What Is SASE? | Secure Access Service Edge


Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) secures and satisfies the productivity needs of the remote/hybrid workforce by interweaving Networking-as-a-Service (NaaS) with Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS) network functions (network function virtualization) within a cloud-native network edge service. SASE employees and contractors use SASE to connect to enterprise applications in the cloud while minimizing risks to apps and data. Deep packet inspection allows organizations to gain observability across the edge, applications, and users.

Components of SASE

A comprehensive SASE solution unites five security components, including Secure Web Gateways (SWGs), Firewall-as-a-Service (FwaaS), Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), and SD-WAN to secure all network edges from a cloud-native security platform.


Secure Web Gateways (SWGs) screen links, decrypt Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and prevent exploits during web sessions. SWGs protect users from web-based threats by enforcing acceptable use policies and preventing access to malicious websites.

Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS)

The layer seven next-gen firewalls delivered in the cloud add Network Access Control (NAC) and prevent exploits. FWaaS provides cloud-delivered firewall capabilities that identify applications, inspect traffic for exploits and malware, and enforce security policies.


The Cloud Access Security Broker (CASBs) monitor SaaS apps for malware. Added Data Loss Prevention (DLP) prevents specific data from leaving the enterprise. CASB provides visibility and control over cloud applications and data, ensuring authorized access and compliance.


Zero Trust Network Access challenges and verifies identities and access privileges, enforcing access policies for applications and protecting sensitive information. ZTNA verifies user and device identities before granting access to applications and resources, eliminating implicit trust.


Software Defined Wide Area Networking abstracts an overlay network for direct network and internet routing, security, and speed. SD-WAN enables software-defined, cloud-delivered wide-area networking that optimizes application performance and provides secure connectivity.

SASE Use Cases

A cloud-native SASE platform meets many common use cases’ network performance and security needs. SASE meets compliance mandates while tailoring network performance to branch application delivery needs. SASE extends network security, speed, and scaling capacity while tailoring the network to the application’s needs. It meets governance mandates and closes security gaps.

SASE also accelerates capacity for branch locations with SD-WAN that extends beyond the capabilities of the cloud data center. Enterprises see cost savings in network and security services. Finally, SASE provides centralized security so digital transformation and expansion thrive, avoiding the shortcomings of hardware solutions. SASE combines SD-WAN, AI, and dynamic firewalling techniques for network observability, exploit prevention, and data stream management.

Benefits of SASE

The platform’s benefits include observability, controls, simplicity, and savings, making it optimal for mobile and hybrid users across the enterprise.

Hybrid Observability

SASE opens observability into hybrid and hyper-converged environments across users, locations, clouds, and data centers. Security teams gain transparency into network behaviors across the ecosystem.

Efficient Data and App Controls

The SASE approach increases security by classifying Layer 7 traffic, which enables granular security policies and controls. SASE leverages identity and access controls for least-privileged access to applications and data.

Seamless Alert and Monitoring Capabilities

SASE centralizes monitoring and reporting for better metrics and security alerting. It enables seamless incident response and troubleshooting with real-time observability into network traffic, user behavior, and potential threats across every edge SASE sees. Organizations can detect and resolve issues and attacks. The centralized SASE cloud platform uses mature analytics, historical analysis, and data models to alert on thresholds for performance and security event anomalous behavior.


SASE replaces point solutions with cloud-native services, reducing complexity. SASE simplifies network performance and security through unified management of enterprise networks. Organizations manage their secure access policies, which are centralized in the cloud. It gets rid of the many siloed management concepts for one cloud console. SASE streamlines operations, reducing overhead. It also lets IT security and networking groups target their core work.

Data Security

SASE prioritizes data security at the edge, enforcing DLP policies and preventing sensitive data from leaving the organization. SASE provides robust security using granular access controls and data encryption. Users have access only to the data their roles and responsibilities require. They receive and work with data safely as data encryption protects data at rest and in motion.

Minimize Integration

SASE’s many interwoven network and security functions in the cloud eliminate complex integrations of endless multi-vendor point networking and security products.

Better Network Performance and Reliability

SASE provides SD-WAN for enhanced network performance and reliability for variegated locations and hybrid and mobile users. Multiple sources such as MPLS, broadband, and LTE receive performance and resiliency services such as failover configurations, aggregation, and load balancing. It optimizes traffic by reducing traffic congestion and latency.

Enhanced User Experience

SASE monitors, manages, and optimizes user experience regardless of user location, sans extra hardware and software installs. The SASE platform uses intelligent traffic routing to provide seamless, secure access to application resources. SASE dynamically optimizes network paths and minimizes latency, ensuring high-performance connectivity for users accessing cloud-based applications or services from anywhere.

Potential SASE Implementation Challenges

Don’t hesitate with SASE because it’s new, but be aware of these surmountable implementation challenges.

Redefining Team Roles and Collaboration

SASE requires new IT roles. Increased collaboration between networking and security groups enhances hybrid cloud configurations for SASE. Siloed teams for on-prem and cloud need to break open and work together.

Ensuring Comprehensive Coverage

For necessary on-prem setups for many branches, SASE enables a balance of cloud and on-prem approaches to interweave security and networking. The cloud-native approach ensures speed and security between both network edges.

Product Selection and Integration

Siloed IT teams can deploy multiple products for SASE. The SASE provider should ensure those products are compatible to streamline operations and ease SASE buildout. Breaking teams out of silos and integrating them and their talents will accelerate product selection.

Two Common Misconceptions About SASE

Don’t let SASE misconceptions keep the organization from implementing a fast, secure networking solution for every edge. SASE is more than VPNs and remote work solutions.

SASE is Merely a Cloud-Based VPN

SASE combines cloud VPN with secure web gateways, CASBs, and Firewall-as-a-Service in a unified platform. Most legacy VPNs use hardware, so organizations can not iterate and virtualize them across the network instantly and as needed.

SASE Solutions Are Exclusive to Remote Work Environments

SASE benefits office infrastructure by providing consistent networking and security across hybrid and office workers. By combining the speed of SD-WAN with the security of the most popular solutions delivered as virtualized network functions, an organization can optimize the network and security using network policies that serve the application.

Best Practices for SASE Implementation

Following SASE implementation best practices helps ensure success.

Foster Team Alignment and Collaboration

SASE elevates speed and security by syncing security and network team priorities. By evolving network and security team relationships after the model of DevOps, SASE offers a strength that is greater than just the sum of networking and security.

Draft a Flexible SASE Roadmap

Use a roadmap to adopt SASE over time. Make sure that all stakeholders are represented on the roadmap creation team. It will ensure the implementation is flexible for the business’s dynamic network and security needs. Remember, it’s scalable in the cloud.

Secure C-Suite Buy-in

Buy-in from the top is an absolute necessity. Ensure the C-suite understands the ROI, benefits, and shrinking vendor needs. Comprehensive security centralized in the cloud is far better for escalating cyber threats.

Select, Test, and Deploy

Organizations must test selected SASE components before deploying a final set of ideal, compatible, best-in-breed solutions. It’s trivial to spin up and test a virtual network or security product with software automation, then remove it, and test another until the organization has selected the best fit for deployment. Hardware solutions make testing and deployment time-consuming manual processes.

Monitor, Optimize, and Evolve

Nimble organizations support technologies and expert network and security support for monitoring and optimizing SASE. SASE implementations should be maintained in response to stakeholder feedback, trends, and changing needs.

How to Choose a SASE Provider

A good SASE provider will pass these tests and checklists. Weigh each provider carefully, as the best service will meet all these criteria.

Assess Integration of Network and Security

Watch how security and network integration proceed together since SASE’s main objective is network/security convergence. The resulting SASE should include SD-WAN, Firewall-as-a-Service, IPS, CASB, Zero Trust Network Access, and SWGs.

Confirm Cloud-Native Design

Confirm the organization uses a cloud-native design to handle network edges, including onsite, mobile, and cloud. Cloud-native means the applications must be created and delivered in application containers.

Evaluate Global Network Performance

Geography shouldn’t limit SASE reach and performance. Organizations should prefer providers that offer global SLA-backed private backbones. SLAs should meet application performance needs and provide ample bandwidth.

Check for Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)

Use ZTNA everywhere since it mitigates breaches, granting least-privilege access for each user or device identity and its relationship to cloud mobile and onsite resources. It enables security groups to employ centralized policies and achieve observability into SD-WAN and internet traffic.

Ensure Scalability and Flexibility

A scalable, adaptable SASE meets future needs and integrates legacy systems. SASE supports network flexibility, scaling up resources to meet expansion needs. SASE shrinks the network hardware footprint.

Review Costs and Associated Features

Make a cost analysis based on available features. Understand possible costs for third-party integrations. Choose third parties wisely using appropriate vendor selection and management methods.

Exploring SASE and Complementary Technologies

SASE and modern technologies work toward an organization’s mutual goals. Combining SASE, 5G, and DLP targets speed and security needs for edge users.

How SASE and 5G Work Together

5G works with SASE to speed traffic and reduce network latency. While it creates new security challenges, SASE will likely be the solution because of its centralized security framework, which suits dynamic networks.

How IoT Integrates with SASE

SASE solves IoT system challenges of latency. Many legacy IoT devices do not have a lot of resources and are simple rather than robust. SASE compensates for the speed and security they lack.

Protecting Data with SASE and DLP

DLP with SASE means centralized data discovery and classification. It authenticates users and applies data-centric policies for detection. DLP templates identify data that must not leave the organization. SASE empowers DLP to ensure all data runs through these templates for scrutiny.

SASE vs. Other Technology and Security Solutions

What does SASE do that other solutions can’t? It enables network security functions in a virtualized manner on commodity and whitebox hardware of the organization’s choosing.

SASE vs. Traditional Network Security

While traditional network security is founded on fixed hardware solutions that secure the perimeter, SASE integrates WAN and network security services in a centralized cloud. SASE leans on software for speed and security and breaks the limitations of appliances that must run in specific locations and require special maintenance and repair.

SASE vs. Firewall

Hardware firewalls focus on incoming and outgoing traffic at a single network juncture. SASE adapts to digitization by combining ZTNA, DLP, and other elements that are not available with firewalls.


The cloud-native network and security solution SASE goes beyond VPN with cloud-centric integrated solutions that reduce latency by avoiding the bottlenecks of central servers. A SASE deployment uses ZTNA, DLP, SWG, and FwaaS for comprehensive security.


What does SASE mean?

The acronym SASE means Secure Access Service Edge. The cloud-native platform brings SD-WAN and virtualized security solutions together to speed up network access and security to every edge the organization touches.

Is SASE cloud-based?

A SASE platform consists of a cloud-native edge services architecture where network and security service function virtualization intertwine fast, secure broadband networking at every edge.

Is SASE a proxy?

SASE includes proxy capabilities to decrypt web traffic at the SWG.


SASE unites SD-WAN and network security functions to offer fast networks and secure connections to hybrid users globally. It is a comprehensive cloud-native offering that serves all users at every edge.

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