Network security

The next big thing in network security?

It’s no surprise, but the security threat landscape is quickly becoming more sophisticated, as evidenced by the Colonial Pipeline, Kaseya, and SolarWinds attacks earlier this year. Given the pace of digital transformation in today’s businesses, a single cyber attack can cripple a company’s operations. In June, FBI Christopher Wray commented that the cyber threat is growing “almost exponentially”; and that the FBI was investigating more than 100 different ransomware variants, a threefold increase from the previous year.

Adding to growing threats is the expansion of the corporate network, which provides the presence of more attack vectors than ever before. With the popularity of IoT, cloud, and edge computing, the proliferation of connected devices – all of which can function as potential entry points into an organization’s network – is increasingly difficult. to secure. Add to that the forced migration to hybrid work environments and the use of personal devices for business tasks, and it’s no wonder IT teams are finding it increasingly difficult to protect corporate data. ‘business.

While all of this paints a grim picture, the good news is that network security protections are evolving to meet these challenges as well. In particular, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), an emerging strategic approach defined by Gartner, is becoming an effective way to target the changing perimeter of the corporate network by merging network and security services into one.

In older network solutions, data from IoT and edge applications must travel long distances to corporate data centers in order for security functions to be performed. SASE removes this latency by providing SD-WAN and security as a cloud service at the point of connection (e.g. IoT device, edge data center) so that secure data can travel where it needs to be faster. This approach provides a ubiquitous security posture, whether users are remote, in a branch office, or at headquarters.

By leveraging existing security defenses, SASE can reduce the complexity of WAN deployment, improve security and efficiency, and provide IT with increased visibility and control over security configurations, as well as help IT organizations. clients in their zero-trust information security efforts. To meet today’s flexible environment, SASE enforces security policies regardless of the user’s location, and when new threats emerge, they can be easily addressed by the service provider, without requiring new material.

Gartner predicts that by 2024 at least 40% of all companies will have explicit strategies for adopting SASE.

Are you thinking of getting into SASE? Consider the following:

  • Consider what you already have in place before you engage in SASE on network, security, or both. SASE converges managed network and security services into one simplified offering, so it integrates the best of both worlds. But you might already have some of the key things in place like SD-WAN or Firewall as a Service. You should be able to leverage your existing investments, so challenge anyone who tells you to delete and replace or start over.
  • Consider your strategy and cloud footprint. Since SASE is delivered as close to the edge as possible, this represents a major commitment to “cloudify” your business. Of course, if you have a remote or hybrid workforce like most businesses, the cloud is really the only / best option to connect and protect your workforce, applications, and data. SASE and the changes spurred by the pandemic may represent the business case you need to drive digital transformation in your business.
  • Don’t get caught up in the SASE hype. SASE certainly offers a wide range of benefits, but like other growing technologies, many offerings are not complete and cannot yet be delivered to meet all expectations overnight. Study insights from leading research companies like Gartner and IDC to understand what’s real, what’s hot, and how to determine the technology strengths that match your current security posture.

Fortunately, you won’t need to remove and replace your existing SD-WAN network to start seeing the benefits of SASE, as these security features are tightly integrated into the network. As the next evolution in network security, SASE can help you simplify your security needs no matter where you are on your digital transformation journey.

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