By Binesh George, CEO of Redvine Networks

Over the last few years, SD-WAN has established itself as a significant enabler of remote office, branch office capabilities, and while it remains relevant in today’s work-from-anywhere environment, it must be integrated with other components to deliver secure access for endpoint devices sitting outside the relative safety of the organisational network.

It is here that the secure access service edge (SASE) framework signifies an evolutionary step.

In essence, SASE is the convergence of WAN and network security services into a single, cloud-delivered service model. Fundamentally, it pulls different technologies together to enable companies to scale quicker, deploy faster, and bridge the gap between existing services and the enhanced functionality and feature sets needed to enable work-from-anywhere.

Gartner, in its 2020 SASE forecast, writes that SASE enables companies to operate during times of disruption and provides highly secure, high-performance access to any application, regardless of user location.

A new approach

Certainly, given the increase in data flows between the cloud to end point devices, a new approach to network security is vital. But this must still provide exceptional user functionality in a way that adheres to compliance requirements.

One of the fundamentals of a SASE framework is security that enables the organisation to control and protect the network from anywhere. And through a combination of feature sets, SASE ensures the public cloud is delivered to companies on-net. It also answers the need for companies to move to the public cloud while addressing their security questions and concerns.

In many respects, SASE is enabling the future-proofing of the business network by quickly delivering enterprise connectivity more securely to users, regardless of their physical location. This means they no longer need to be sitting at the branch to benefit from a safe, connected experience but can do so from anywhere.

The world has seen the traditional network perimeter dissolving given the developments of the past 16 months. It is no longer possible to assume that applications will be inside the network perimeter.

Corporate data and applications are moving to the cloud, employees are working remotely, and digital transformation necessitates different ways of working that reinvents legacy approaches.

Connecting everywhere

This has also seen the evolution of SD-WAN. Forming a critical component of a secure digital transformation business imperative, it is SD-WAN that provides the connectivity to link the components of the SASE framework together.

For its part, cloud security consists of the policies, controls, procedures, and technologies that work together to protect cloud-based systems, data, and infrastructure. Very much in line with the integrated messaging of SASE, cloud security delivers this management behind a single pane of glass. So, even though the environment might be decentralised thanks to work-from-anywhere, the solutions are consolidated to provide complete visibility of the network environment in whichever shape it may be.

Secure access through things like VPN, mobile device management, and so on, become critical in today’s new operating environment. With many expecting work-from-anywhere to be a permanent fixture, at least for the foreseeable future, this is essential as it helps reduce network complexity by moving away from managing applications to focusing on delivering policy-based security services.

SASE, through all its components, is about delivering comprehensive security to all the business end points and putting in place monitoring solutions to detect anomalies when they occur. The idea of secure access combined with cloud-delivered security solutions provide companies with the glue to make work-from-anywhere viable without compromising the network.