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SASE – An Evolution That’s Rocking the Cyber Security World
by Alan Earls Alan Earls on

Cyber security is a perennial challenge. It’s a complex patchwork of hard-to-manage tools and applications that seems barely able to keep up with the growing threats.

Enter “sassy” (aka SASE, secure access service edge), an architectural concept that aims to meet modern organizations where their infrastructure and security challenges are.

Ten years ago, the data center was king, operating mostly via the local area network (LAN). There was some need to access the internet, and there were some users (often salespeople) who worked remotely, typically accessing the corporate network using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). The network architecture looked like a hub with spokes: Everything was controlled from the center.

With all the guises under which cloud operates, ranging from private cloud, to infrastructure as a service (IaS) and platform as a service (PaaS), to the ubiquitous software as a service (SaaS), a couple of factors now need to be given attention. For one thing, remote work has become far more widespread and permanent. And on a separate evolutionary track, migration of workloads to the cloud continues to be quite rapid. But no matter which cloud model is in use (and for many organizations, all of them are in use!) the security picture is far more complex than a decade ago. The edge is bigger and the means of interconnecting people, data, and applications are also more diverse and more numerous.

Rarely does a corporation control all of this environment. Those that control even a modest portion of it are increasingly rare. And visibility, always difficult to achieve, has taken a nosedive. Partly as a result of this evolution but also due to their own limits, the legacy security tools on which organizations have depended have provided fewer and fewer useful insights. That means risks are on the rise as cyber criminals probe at the ever growing “attack surface” provided by remote users and interconnected devices.

Again, the traditional answer calls for routing activity through a central facility where security tools can be applied. But that’s an approach that is becoming less practical because it impacts performance.

‘Sassy” takes that traditional approach and stands it on its head. With SASE, cloud-native is the watchword. SASE makes user identity the top priority. It doesn’t assume that the “core” of the enterprise is more secure than the periphery. It just looks at a standard set of factors – identity related to devices and applications – to create a risk profile and then works to achieve security through Identity and Access Management (IAM) and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

This can also be summarized with the concept of Zero Trust. Nothing is assumed to be beyond suspicion, whether it is a device, application, or a human.

Of course, Zero Trust and SASE as a whole depends on robust monitoring, particularly of network traffic. You can’t secure what you can’t measure and detect. So, to get to the SASE goal of managing user and device identity and access and making sure non-conforming activities don’t slip in, monitoring is crucial. And the more comprehensive the better. That’s where Appneta’s ability to deliver monitoring of every aspect of a network, internal and external, and with a high level of scalability, comes into play.

Real-time, complete monitoring can be the key to securing the benefits of a “sassy” approach to security. And that’s true for almost any type or enterprise.

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Filed Under: industry insights

Tags: network management, network monitoring, work from anywhere, work from home, hybrid work, remote work, cloud, cybersecurity, security, edge, paas, iaas, saas, SASE

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