Mobile computing and digital transformation have overturned the internal data center as the center of the universe. Content and services are now being delivered largely at the network’s edge, which is also where security should be enforced. Secure access service edge (SASE), a concept coined by global IT research and advisory firm Gartner, represents the convergence of network services and security policy near or at the point of access (whether in the cloud or as part of a software-defined network).

The secure access service edge and its delivery of on-demand connectivity and performance at the outer points of a wide area network (WAN) make obsolete the indirect and inefficient routing of connection requests all the way back to an in-house data center. With SASE, network traffic orchestration and security become more endpoint- or identity-centric.

Secure Access Service Edge: Why It’s So Important

As users connect with data closer to the point of access, it’s tempting for organizations to bypass or shortchange security in the name of performance. Next-generation network architectures introduce new threats that on-premises firewalls and traditional VPN deployments are ill-equipped to prevent. Fluctuating network edge points, pushed beyond control by wandering end-user devices carrying data, are almost always the initial point of digital infection; a vector for infiltration.

Digital attacks that exploit human judgement, such as phishing and identity spoofing, as well as overwhelming brute-force attacks, threaten your network endpoints outside the protected perimeter and seek to spread and compromise your core data.

Organizations in the midst of digital transformation – including network modernization, SD-WAN projects, and the migration to multicloud, mobile, and other distributed network and application architectures – must adopt SASE, pillared by strong identity and access management principles, to protect their investments.

An OPAQ Zero Trust SASE architecture empowers digitally transforming organizations to:

  • Shift inspections out to the edge (i.e., the session layer) routing the sessions to engines that have to centrally inspect and then reroute communications. Network traffic and sensitive data storage is shifting to cloud platforms vs. enterprise data centers. Why haul risky traffic and payload in for costly inspection when the OPAQ SASE cloud provides a safe, cost-effective barrier and transit mechanism?
  • Get over the business transformational hurdle of risk aversion. Use software-defined networking (SDN) and MPLS backhaul offload projects as drivers to modernize and optimize security through software-defined perimeters. Cloud-based SASE offerings heavily reduce the challenge of constantly updating security at the physical or software level. Network and IT staff won’t have to spend all their time setting up equipment and performing maintenance; instead, they can focus on strategic transformation, providing business tools, meeting privacy requirements, and developing advanced, next-generation security schemas.
  • Reduce network security complexity by moving to a single provider for the key components of secure access service edge: i.e., secure Web gateways, zero trust network access, and workstation segmentation. This software portfolio reduction can reduce agent bloat and performance issues at the end-user level. OPAQ also provides the requisite peering partnerships critical for points of presence, reducing latency for performance-sensitive apps such as video, Web conferencing and VoIP.
  • Easily add or bolster network segmentation to avoid kill-shots as you connect with new data sources as part of digital business transformation. OPAQ protects your organization with separate secure tunnels for: 1) private enterprise data access (through multifactor authentication/MFA, and filtering and controlling advanced malware and sensitive data access), and 2) always-on protection for remote employees surfing the Web for business connections and while on public Wi-Fi.

OPAQ delivers the core SASE components to protect your digital business transformation investment:

  • Secure Web Gateways
  • Firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS)
  • Leading advanced endpoint protection and segmentation
  • Zero Trust Architecture
  • CASB capabilities, including server-to-server and server-to-VM-to-workstation inspection and protection.

Protect users where they require access with OPAQ secure access service edge and security-as-a-service.

Find out more.

Download the Secure Network Modernization white paper

Download the Securing Remote Workers solution brief

Read the related blog.