Will VPNs Be Substituted by SASE?

newsonjapan.com -- Oct 24

SASE got its first recognition after Gartner introduced it to describe the fusion of core network and security features delivered via a single cloud service.

SASE provides companies with unified security and network tools that can be used regardless of where the user and resources are located. This model has proven very efficient with the increase in remote and hybrid work systems. With SASE, organizations require little to no hardware for their network security. They only need to deploy cloud technology to combine SD-WAN with different capabilities of the SASE model. They include Firewall as a Service (FWaaS), Secure Web Gateways(SWG), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), and Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB)

Organizations can leverage cloud services to run applications as they continue to recruit remote and hybrid workforces. SASE allows them to enjoy a higher level of convenience, cost-effectiveness, agility, and scalability on SaaS products.

SASE Uses a Multi-Vendor Approach to Network and Security

Few vendors offer every component of the SASE model, but a multi-vendor approach is usually required. A SASE architecture transfers network security from data centers to the cloud, bringing individual technologies into a bigger Security-as-a-Service.

And as a combination of security functions, some vendors provide compiled network security solutions to speed up implementing the SASE model that offers security covering to remote workers leveraging internet access not part of the corporate network. Usually, they’ll require the services of multiple vendors because you’ll rarely receive the opportunity to access all key SASE components via a single vendor.

The Components That Makeup SASE Architecture

Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN): SASE needs SD-WAN to provide a wide area network on a large scale to improve performance and agility. SD-WAN also reduces the complexity of deploying multi-vendor solutions and enhances the overall user experience by delivering the most convenient traffic access to the internet, data center, and cloud apps. So, regardless of location, SD-WAN makes rapid deployment of apps and services possible while also providing ease of policy management.

Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB): CASB sits between cloud apps and cloud users and monitors activities and security policies on the network. It also helps to prevent the occurrence of a potential data leak, regulatory noncompliance, malware infection, and poor visibility by ensuring cloud apps and services are utilized according to organizational policies. Hence, they offer protection to cloud apps situated in private or public clouds or delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Next-Gen Firewall (NGFW) and Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS): It deploys cloud firewalls in replacement of physical firewall appliances with cloud firewalls that provide advanced Layer 7/next-generation firewall (NGFW) capabilities, including URL filtering, access control, DNS security, advanced threat prevention, and intrusion prevention systems (IPS). It doesn’t just protect against the common attacks from viruses, ransomware, adware, worms, and trojans; it blocks them from ever accessing your network.

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA): Remote connections can generate secure access to network resources by building a secure perimeter around applications using identity and context-based approaches. Zero Trust never offers assumed privileges and offers access based on granular policies. As a result, it allows remote connections securely without giving them full access to apps and resources or placing them on your network, reducing the potential surface area for attackers.

Secure Web Gateway (SWG): SWG is deployed to uncover threats and unwarranted activities around your internal network. It secures users and employees from being trailed and infected by malicious web traffic, internet-borne viruses, vulnerable websites, and cyber threats and attacks.

Centralized Management: A system for managing all the security features from a single console. With this, you’ll be able to eliminate several challenges of change control, coordinating outage windows, patch management, and policy management while ensuring a complete delivery of enterprise policies across different departments of your company where users are connecting from.

VPNs and the SASE Architecture

VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) secure user data and disguise identities over the internet or wireless hotspots. VPNs pass data via encrypted tunnels to avoid being intercepted by cybercriminals. While you can use a firewall to secure computer data, VPNs offer internet data security. It is mainly designed to offer equal protection provided by private networks but at much-reduced costs. And a user can either choose to consider using a dynamic IP or static IP VPN, depending on their enterprise goals.

Most modern VPN service providers will help to enhance security on a network. Unlike the traditional server-based feature of the VPN, SASE is offered as a cloud service and removes the need to worry about the maintenance or operation of the underlying infrastructure.

VPN services offer multiple gateways where your device’s IP address can be located. With it, users can access online platforms and resources and even geo-restricted content. In addition, remote workers and travelers can benefit from using VPNs to access content from a remote location, especially in areas with strict rules on online content.

VPNs Can Complement SASE

While some SASE service providers claim to be offering their services as replacements for VPNs, it is quite essential to note that VPNs work better as a complement to enhancing the SASE architecture. SASE vendors who reference VPNs being replaced talk about the on-premise VPNs. With SASE being a cloud-delivery framework, its CASB component must offer security for cloud applications. This feature appeals easily to companies going in the route of digital transformations and migrating to the cloud.

Unlike legacy VPNs, next-gen VPNs now provide private cloud network services which are not open to access via the public internet. This strongly supports any SASE architecture, offering less complexity and cost-effectiveness.

Reasons Why Business Owners implement The SASE Architecture

The main benefits SASE offers to organizations are a cloud-based distributed architecture, centralized management, and offering endpoint-specific security policies. However, there are other gains from deploying SASE, and they include:

  • A streamlined network and security operations. With SASE, the endpoint is the network perimeter, and security is delivered dynamically through role-based policies – a process that helps to break down the complexities of networking and security for employees located in dispersed areas.
  • Applications can be located anywhere. SASE distributed feature makes it possible for the situation of applications anywhere, moving security closer to end users.
  • Fewer WAN costs. SASE routing operation, similar to SD-WAN, provides reduced WAN cost by eliminating the need for expensive leased circuits and MPLS replaced by VPNs.
  • Improved Speed. Some critical issues to poor speed are cloud congestion and network latency at data centers. However, SASE enhances the response time and user experience.