SASE – the revolutionary technology concept that simplifies IT security and reduces complexity.

SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) proved its worth in many companies during the pandemic. They helped respond quickly to the change in network usage caused by the home office. However, many companies overlook the fact that with SASE, they are only using a fraction of its capabilities.

Let’s imagine asking passers-by in a European pedestrian zone for their first positive association with various country names. The answers are predictable. For France, we will often expect “wine,” for Italy perhaps “pizza,” and for Switzerland possibly “chocolate.” Nevertheless, all of these countries offer many other benefits and interesting aspects. However, many tourists focus on discovering these well-known specialties and go home with the feeling that they have gotten to know the country comprehensively, although in reality they have only tapped into a small partial aspect.

We often feel the same way about complex technology concepts. They solve a specific problem, but many other possibilities within them remain undiscovered. Some exceptions are many innovations that were originally developed for use in space, but then proved to be useful improvements in everyday life on Earth. These show that advanced development need not be confined to a narrowly defined area of application, but can cover many more aspects upon closer examination.

In IT, one sees a tendency to solve problems one at a time. A recent example of this is SASE (Secure Access Service Edge), a term introduced by Gartner analysts at the end of 2019 that quickly gained traction in the industry. This was also influenced by the requirements we had to deal with during the pandemic due to changes in working conditions. One of these was for employees to access cloud resources directly from their home offices without going through the corporate WAN and data center. However, such a solution was impossible for a larger number of employees in the home office. This is where SASE comes in: it moves security functionality to the network and the network to the cloud, allowing changes to be made once that apply to all users or devices in a given group. SASE is therefore an important step towards “work from anywhere” and intensive use of cloud applications. Paradoxically, the more distributed a company is, the more it can benefit from SASE, since the less strain it places on its own network.

SASE simplifies IT security and reduces complexity. The cloud-based model simplifies the deployment and operation of network and security services, and enables the integration of other features such as Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) or Extended Detection and Response (XDR). According to Gartner analysis, the number of IT security vendors needed can be reduced to one or two. A study by Gartner shows that 75% of organizations would like to reduce the number of security vendors they have. By 2025, Gartner estimates that one-third of SASE implementations will be based on technology from a single vendor.

SASE is becoming a central point of control for IT security. Not only does it unify network and security functions, but it also enables enterprises to move from in-house services to managed services. This means they can move from a CAPEX model to an OPEX model. Gartner identifies Palo Alto Networks as a possible single SASE vendor for enterprises.