September 10, 2021

Article
3 min

Improve Security and Performance for Remote Users With SASE

Secure access service edge can deliver a major leap forward for widely dispersed organizations.

Robert Herriage

Gartner’s “2021 Strategic Roadmap for SASE Convergence” includes a set of projections that capture the fast-growing popularity of the secure access service edge approach to security. 

SASE is an architecture that connects users to applications — regardless of location, in an effective manner and with corporate security controls and policies in place. Instead of traffic having to traverse the security stack in on-premises appliances, it is directed to the service, which performs any necessary inspections and then allows or disallows the traffic, depending on policy. 

By 2023, Gartner forecasts, 30 percent of enterprises locations will be connected only via the internet, forgoing private WAN connectivity. That’s twice the percentage that, as of 2020, had none of the private circuits that make up traditional enterprise locations. 

Concurrent with that shift, security is evolving. New technologies such as SASE can secure connectivity for internet-only enterprises without having to involve a corporate data center. To that end, Gartner predicts that by 2024, 30 percent of enterprises will adopt cloud-delivered security, such as Firewall as a Service, up from less than 5 percent in 2020.

Finally, looking ahead to 2025, Gartner notes that at least 60 percent of organizations will have strategies with timelines for SASE adoption, a big leap from the 10 percent that had done so last year. 

These are all huge steps forward for our industry, and these rapid advances show clearly the direction in which organizations are moving.

High-Priority Pain Points Can Influence SASE Adoption

Even when the destination is clear, however, organizations may take various routes to get there. Customers often want to know how to get started with SASE. The answer, like so much in IT, is that it depends. 

Organizations typically have a particular pain point they need to address first. Often — and as was certainly the case in 2020 — the pain point relates to poor remote connectivity, because users’ traffic is funneling back and forth to an on-premises security stack. When organizations seek to fix that problem, SASE is often the answer.

Other organizations arrive at SASE architecture as a corollary to software-defined networking. If a circuit refresh is on the table, IT leaders may want to know if there’s a better way to get connectivity to branch offices and end users. There is a better way, and it involves layering on security components to address security and performance simultaneously.

SASE Is Ideal for Distributed Organizations and Heavy Cloud Users

Organizations that have multiple distributed locations, especially cross-regional sites with large numbers of remote users, are prime candidates for SASE. Heavy cloud use is the second primary driver for SASE adoption, especially in combination with SD-WAN. The end deployments may look somewhat different in different organizations, but they will follow similar tenets. 

Often, we see these characteristics in corporate, financial, retail and hospitality companies. SASE may also be a good fit for healthcare organizations, especially if they have distributed locations, such as multiple doctor’s offices or care centers.

SASE works well for organizations like these, which need the ability to connect users to applications from anywhere — securely, efficiently and reliably — by distributing connectivity and security enforcement to the edge, where the users are.