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What is a SASE network architecture?

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a modern network architecture that abstracts network and security appliances and delivers them from the cloud edge. It securely connects users, systems and devices to cloud applications anywhere in the world. It refers to the framework as a whole rather than a specific technology.

SASE can be thought of as a cloud-based cyber security service with wide area network (WAN) capabilities. This supports an enterprise’s need for flexible and secure access to networks and digital platforms. Security service edge (SSE), a subset of SASE that only focuses on cyber security services from a cloud platform, should not be confused with SASE.

SASE and SSE network architectures both use zero-trust security principles to enhance user experience, network visibility, reduce IT system complexity while also improving security posture within an organisation.

How does SASE work?

A SASE architecture is a purpose-built, cloud-native solution that secures users’ access to the internet, cloud services, software as a service (SaaS) and private applications, regardless of location. In essence, SASE is the convergence of security and network appliances, delivered from the cloud. This is different to traditional network architecture, where security resides within an organisation’s network.

SASE is suitable for all businesses that have remote workers. With legacy architectures, such as multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), remote traffic is sent through a firewall, to a data centre and then sent back. As a result, there are delays, reduced productivity and an inferior user experience.

All traffic is inspected at a nearby point of presence before being sent directly to the destination with SASE, which is secure and direct. This improves efficiency and cuts down on network delays. SASE does a far better job of protecting users all the way down to the endpoint.

SASE architecture for enterprises

This network architecture is designed for scalability, performance and security. The core challenges with mobile work, the cloud, security and digital transformation are all addressed by SASE. The data of an organisation starts to exist outside the walls of their on-premises data centres as businesses adopt software, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and other cloud-delivered applications.

Partnered with this, the number of remote and mobile users is increasing, connecting from anywhere, over any connection to their data and cloud apps. No matter where they are in the world, it ensures that employees have instant access to business apps and services through a secure network model. It is the ideal solution for modern networking as it offers optimal routing and superior reliability.

SASE is highly scalable and can grow along with the business because it is cloud-based. The service can be expanded to optimal performance, reliability, security and connectivity as the networking requirements grow. It is ideal for a mobile-first world where a growing number of remote workers and network traffic access the system via mobile devices.

The fundamental needs of enterprises and their cyber security challenges can no longer be met by legacy network architectures as apps move to the cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) devices become ubiquitous. SASE meets the modern requirements for cloud networking and security while reducing network complexity and costs. SASE reduces the risk of new cyber threats, enhances user experience and improves business productivity.

Find a reputable IT services provider near you and ask about their SASE offerings. SEACOM South Africa is one such company that offers enterprise-grade network architectures and solutions. These are backed by leading service-level agreements (SLAs) and are ideal for large companies with remote workers.

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Written by Taryn Hill

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