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SASE: Redefining the network and security architecture

by ethhack

In a cloud-centric world, users and devices require access to services everywhere. The focal point has changed. Now it is the identity of the user and device as opposed to the traditional model that focused solely on the data center. As a result, these environmental changes have created a new landscape that we need to protect and connect.

This new landscape is challenged by many common problems. The enterprises are loaded with complexity and overhead due to deployed appliances for different technology stacks. The legacy network and security designs increase latency. In addition, the world is encrypted; this dimension needs to be inspected carefully, without degrading the application performance.

These are some of the reasons that surface the need for a cloud-delivered secure access service edge (SASE). SASE consists of a tailored network fabric optimization where it makes the most sense for the user, device and application – at geographically dispersed PoPs. To deliver optimum network experience everywhere you should avoid the unpredictability of the Internet core. In the requirements for SASE, Gartner recommends that this backbone should not be based on AWS or Azure. Their PoP density is insufficient. It is not sufficient to offer a SASE service built solely on a hyper-scale.

There are clear benefits that can be achieved by redefining the network and security architecture. Yes, the adoption of SASE reduces complexity and overhead, improves security. It increases the application performance, but practically, what does that mean?

Linda Musthaler had a great example in her conversation with Andrew Thomson, Director of IT at BioIVT, a provider of biological materials and scientific services to research and development organizations, who adopted Cato Networks’ SASE platform nearly two years ago:

“We positioned it as a platform for everything that we wanted to be able to do over the next three years with the business,” he told Linda, “The big goal, the business strategy, is growth and acquisition. We presented this as a platform, as a base service that we just had to have in place in order to leverage things like voice over IP, Office 365, Azure, cloud-based computing services, hosting servers in the cloud. Without a common core solid foundation, we wouldn’t have been able to do any of those things reliably without adding staff to do monitoring or maintenance or administrative overhead.”

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