What Is SASE, And Why Is Now The Right Time To Adopt It?

The unprecedented times we live in have accelerated digital transformation initiatives and increased business appetite for the cloud. As a result, users, applications, and data have become increasingly distributed and mobile, challenging traditional enterprise perimeter security. Safeguarding this new distributed and mobile edge is a top priority, and this is exactly what a secure access service edge (SASE) solution addresses.

SASE is a networking and security model first outlined by Gartner. It supports cloud-focused organizations by merging networking and network security services into a single cloud-delivered solution.

According to the analyst firm, the recent global health crisis has highlighted the need for business continuity plans that include flexibility, anywhere anytime, and remote access at scale, even from untrusted devices. “SASE will enable I&O and security teams to deliver a rich set of secure networking and security services in a consistent and integrated manner, to support digital business transformation, edge computing and workforce mobility,” explains Gartner. As a result, the market for SASE will be significant. Gartner expects that by 2025 at least 60% of enterprises will have explicit strategies and timelines for SASE adoption, encompassing user, branch and edge access, up from 10% in 2020.

The Evolution of SASE

A SASE solution is far more than a converged framework for networking and security. SASE provides consistent data protection everywhere coupled with better network performance and reliability. As a software-defined platform, and a cloud-based services architecture, SASE also comes with built-in scalability and agility, centralized management capabilities, and complete visibility across hybrid environments.

A SASE solution can also help reduce costs as it can eliminate a patchwork of disjointed point products, physical and virtual appliances from vendors and replace it with a single, cloud-native solution. This also reduces network complexity and simplifies network maintenance, for example.

To help enterprises modernize their infrastructures, Orange Business Services has enhanced its partnership with Palo Alto Networks to offer an Orange integrated global SASE solution based on Prisma SD-WAN and Prisma Access. This solution combines a global high-performance network with next-generation software-defined wide-area-network (SD-WAN) to simplify the delivery of consistent security on a global scale while ensuring an optimal “work from anywhere” experience.

SASE drives security into the network infrastructure, making it a fundamental component of every corporate workflow. SASE also requires taking an intelligence-led approach that is adaptive to the changing demands of business to quickly respond to and stop any emerging threats. “Now more than ever, the security team needs a seat at the table. The CISO should be involved in all discussions that involve acquiring or transforming a new network or network security solution. Orange Cyberdefense can further support this effort, and ensure ongoing monitoring and response to threats via our Atlanta-based SOC. Organizations can also benefit from our Intelligence-led SASE approach, enabled by our worldwide CERTs, CyberSOCs and research teams” says Yury Geluykens, International SOC Director of Orange Cyberdefense.

“A SASE solution is meant to tackle a wide range of use cases. The sweet spot for a SASE customer is that the more distributed a multinational organization is, the more complex they tend to be. SASE alleviates network and security complexity without being focused on a particular geography, country, or metro area,” explains Kumar Ramachandra, SVP Products, Palo Alto Networks.

A New Way of Thinking

“SASE offers security and network professionals the opportunity to completely rethink and redesign network architectures over the next decade,” according to Lawrence Orans, Vice president analyst at Gartner. But it doesn’t come without its challenges. To begin with, network and security departments are run as distinct operations within most multinationals, which can cause friction.

“While security may have its own organization, it has to be part of everything we do moving forward. The threat landscape has evolved so far, and it is all about how digital defenses can be evaded. It is impossible to do networking without security anymore,” explains Georgi.

It is paramount that IT teams see that the security differentiation is around policy, compliance, and governance rather than a security product versus a networking product. SASE needs to be seen as an opportunity, one where there is synergy between the different operational teams. In fact, it can act as a framework between security and networking teams.

Another challenge is to make sure organizations are undertaking SD-WAN transformation and embracing a software-defined mentality. “You can’t effectively move to the cloud and get to the edge if you aren’t embarking on the SDN/SD-WAN journey. A critical step on that journey is also embracing and making improvements around zero trust to provide complete protection of users, devices, and applications no matter where they are located,” explains Sam Nchinda, Vice President Solutions, at Orange Business Services, Americas.

Finally, the integrator must understand where the customer is on their cloud transformational journey. This is the foundation for the most seamless and effective way of moving to a real multi-cloud native era.

Don’t Delay Getting On The SASE Journey

“Digitalization, work from anywhere and cloud-based computing have accelerated cloud-delivered SASE offerings to enable anywhere, anytime access from any device. Security and risk management leaders should build a migration plan from legacy perimeter and hardware-based offerings to a SASE model.” explains Gartner. Digital transformation, cloud-native, and edge computing will all demand SASE.

But no one size fits all. Few partners out there have the scope to provide a robust SASE solution and all its essential elements, which is why Orange Business Services and Palo Alto Networks’ collaboration is great news for enterprises. Together they bring the interoperability, consultancy, support, migration skills, and flexible management and consumption models that enterprises are demanding to achieve their SASE goals.

Please come explore our capabilities to discover how we can help enterprises get the most out of their SASE journey.

This blog was originally posted by Orange Business Services.