February 28, 2022

Article
4 min

What is SASE and How Can It Help Improve Your Security Posture?

Secure access service edge, more commonly known as SASE, has become a very hot topic in cybersecurity. What’s important to remember here is that SASE is not a single technology, but a combination of other technologies.

CDW Expert

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Secure access service edge, more commonly known as SASE, has become a very hot topic in cybersecurity. So, what is SASE? Gartner calls it “a new package of technologies including SD-WAN, SWG, CASB, ZTNA and FWaaS as core abilities, with the ability to identity sensitive data or malware and the ability to decrypt content at line speed, with continuous monitoring of sessions for risk and trust levels.”

What’s important to remember here is that SASE is not a single technology, but a combination of other technologies. Rather than there being some sort of singular “SASE tool” that covers all elements of network security, vendors in this space are more likely to offer a variety of tools that can work together with their own or other vendors’ technologies to help organizations improve their security posture. Each offering from vendors has its own set of technologies, with each technology having its own set of features and benefits, making it extremely challenging to decide what technology sets will work for your organization.

Why SASE has risen to prominence during the pandemic

SASE was here before COVID, but its adoption has accelerated during the pandemic. One of the big catalysts for SASE adoption is the move to cloud and digital transformation, which has also greatly accelerated, as we are seeing increased digitization across every part of a business. To give one example of this change, certain CDW clients used to do business on paper, print things out and get physical signatures. Overnight, COVID has switched them over to digital signing. This expedited digital transformation has accelerated the need for technical security controls to protect these “digital only” assets.

As organizations looked to accelerate digital transformation, a quick, easy answer was SaaS (Software as a Service) offerings. This means that security solutions need to operate in the cloud as well. How do we secure those connections? This includes solutions such as firewalls, web gateways and cloud access security brokers (CASBs).

Before shopping for SASE solutions, you need to understand what the important data assets are (credit card, PII, PHI, etc) that you’re protecting and where are they located (endpoints, files shares, databases, etc). After this, you should look for SASE solutions that integrate well together.

CDW wants to guide you in that path. Our services help you identify the data in your organization and our partners can offer the technology to provide the right SASE solution. Together, we can find the right technology that fits your organization, rather than a technology that simply checks the boxes.

Let’s take a look at some of the SASE offerings from our partners.

Realize SASE your way with Cisco

Implementing a full SASE architecture is a multistep journey that will be different for every organization. Cisco provides solutions that include the consolidation, ease of deployment and management that you need to scale your business and provide effective security for users anywhere they choose to work – without a degradation in speed, performance or user experience.

Cisco simplifies purchasing with a single SASE offer that allows you to purchase all of the core components – cloud security, zero trust network access, SD-WAN and observability – and will enable an easy transition to a single subscription service in the future. Whether you want to purchase all components at once or over time, Cisco makes it easy to build a SASE architecture your way. With automated deployment options and many product integrations, you can connect hundreds of locations quickly with simplified ongoing management.

Barracuda offers quick to deploy, easy to manage ZTNA for your enterprise

The CloudGen Access Zero Trust model establishes control across users and devices without the performance pitfalls of a traditional VPN. It provides remote, conditional and contextual access to resources and reduces over-privileged access and associated third-party risks. With CloudGen Access, employees and partners can access corporate apps and cloud workloads without creating additional surfaces.

Deploy zero-trust network access at global scale with SonicWall

SonicWall Cloud Edge Secure Access is built to respond to the anytime, anywhere business world, whether on-prem or in the cloud. It delivers simple network-as-a-service for site-to-site and hybrid cloud connectivity with zero-trust and least privilege security as one integrated offering.

Get SASE right with Netskope

Netskope safely and quickly connects users directly to the internet, any application and their infrastructure from any device, on or off the network. With CASB, SWG and ZTNA built natively in a single platform, Netskope is fast everywhere, data-centric and cloud-smart, all while enabling good digital citizenship and providing a lower total cost of ownership.

Proofpoint’s platform enables SASE use cases

The Proofpoint Information and Cloud Security Platform brings together Proofpoint Enterprise DLP, Proofpoint Insider Threat Management, CASB, ZTNA, Browser Isolation and Web Security. This powerful, cloud-native single platform aligns to the industry vision of SASE architecture, where organizations can apply secure access and threat protection as people access applications and data, no matter their location or device type.

Other CDW partners, including Tenable, Cyberark and Okta, also offer solutions that can make up part of your SASE security architecture.