Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) is a common networking upgrade to address the complexities that come with cloud adoption. From handling bandwidth costs to managing performance specifications, the agnostic approach to connectivity has offered enterprises an alternative to traditional WAN architectures.
Even with all its benefits – which include improved visibility and control, scalability, provider autonomy and automatic failover – SD-WAN still has its shortcomings. For instance, security in these networking approaches is often bolted on rather than being part of the product as it is developed. For this reason, many enterprise IT teams are implementing Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).
What is SASE? Pronounced “sassy,” SASE is a networking and security architecture that secures and connects entities based on context and in agreement with enterprise policy. SASE brings inspection tools to the edge, handling security at a nearby point of presence (PoP) rather than backhauling all traffic to the data center for inspection.
The enterprise sends traffic to a PoP where it is inspected and then forwarded to the internet. Otherwise, it may be forwarded across the SASE backbone to a different device. This approach applies consistent networking and security across all users and devices through one service – all based on a user’s context.
There are four basic features of SASE that make it a beneficial addition to SD-WAN:
Global SD-WAN Service Over a Private Backbone: In order to provide the best possible performance for all applications, SASE uses a private network to prevent the types of latency normally experienced with regular networking approaches. The private backbone needs to be used to connect PoPs for security and networking solutions. Ideally, the enterprise’s traffic won’t come in contact with the internet unless it is headed to the SASE backbone.
Policy and Inspection Is Distributed: SASE inspects traffic to protect devices and uses encryption and decryption as well as malware scanning and sandboxing. A variety of local regulations can be enforced through security and routing policies.
Architecture That Is Cloud-Native: Look for a SASE service that does not have specific hardware requirements because it is designed to be cloud-native. The appliances in a good SASE will not be service-chained together, and the SASE service can be scaled as necessary.
Identity-Based: The SASE should be designed to provision services according to the identity as well as the context of the connection. Identity should include the user, the device, and the time of day and location of the use.
Enterprises augmenting their SD-WAN with SASE can expect the following benefits:
- Reduced networking costs through the need for fewer providers as well as fewer devices necessary.
- Better performance because of the latency-optimization available for supporting latency-sensitive solutions such as video and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
- Improved security, including the ability to apply data policies according to user no matter the device or context of the use.
Is your SD-WAN feeling a bit incomplete? If your networking approach is leaving your systems vulnerable, contact us at Access Tech. With Access Tech, you’ll leverage the best networking solution to ensure your systems are running at optimum performance but within your budget.