The next era of secure networking: unified SASE and zero trust in focus

Feb. 26, 2024
In our interconnected world where remote work and interconnected mobile devices are the new normal, one factor is becoming more apparent – those traditional network security solutions that once excelled at protecting everything within the castle walls are falling short when it comes to meeting the demands imposed by the dispersed nature of our new hybrid world.

In our interconnected world where remote work and interconnected mobile devices are the new normal, one factor is becoming more apparent – those traditional network security solutions that once excelled at protecting everything within the castle walls are falling short when it comes to meeting the demands imposed by the dispersed nature of our new hybrid world.

It’s a fact that no business can ignore, especially as these castle walls continue to come down. According to research from Upwork, 32.6 million Americans will identify as remote workers in 2025. That represents an 87% percent increase from pre-pandemic levels. What this tells us is that there will be no return to the old ways.

A new approach is required, one seamlessly merging security and networking with agility and performance. This is where the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) steps in. SASE is poised to redefine network security in this era of the hybrid worker.

SASE is not just an acronym, it is an intricate symphony of cutting-edge technologies. SD-WAN takes charge of the traffic flow, optimizing internet routes for lightning-fast and reliable connections, regardless of users' locations.

Security Service Edge (SSE) complements this orchestration with a security harmony, enveloping your network in advanced features such as secure web gateways, zero-trust network access, and cloud access security brokering.

Together, they orchestrate a grand finale that demands continuous verification and authorization for every access request. In doing so they eliminate implicit trust and secure every corner of your digital realm.

This harmonious blend delivers several advantages. SSE fortifies your defenses against modern threats, keeping your data safe and sound. At the same time, SD-WAN empowers swift network scaling and seamless user experience, no matter how fast your business grows.

It's time to say goodbye to managing a tangle of security tools. SASE offers a unified platform, streamlining operations and reducing IT workloads while cloud-based SASE effortlessly adapts to your evolving needs, accommodating expansion or contraction with ease.

There is still a lot of confusion in people's minds about these technologies. What are they? How do we use them? Where do we start? Here is my advice: before you take your first steps on your SASE journey, take time to do the following:

  • Assess your current landscape, security posture and future goals. From there, identify the SASE features that are perfect for your unique symphony. It's unlikely that you will need every tool in the SASE arsenal and certainly not all on day one.
  • Research the Symphony Conductors: Immerse yourself in the world of SASE providers, seeking vendors with proven track records, robust feature sets and seamless integrations. Not every SASE vendor is the same. Concentrate on your specific needs and use cases. Again, you may not need every feature and function so don’t get mixed up with comparing features.
  • Pilot the SASE Overture: Don't dive headfirst. Conduct a controlled SASE pilot to ensure its effectiveness and compatibility before taking the entire network on stage. Once you have chosen your vendor and know your use cases, go and pilot. Make sure it does what it says on the tin.

Next comes selecting a partner, and we all know that this isn’t easy. This is when you need to ask crucial questions. Here are just a few that I think are worth asking:

  • Are they able to seamlessly integrate SASE with your existing infrastructure and applications? 
  • Do they offer robust support and training programs?
  • Can their solution handle your current and future growth needs? 
  • Are they open to customization and integration with additional services?
  • Is their pricing model transparent and aligned with your budget? 
  • Do they offer flexible options to suit your unique needs?

In the dynamic landscape of secure networking, the emergence of SASE marks the beginning of a new transformative era. As organizations navigate the complexities of a hyper-connected world, the harmonious integration of advanced technologies offers a symphony of benefits, everything from unbreakable security and unmatched agility to unrivaled simplicity and scalability.

As we stand at the threshold of this paradigm shift, the key to success lies in a thoughtful and strategic approach. By understanding your unique needs, researching reputable SASE providers, and conducting controlled pilots, you lay the foundation for a secure and agile network.

Next, critical questions about security comprehensiveness, deployment proficiency, scalability, and pricing transparency ensure that your chosen SASE partner aligns seamlessly with your organizational goals.

The future of secure networking is characterized by continuous innovation and adaptability. By embracing the principles of SASE, organizations not only safeguard their digital realm but also position themselves to thrive in an ever-evolving technological landscape. The orchestration of these advanced technologies paints a promising picture of a secure, agile, and scalable network—one that unfolds with limitless potential and promises a future where connectivity and security coexist seamlessly.

About the Author: Jaye Tillson is a Field CTO at Axis Security and has more than 20 years of experience implementing strategic global technology programs, helping organizations achieve digital transformation, and guiding businesses through their zero-trust journey. Jaye is passionate about working with large enterprises on their strategic journey towards zero trust, where he can bring forth real-world experience on issues and problems.