds of measures are now a necessity in today’s world, explaining, “Cloud storage is the primary means of storing our data online, so it’s imperative that your storage provider be safe from hackers and malicious software, but still easy-to-use and accessible from any device. Thankfully, this issue has been addressed by several cloud hosting companies who’ve made security their utmost priority, and thus became the preferred choice for businesses which also value data security and privacy.”

Private data is rapidly moving to the cloud, where flexibility and elasticity are the new norms. Organizations that still use physical hardware to manage and route network traffic need to set their sights on cloud-based edge computing solutions that empower distributed workforces with secure access to multiple network resources.

Secure web gateways and traditional firewall providers, despite offering solutions that are fundamentally similar to SASE, are rapidly adopting their own SASE solutions to keep up with the new reality of highly distributed and remote teams.

Summary

SASE is a beacon of innovation when it comes to offering organizations of all sizes with flexible, edge computing-based security frameworks that ensure secure and holistic networking for distributed teams.

If SASE is to continue leading the paradigm shift that it's been boldly spearheading so far, it's vital for security providers to continue iterating on their existing products and create new ones to deliver cloud-native networking solutions for distributed teams.

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