Solving the ‘No Network Edge’ Conundrum
Workstyle changes and the global reaction to the pandemic forced many organisations to rapidly introduce new ways of working, and whilst many of the changes were already on the cards, digital transformation has certainly accelerated as a result of the pandemic.
As a consequence, the way people work and connect continues to evolve as companies upgrade and move applications to the cloud. Cyber security is, of course, a key part of any digital strategy – it’s firmly on the boardroom agenda and it must be constantly reviewed, tested, and updated.
Our Security Solutions Strategist Anthony Owen tackles the fundamentals of SASE and the no network edge conundrum.
Introducing SASE – Secure Access Service Edge
A gradual transition to the cloud puts organisations in a hybrid state of operations, with systems and applications split between on-premise datacentres, private cloud, and public cloud services.
Work anywhere, home networking, multiple device logins, and access to systems and data at any time is challenging for overstretched IT departments. Managing and securing IT infrastructures, and continually improving protection and performance must be constantly at the forefront of activity.
The goal of a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) approach is to provide an optimum performance experience – from any location, and on any device, through enhanced and secure access, and the adoption of a zero-trust security policy.
Change the only constant
With continuous change the only constant in business today, IT leaders are adopting SASE approaches to future proof their security roadmaps. With hybrid working now the preferred option for knowledge workers, there’s a much greater attack surface area to secure, and the corporate network is no longer the perimeter or edge.
SASE brings both networking and security together, and without delving into the technical detail, it enables companies to protect data, systems and networks in a cloud-native way by bringing together software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) and enhanced security.
With cloud services continuously replacing traditional datacentres and the public internet now an established employee route to applications, our need for private and virtual private networks is changing.
Reduce throttling & control behaviours
Dedicated links from corporate networks will still be required, but the ‘tromboning’ of traffic into the corporate network and out again, regardless of destination, throttles performance and causes latency for applications. Routing non sensitive traffic directly to cloud-based applications improves the performance of those time critical applications and lowers bandwidth requirements.
Even the most risk averse organisations are embracing public cloud as a platform for non-sensitive applications and the increasing popularity of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications like Office 365, Salesforce and others, enable those applications to be accessed without touching the corporate network. Bandwidth can therefore be handed back to time dependent applications, and latency is reduced in Teams, WebEx, and Zoom calls, with IP based voice traffic having all the bandwidth it needs.
Centralised control can be introduced to protect the employee and the business. Access to sites with poor security reputations can be blocked to avoid the honey traps of phishing and ransomware activity. Time based policies can also be applied to restrict / allow access to non-work-related content during appropriate workday time windows.
Enterprises that are actively engaged in digital transformation are embracing SASE as they wind down their on-premise legacy infrastructures in favour of public cloud and SaaS options for their critical workloads.
Future proof roadmap
SASE is far more than a security solution; it’s a ‘future proofed’ approach that deals with IT, security, and operational requirements through the balancing of productivity, scalability and cybersecurity imperatives.
Transitioning operational performance through hybrid infrastructures is something that pretty much every organisation will be going through, and a full Zero Trust and/or SASE strategy cannot be implemented overnight. Furthermore, it’s changed from being a seemingly aspirational concept a few years ago to a corporate reality today, and increasingly we’re helping customers plan their cloud journeys based on this methodology.
If you’d like an initial conversation with one of our security or cloud experts about ways to improve both security and operational performance, please contact us on email@example.com.