Many companies were using cloud technology and equipping remote work before the pandemic started. However, COVID-19 forced companies to get the answer to a question they had been pondering for years: could a permanent remote work environment be sustainable on a long-term basis? The answer is yes, thanks to secure access service edge (SASE) solutions.
The widespread cloud migration and employees working outside the office, combined with the urgency of the pandemic, created an opportunity for companies to improve productivity while reducing costs. But a major obstacle remained: secure connectivity.
With Gallup reporting that 59% of employees preferred to work in a hybrid environment, the need to create a sustainable environment for remote work has accelerated interest in SASE. The SASE approach employs a variety of tools, including Secure Web Gateways (SWGs) and zero-trust network access (ZTNA), to protect data and systems. There are three steps you should include in your SASE implementation:
Have Clearly-Defined Goals: You need to have a good idea of your end goal for SASE, and while you are pursuing a unified security and network solution, that doesn't mean all of your infrastructures will need to be replaced.
A good SASE vendor will work with your existing resources, building on what you have. For example, you may already be using a secure web gateway or elements of ZTNA. In addition, a cloud access security broker (CASB) may be in place to monitor the cloud solutions your employees access. Don’t delay the implementation process because you are concerned that what you have in place won’t be compatible with SASE.
Embrace Cloud-Based Security and Networking Software: If you are supporting remote work, you may have already adopted some aspects of SASE, but if you are using legacy security tools, you may have some reluctance to switch to a cloud-based solution. In addition, legacy solutions can't solve the challenges related to secure connectivity for remote work.
Accessing solutions via the cloud means you won't have the initial investment that has come with a major technology upgrade. It is also scalable and flexible and tends to offer opportunities for integration.
Consider Small Victories: Many companies find success by implementing SASE first for a single department or third-party vendors. As the process unfolds, you will gain momentum and move to other departments.
Another option is to apply SASE according to the use case. For instance, a new public cloud might be the right area to introduce SASE solutions to protect company assets. You could also add SASE when rolling out a new fleet of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Once you’ve successfully implemented a department or use case, expanding it is easier.
For guidance in pursuing SASE for your company, contact us at ITBroker.com. We can help you identify vulnerabilities in your remote work environment, determine which requires the highest priority with SASE implementation, and assist you in developing your strategy.