Observing the digital transformation spree that the global market is going through, it makes sense for a cloud-based network and cybersecurity solutions like Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) to be in high demand. In fact, Gartner predicts for atleast 6 out of 10 enterprises to have clear-cut roadmap for SASE by 2025.
Although, the implementation of such a model might be harder than it seems with exponential demand for reliable and secure connectivity in digital-driven businesses. The infrastructure available for existing managed security services in most enterprises is not equipped for a framework like SASE to be implemented with all its potential. For instance, it would be a real test for the enterprises to ensure high-quality network security and cyber security standards while serving the scalability and performance benefits of Software-defined WAN.
How exactly are the business leaders then planning to implement SASE while dealing with distributed enterprises, SaaS models, and data network security requirements among other complexities?
For this blog, Zymr’s Cybersecurity services experts have compiled their understanding of different impediments faced during SASE implementation. Accessing our recent experience in building the SASE framework for a client, they also suggest the ways to overcome these challenges.
Roadblocks for a Cloud-Driven Security Model
At its bare minimum, SASE requires the benefits of cloud-driven network and modernized security means to come together and work in synergy. This collaboration itself poses many challenges for business leaders in terms of culture, infrastructure, and architecture. Here are some prime concerns that we identified while working on the SASE project:
- Revisiting the Responisbilities: Just like with DevSecOps, SASE also demands a revisit of responsibilities for two siloed teams - cybersecurity and networking. On one hand we have a team that deals with highly scalable services like SaaS and IaC. To make this team work in tandem with the experts who already have their hands full maintaining enterprise-level security and compliance is a tight rope to tread.
- Cloud Topography: For enterprises spread globally, the cloud infrastructure might vary from location to location. From networking perspective this would require uncompromised performance on on-premise infrastructures, hybrid clouds and multi-clouds. While the security concerns would include compliance management, data protection, and risk analysis among others. Routing through such complex architecture can disrupt the availability and scalability of the cloud-native services while also increasing the attack surface for the SASE model to manage.
- Process Standardizations: While maintaining a robust cloud network security is a hard-work in itself, SASE implementation also faces a problem of standardization. A coherent administration of policies that govern the network and security processes might lead to serious functional limitations on either side.
Paving the Road for SASE
At the end of the day, SASE is a way forward in a digital-driven business and needs to be treated as such. Overcoming the network and cybersecurity challenges would require a good understanding of the operations on the either side. Here’s how Zymr experts saw to it:
- Collaboration: The most exhausting challenge has to be bringing together the two siloed teams against the huge gaps in their skillsets and policies. While the business leaders can ensure enough cultural encouragement, the digital ecosystem can also play a key role in this collaboration. A trusted way is to orchestrate a platform that integrates the networking and security operations. With an additional automation support of AI/ML-based threat intelligence, the two teams can smoothen the friction much quickly for the SASE framework to proceed. Our experts also suggest an overlay of programmable controls and smart resource management to make the implementation more effective.
- Network Consolidation: With distributed enterprises and varying cloud topography, SASE needs an underlying infrastructure support to operate on Network as a Service (NaaS) and cloud native tools can help in this regard by allowing seamless communication between cloud and on-premise infrastructures at different locations
- Integrated Toolchain: A single SASE platform would also make it easy for different tools to be integrated and operated under standardized digital ecosystem. While the Software Defined - WAN, AIOps, and NaaS are handled by networking policies, the corresponding security policies can take care of Zero-trust, CASB, CSPM and SSPM.