Implementing SASE Effectively for the Remote Workforce
By now, most organizations have become aware that a secure remote workforce is a necessity in today’s business environment.
There are many solutions available to help you manage access to your network and your applications. One of the more recent solutions has been the SASE solution, which has been a godsend for organizations with many remote workers.
The Secure Access Service Edge is a cloud-based solution that allows organisations to deliver the right security policies to their employees’ mobile devices, whether on or off the corporate network.
Rethinking the Network Perimeter
The remote workforce is growing in organisations across the globe. Organisations are increasingly using remote, mobile, and flexible work solutions to meet the demands of their customers.
This approach allows them to maximise top talent regardless of location. While these new ways of working can increase productivity, they also carry a risk of security breaches.
Remote workers are often outside the traditional network perimeter, and access to internal systems is not restricted. As a result, there is an increased risk that sensitive data may be compromised through malicious actions or inadvertently.
The traditional perimeter-based security model is no longer adequate when employees work from home, travel, or connect from hotel rooms. The critical information in today’s organisations is flowing in all directions, and the need for this information to be available at all times has grown exponentially.
Automating Network Monitoring and Visibility
SASE breaks down barriers to security by enforcing policies based on users, their role within the organisation, and the devices they use.
The model is designed to provide consistent security policies across any device or location while effectively reducing costs through automation. This approach is transforming how organisations protect their remote users.
This technology can help significantly by automating tasks, reducing manual processes and providing better visibility into networks and security devices. This is especially critical for organisations with a distributed workforce.
Secure Network Connectivity
An effective SASE solution will provide secure and reliable connectivity and manage user identities and user privileges in a central place.
To enable a secure, reliable and cost-effective network for the workforce, service providers need to implement solutions that are interoperable with existing infrastructure, scalable to meet future needs and easy to maintain. For SASE, this is achieved through implementing Zero Trust Network Access, as championed by leaders such as Gartner, Forrester, and the likes.
Security administration in the enterprise can be a complex undertaking. There’s no shortage of tasks to manage, from securing remote physical and virtual endpoints to securing data in motion in the cloud.
Implementing SASE is a critical step in securing the network-connectivity layer for cloud-native applications. The high-performance connectivity required by today’s cloud applications cannot be achieved with traditional architectures, which use point-to-point connections between endpoints.
These traditional approaches also incur significant scaling issues when large numbers of endpoints are involved.
Cloud Security Consolidation
As more organisations move towards implementing a cloud-native infrastructure, the need to have the ability to consolidate and analyse security data from multiple sources becomes even more critical.
Global organisations are increasingly adopting the cloud to address the challenges of scale, mobility, and innovation.
Whether it is the migration of legacy applications to the cloud or building new applications, hyperscale architectures are becoming a key component of IT strategies.
In addition to cloud-native applications, massive numbers of devices connected over a global network create enormous amounts of data from diverse network sources.
Security analysts need visibility and control to be able to not only detect threats but also have the ability to implement security policies.
The traditional model is no longer viable due to a remote workforce and cloud services that have led to a new paradigm – one where trust is not assumed. This new approach to security requires a new mindset and a re-evaluation of current processes and technologies.
A Zero Trust security model is all about visibility and control. It can be implemented in many ways, but the common denominator is that instead of protecting the network perimeter, it focuses on protecting each service.
In a world where the network perimeter no longer exists, SASE can help you protect valuable assets by providing valuable visibility into what’s going over the network.
SASE and Business Management
It is increasingly clear that organisations must protect their networks and data across the entire threat continuum.
Global organisations implementing SASE architectures will benefit from an increased ability to adapt their IT infrastructure to the changing demands of the business.
SASEs can be centrally managed and enforced and leverage multiple security technologies, including encryption, authentication, and policy enforcement.
This allows users to access protected resources and applications only when they are in a trusted and controlled environment with appropriate security policies enforced by an organisation.
It also enables new digital business scenarios with increased productivity and efficiency while improving security and reducing costs.
Three Steps to Implement SASE for the Remote Workforce
- First, define your edge. Organisations must identify and understand their critical assets and their risks to properly apply the proper security level. Now, more than ever, companies must define their edge to know where they are exposed and what they need to do to stay protected.
- Next, assess your overall security posture. SASE implementation requires an extensive review of the organisation’s current security posture and a deep understanding of the organisation’s business model, processes, and technology architecture. This would enable organisations to deploy an integrated security model that delivers continuous protection from the endpoint to the cloud, backed by threat intelligence and analytics.
- Finally, eliminate blind spots. This begins by determining where your organisation stands concerning security and compliance. SASE enforces a trust paradigm that takes the emphasis away from a single-point solution and towards a more distributed, network-centric model.
The SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) architecture provides the foundation for implementing a secure, user-centric network access model. It helps organisations achieve their business goals through more efficient and effective security controls at the point of access.
Transforming from legacy hardware to such newer technologies can be challenging at first. However, the savings in security cost justify the transformation. If your organisation is significantly remote, you should already be taking steps to upgrade your security controls to meet today’s work reality.
Online Marketing Consultant, Joseph Chukwube is the Founder and CEO of Digitage.net and Startup Growth Guide, result-driven content marketing and SEO agencies that help brands generate organic traffic, demand and exposure. He has been published on Tripwire, B2C, InfosecMagazine and more.