What is Gartner SASE?

In their August 2019 report, The Future of Network Security in the Cloud, Gartner described how their research team became interested in the concept of Secure Access Service Edge or SASE (spelt as Sassy). 

Because of rapid digitalization, workforce mobility growth, SD-WAN, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing, SASE convergence of networking and network security safeguards digital business transformation with cloud-based, software-defined secure access.

In March 2021, SASE (Secure access service edge) Gartner dissected the future of network security in the cloud and 2021 Strategic Roadmap for SASE Convergence – Gartner SASE report.

“By 2025, at least 60% of enterprises will have explicit strategies and timelines for SASE adoption encompassing user, branch and edge access, up from 10% in 2020.”

Gartner, 2021 Strategic Roadmap for SASE Convergence; 25 March 2021

Although Gartner first introduced their findings about SASE during a conference presentation on November 5, 2018, they officially released a summary of their testing results for this new security protocol on August 28th, stating “any cloud provider thinking about adding network-based access control should probably think about it long and hard” due to several issues that they encountered during trials.

Modern digital businesses direct more traffic to the cloud workload services than data centers. With growth in SaaS applications in the cloud, local hosting of applications perimeter-based security needs to meet the demands of external traffic, without going through the data center.

Conventional hub and spoke network architectures have constant fights with problems like:

  • Tool proliferation
  • Solution silos
  • Lack of automation 
  • Performance issues at the network edge etc.

Gartner SASE Definition

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) – according to Gartne SASE definition – is a unified cloud-native architecture that assembles network security functions (like SWG, CASB, FWaaS and ZTNA), with SD- WAN (Software-driven Wide Area Network) capabilities to provide cloud-delivered secure access service edge to the user and/or device – rather than the enterprise data center .

In the era of cloud computing and big data, logical evolution for network security is the need of the hour.

5 Characteristics of the Gartner SASE Model

SASE Gartner Characteristic #1 Cloud-native architectures with Containerized microservice-based environment

Thanks to the Cloud-native SASE architecture, microservices and SASE streamline network operations and match risk reduction requirements.

SASE Gartner Characteristic #2 – WAN networking and security services

The merger of the convergence of Software-Driven wide area networking, or SD- WAN with network security offerings simplifies WAN deployment alongwith Security into a cloud – right from one platform. 

SASE Gartner Characteristic #3 – Cloud-managed On-Demand services

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Because the Cloud is agile and elastic, consumption-based usage helps in scaling networking and security on new digital business models, on a global scale.

SASE Gartner Characteristic #4 – Centralized Policy control

SASE presents centralized policy control with local enforcement and management of endpoint-specific security policies regardless of their location. 

SASE Gartner Characteristic #5 – Local survivability

SASE maintains local access to DNS, considering the distributed environment of remote workers, to reroute local traffic – in case there is WAN disruption.

2021 Gartner Strategic Roadmap for SASE Convergence Report

In March,2021 Gartner SASE report came up with its recommendations for adopting SASE.

Known as Strategic Roadmap for SASE Convergence by Gartner , it provides a strategic roadmap, and step-by-step migration plan and timeline for SASE adoption journey. 

Gartner’s SASE Guidance Report revolves around edge-centric networking and security models and a must-read  if an enterprise is “ready to transform the legacy perimeter”.

As per Gartner “Digitalization, work from anywhere and cloud-based computing have accelerated cloud-delivered SASE offerings to enable anywhere, anytime access from any device. Security and risk management leaders should build a migration plan from legacy perimeter and hardware-based offerings to a SASE model.”

3 Key Takeaways from 2021 Gartner Strategic Roadmap for SASE Convergence Report

  • Security needs to be software-driven and 24*7 cloud-delivered security to digital capabilities must be there – must be there – anywhere, anytime. 
  • Developing a strategic roadmap to SASE adoption at your enterprise
  • Take advantage of Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) 

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