Why SASE is Essential for Modern Business Operations

Why SASE is Essential for Modern Business Operations

Today’s business operations rely on cloud, mobile, and IoT. Security teams need a way to provide comprehensive threat and data protection across these environments.

Traditional WAN security architectures need to catch up to this demand. As a result, organizations need to break down technology silos and automate networking and security tasks.

Zero Trust Network Access

Zero Trust Network Access is essential as organizations shift to a remote work model. It enables secure access to corporate applications and data from any device and anywhere in the world while minimizing exposure and the impact of security breaches.

Zero Trust Network Access combines the security controls and principles of a traditional VPN with the principle of least privilege to provide users access to applications only as needed while limiting their ability to move laterally. This approach reduces the attack surface of a network, improves productivity and helps ensure the integrity of sensitive data.

In contrast to traditional security models, which assume that internal traffic is safe, Zero Trust networks require every request for access to be evaluated based on risk and trust and then granted only if it can be trusted to do the job. This requires continuous validation, micro-segmentation of user types, locations and other identifying data, and strict access management policies for privileged access to apps and data.

Understanding what is SASE is essential to support this approach. Zero Trust Network Access combines identity and access management with cloud-privileged access management to provide adaptive authentication measures and multi-factor access credentials that verify a user’s identity before granting access to applications. This also allows companies to monitor behavior across the enterprise to identify suspicious activity and proactively respond.

Cloud Access Security Broker

A cloud access security broker (CASB) is software or hardware that sits between cloud service users and their cloud provider to enforce security policies as cloud services are accessed. Like a firewall, CASBs monitor data flow between on-premises devices and the cloud to ensure all traffic complies with organizational security policies.

Using a CASB to enforce compliance is essential for modern business operations. Especially in regulated industries, such as healthcare or financial services, it is necessary to maintain regulatory compliance while utilizing cloud resources.

In addition to securing the cloud, a CASB can provide various benefits that can help mitigate risk and protect against threats. These include visibility into sanctioned and unsanctioned applications, access controls for cloud environments, and user behavior analytics to detect suspicious activity.

These benefits can also provide an organization with a better understanding of its cloud environment’s usage and security risks. They can then implement security solutions that mitigate these risks and prevent breaches.

CASBs are gaining popularity as they address the issues arising when organizations use cloud apps and services on various devices. Besides ensuring the protection of sensitive enterprise data, these solutions can also improve employee productivity by providing a more flexible work environment. For example, they can help a remote worker share files from a secure file storage system more efficiently.

Firewall as a Service

Many organizations are moving away from on-premises firewalls and FWaaS solutions. FWaaS addresses the challenges of modern business operations, such as the proliferation of cloud resources and remote employees. FWaaS helps to ensure that all data that moves into and out of an organization’s network is inspected, filtered, and protected from security threats.

FWaaS vendors offer centralized management from a single console. This allows enterprises to provide uniform policies throughout their entire network, regardless of where users connect. This streamlines management and reduces the need for IT to handle change control, patch management, and coordinating outage windows across multiple appliances.

With a single security policy, it’s easy to implement new firewall rules. These policies can then be enforced case-by-case to restrict access to devices or applications that do not fit the organization’s security policy.

To minimize the risk of an attack, a team or department responsible for IT security should manage a firewall. This group should be able to audit and approve changes to firewall rules.

This team should be able to control user access, and it should not be granted unless the person has a legitimate business reason for it. This approach also lessens the risk of malicious attacks or misconfiguration of firewall settings. The team should be able to review changes to rules and audit them regularly for vulnerabilities or conflicts.

Secure Web Gateway

A secure web gateway (SWG) inspects and controls incoming and outgoing web traffic, enabling organizations to protect their IT infrastructure against security threats. It also protects networked devices against malware infections and intrusions.

In the modern mobile and remote workers’ world, secure web gateways are essential for business operations. They prevent data breaches, unauthorized access to corporate information, and employee data theft.

Using a combination of techniques, secure web gateways block malicious sites, detect zero-day threats and prevent shadow IT. They also enable access control, enforce compliance and monitor user activities with privacy regulations.

Many SWGs employ a combination of AV, AML, sandboxing and real-time threat detection to identify and eliminate potential attacks. Some even can detect and block malware by emulating the company’s network environment.

Another feature that a few vendors offer is a data loss prevention (DLP) solution. This function monitors outbound data for unique patterns that match sensitive user data such as social security numbers, credit card information, medical information and intellectual property.

Some of these functions include URL filtering, which uses a database of known malicious websites to keep malware at bay and prevent the downloading of suspicious payloads. Others use a sandboxing function that isolates email attachments and web downloads in an isolated environment.