Any fundamental change to the way organisations work will pose security challenges. Over the past few years, enterprises have rapidly evolved to champion hybrid working models, and to facilitate this, more critical workloads have been moved to cloud and edge deployments.
Traditional ways of enabling and securing these environments are ineffective. VPNs offer powerful 256-bit AES encryption, but that encryption process comes at the expense of performance, and VPNs only require a user ID and password to create a difficult-to-monitor connection to the network.
Meanwhile, many cloud and edge environments are structured around proxy servers, as they are an effective way to route cloud traffic. However, proxy servers pose several risks, including:
- Performance and Scalability: Each request needs to pass through the proxy server which can result in slower page loading times especially when it decrypts messages. Once the proxy server shows signs of limiting network speed, it must be upgraded.
- Security Risks: Proxy servers can introduce security vulnerabilities if not properly configured or secured. Cyber criminals that gain access to proxy servers can use them to intercept and manipulate traffic, potentially exposing sensitive information or injecting malicious code.
- Reliability and Availability: Proxy servers can become single points of failure within a network architecture. If a proxy server experiences an outage or becomes inaccessible, it can disrupt activities.
- Trustworthiness of Proxy Providers: A proxy servers may log user data, sell information to third parties, or engage in malicious activities.
SASE is the solution to these inherent weaknesses. Its deep security features, including Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Data Loss Prevention (DLP), and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), provide a deeper level of protection and better performance in cloud-native environments.
SASE fully realises the potential of the cloud
For most organisations that are looking to transformation and the cloud, one of the key priorities is breaking down networking and security team siloes to achieve superior operational and cybersecurity effectiveness. A cloud-based SASE architecture makes true technology convergence possible. Key benefits that can be realised through SASE include:
Direct Cloud Access: SASE provides direct and secure access to cloud resources, eliminating traffic backhauling through on-premises datacentres. This direct access can deliver faster application response times and an improved user experience, especially for cloud-based applications.
Optimised Routing: SASE solutions can use intelligent routing algorithms to optimise traffic flow, ensuring that data takes the most efficient path to reach its destination. This can lead to improved performance for both cloud and on-premise resources.
Application Acceleration: SASE platforms can be leveraged for application acceleration, and through that can further enhance performance, especially for resource-intensive applications.
Micro-Segmentation: SASE’s micro-segmentation capabilities, such as Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP), boost security by limiting access to specific resources based on user identity and authorisation. By reducing the attack surface and focusing access only on what is necessary, SASE can improve network performance and security simultaneously.
Zero Trust Security: Finally, the ZTNA approach inherent to SASE is the definitive approach to security in modern IT environments. It ensures that users and devices are authenticated and authorised before accessing specific resources. This reduces the risk of unauthorised access as well as the potential network congestion that could occur with traditional VPNs.
One final, hugely relevant benefit of SASE for security
There’s a lot being said about the security implications of AI applications like ChatGPT, as data can “leak” into the scraping mechanisms of these platforms, and from there disseminate it by accident, without anyone necessarily knowing. For organisations handling sensitive data in highly regulated environments, this is a particular concern, as data leaks can come from otherwise benign and well-meaning sources.
SASE-based access control, backed by zero-trust security and DLP capabilities are proving to be one of the most effective responses to this challenge. It will prevent unauthorised users (including AI applications) from accessing the data in the first place, and then, the DLP will trigger even if an authorised user attempts to exfiltrate the data into an AI application.
SASE is the foundation of a well-designed, dynamic and cloud-powered organisation. With it in place, it’s possible to capitalise on the full scale of possibilities in the cloud with the confidence that there is uncompromising security in place, but in a way that doesn’t undermine productivity gains.
Learn more about the compelling benefits of SASE for both security and performance – and how you can implement it into your cloud environment today – with Aruba and Lexel. Contact us now.