Over the past two years there has been a dramatic shift in the way organisations operate. With the coronavirus pandemic resulting in the rise of remote workers, the work-from-anywhere environment has now become the norm and has meant people are now connecting to networks from multiple locations, often at various times.
Therefore, organisations are now turning towards solutions like Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) to provide agility, flexibility, and quality, whilst also guaranteeing maximum security. However, with so many companies now claiming to offer SASE it can be a challenge for organisations to identify the right solution for their business.
The best way for an organisation to find a SASE solution that meets their networking and security needs is to ensure that flexibility is a core consideration. A good SASE implementation that is truly flexible and integrated will provide a cloud-native infrastructure and should also deploy cloud instances irrespective of whether it is a public, on-premises or hybrid cloud, to any location or any application type.
A flexible SASE architecture simplifies the complexity of on-premises or hybrid cloud, reducing the IT burden whilst also assuring end user experience. What’s more SASE should consolidate all networking and security in an automated, multitenant, cloud-native software stack eliminating cost and complexity for your business.
A primary purpose of SASE is seamlessly linking networking performance and networking security together. Workers should be able to enjoy highly consistent and predictable quality of experience on the network, but security must also be flexible, agile, and dynamic enough to serve every user and resource no matter what device they are using or where they are. If CISOs and IT teams have to compromise their needs with the SASE solution they have chosen, then it is not the right solution for them, and they need to look elsewhere.
Nevertheless, to ensure they get it right the first time and avoid having to replace a solution that doesn’t fit their needs, when talking to a potential vendor, customers should ask them questions like “how does your solution help me to eliminate multi-cloud interconnectivity? Is it a full software as a service (SaaS) solution or are there any hardware components? How can you demonstrate the ROI I’ll get with your solution?”
Future and scalability
A flexible SASE solution not only meets the needs of the organisation at the time, but also in the future. SASE should have a future proof design and architecture to support standard protocols, flexible application programming interfaces (APIs) and integration with an organisation’s existing infrastructure.
It must support a new wave of technology such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices, bring-your-own-devices (BYOD), virtual reality (VR) and unified communications as a service (UCaaS), which will come with their own security and connectivity challenges. Therefore, it is crucial to be considering not only today’s business environment but what the IT landscape will look like in the future when planning a SASE solution.
Any SASE architecture which is selected must be able to scale for years to come, as well as provide security for new technological and business developments, for example 5G, that require significantly more processing power. It is not just adding new technologies that should be taken into consideration but also the ease and cost of scalability. SASE architecture should offer easily scalable networking and security capabilities directly in the cloud and should not require additional costs when expanding the network and security to new locations. When looking at potential vendors, this would be another important aspect to clarify as if a vendor cannot guarantee the potential scalability of their offering, customers whose goal is to grow their business may face challenges later down the line.
Picking the right SASE solution does not need to be a complicated decision for businesses. Asking the right questions and knowing what to consider will mean that organisations will come out with a SASE architecture that provides both long-term network performance and cyber security, without any additional costs or complications cropping up in the future.