E-Handbook: SASE model aims to boost network security, performance Article 1 of 4

SASE model preps network security for digital transformation

Gartner says it's time to get sassy. Not as in being bold or brazen, but SASE, as in the acronym for Secure Access Service Edge.

Coined by the research firm in late 2019, the term SASE refers to a service model that aims to accommodate the needs of cloud-, mobile- and edge-reliant enterprises by creating a converged, centrally controlled fabric of cloud services and security functions.

Andrew Lerner, research vice president at Gartner, wrote in late December 2019 that SASE is "essentially a new package of technologies," including software-defined WAN, secure web gateways, cloud access security brokers, zero-trust network access and firewall as a service "as core capabilities with the ability to identify sensitive data or malware and the ability to decrypt content at line speed, with continuous monitoring of sessions for risk and trust levels."

In a nutshell, the SASE model provides secure access to enterprise data, wherever it may be located.

Members of the networking and security teams jointly define and control the SASE with other key players, such as mobile and app dev teams and sys admins. As such, SASE is positioned to be a game-changer in the enterprise digital transformation landscape by pulling together cloud applications, mobile employees, and edge and IoT applications, while using identity-driven access management as its core security mechanism.

It's a nascent model, but that hasn't stopped Gartner from predicting that 40% of enterprises will have SASE adoption plans by 2024.

Because of its relative infancy, there is likely much confusion around the Secure Access Service Edge. In this guide, cloud expert Dave Shackleford outlines the service fabric convergence of SASE and how to determine its role in your enterprise. Then analyst John Fruehe discusses the cultural and architectural challenges enterprises may encounter when considering SASE adoption. Finally, Shackleford dives back in to explain the identity-centric nature of SASE and how its policies make organizations more secure.

Digital transformation is a reality facing companies of all shapes and sizes. Is the SASE model the key to putting your enterprise's digital transformation on a secure path?