Is your IT team considering SASE?

Our new hybrid world and the accelerated transition to a multi-cloud environment have caused unprecedented secure connectivity challenges for organizations. Organizations are looking to leverage their SD-WAN architecture to provide a seamless user experience while connecting to multi-cloud secure connectivity solution to keep users and devices safe. To ease these challenges, many are now looking to Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solutions to converge networking and cloud security to secure the ever-expanding perimeter. Even though many conceptualize SASE as ‘secure access’ (meaning security services) and ‘service edge’ (meaning network services), there is still confusion circling in the marketplace. Many struggle with how to build a SASE solution and the key integration points they need in their network.

On the latest episode of Insider Series for Networking, The State of SASE: why SASE, why now?, Rohan Naggi, Engineering Product Manager of SD-WAN Services, and I discuss all things SASE. We give insights and tips about what a SASE solution looks like, why adopt a SASE journey now, and vital components and key integration points for a successful SASE solution.

What is key to a SASE solution?

SASE is not just one solution that you install and it starts working right away. A SASE solution is a journey. Each journey is different, and organizations may start their SASE journey in different places based on their IT and business needs. But to make sure devices and users are connected consistently and securely, there are some important integrations that you need to consider on your SASE journey.

SD-WAN and Cloud Security 

The key integration point for a SASE solution is the integration between SD-WAN and cloud security. SD-WAN is the backbone to a SASE solution and, when integrated with cloud security, organizations are able to connect and protect users and application wherever they are. SD-WAN provides safeguards to a SASE solution to enable ubiquitous security.  Cloud security gives security to the host of applications that are now being shifted to the cloud. When these are integrated together, IT teams can automate traffic routes to different points of presence (PoPs). When there is a performance problem, predictive analytics is used to reroute traffic to alternate PoPs before the user experience is impacted.

NetOps and SecOps Teams 

Another important integration for a SASE solution is integrating the NetOps and SecOps teams. When these teams are integrated, security policies are continuously shared, and data is exchanged between SD-WAN and cloud security management platforms to provide consistent visibility into policy and events. Enterprise network constructs like VPNs and security group tags and policies are extended into cloud security. Overall, this integration allows networking and security operations to share data, policies, and management with each other to help better secure users and applications wherever they are.

Visibility into Data Traffic

Finally, it is important to have visibility into end-to-end traffic (data traffic) from user endpoint to destination like on-prem application, or IaaS. IT teams can monitor and optimize the user experience with full visibility and analytics across SASE components like SD-WAN and cloud security PoPs. When there is better visibility, organizations can use predictive analytics and security to stop an issue before it occurs or when it does occur remediate it quickly.

Ultimate Goal 

Every organization’s SASE solution and journey will be different, but these key integration should be included in all. By integrating SD-WAN and cloud security, NetOps and SecOps teams, and end-users and applications, IT teams can better optimize their SASE solutions. A SASE solution aims to simplify management, optimize security and network performance, improve user experience, and reduce costs. But the ultimate goal of SASE is to securely and consistently connect users and applications wherever they are.

The best way to go about your SASE journey is simply to START!  Whether it be with networking or cloud security, start with the tools you have and build from there on your SASE journey.

More SASE Expertise!

Listen to the Insider Series Podcast Episode on all things SASE. And be sure to tune in live or watch the replay of Rohan’s Cisco Live presentation Why SD-WAN is Essential for SASE Success.


Check out the 2022 Global Networking Trends Report Special Edition: The State of SASE

Additional Resources

Follow The Insider Series for Networking and others on SoundCloud

Check out our Cisco Networking Video Channel

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Yuval Yatskan

Senior Director of Solutions and Product Marketing

Cisco Secure Marketing